Building a Craft Beer Bar for Weddings: Designing and Framing

Designing and Building a Craft Beer Bar for Weddings: Part 2 - Designing and Framing

If you read the first part of our post, welcome back! If you didn’t get to read it – check it out here!

After we had our inspiration and a rough idea of the design, it was time to mock up some details, pick up our lumber and start framing this thing out.

As mentioned in the previous post, we are looking to add 4 taps to this bar and we wanted it to be portable and reusable, so we’re going a bit overboard on the framing. We’ll be using 2x4s and 3″ screws to hold this thing together. Once framed, additional support will be provided when the covering is added.

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

Building the Wedding Bar Base Frame

Before starting on the frame you’ll need to decide on a few things:

  • What type of space will the bar be going in? This will help you determine the width and height it should be built at
  • How many taps/faucet will it have? This will also help determine the width as each tap “should” have at least 4″ of space between them, but we suggest more so that each faucet can have a nice sign that goes along with it.
  • What type of theme will the wedding be? Modern, rustic, country, outdoorsy, etc.

Our bar feature 4 taps with 8″ of space between each one and the frame will be covered in reclaimed wood by our expert at Good Obsessions. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves… let’s start with getting this thing framed out.

We started by creating the frame for the base of the bar out of 2x4s. This bar is going to do a bit of traveling, so we decided to overbuild it. With the miter saw setup on the stand (if you have a miter saw, but not a miter saw stand, I can’t recommend it enough), we were ready to get to cutting.

Building out the base of the bar We went approximately 48 inches wide by about 44 inches tall (slightly higher than counter height). We began by building 2 equal size rectangles to set the frame size for the base of the bar. Once we had the wood cut for the front and the back of the base, we secured the pieces together using our 3″ coarse thread screws.

With the bases assembled, we worked on positioning the front and the back to help us determine the depth of the bar. Knowing that we’d have a tower mounted on top of the bar that would be approximately 10 inches deep, we settled on 20 inches deep for the base. Enough space for a very narrow counter top and a drip tray, but not enough room for people to congregate around.

Figured out the depth of the base and secured the front and back of the bar together.

After deciding on the depth of the base, four 20 inch boards were cut and used to secure the front and the back of the bar together.

With the base now framed out, we added a 3rd 2×4 to both the top and the bottom of the frame. The addition of the 2×4 to the bottom of the frame will serve as support for the cooler(s), rubbermaid container(s), ice and kegs.

The addition of the 2×4 to the top of the frame will serve as both a mounting point and support for the draft tower.

Building the Draft Tower

With the base of the bar completed, it was time to start working on the draft tower.

Knowing that we were aiming for a depth of 10 inches, all we had left to decide was the width and height of the tower wall. We decided to leave 4 inches of space on each side of the bar – basically just a small shelf on each side to set cups, flowers or other decorations.

The width ended up at 40 inches. For the height, we were looking for about 6 feet in total, so we just chose 30 inches as a nice round number for the height of the draft tower attachment. With the dimensions for the draft tower figured out, we made the necessary cuts and framed the draft tower, just as we had with the base of the bar.

Completion of the draft tower wall. Over framed, overbuilt.

Here you can see the tower sitting on top of the base to give an overall idea of the final dimension of the bar. We ended up with a framed height of just over 6 feet at 74 inches and a width of 48 inches. A solid start to our wedding bar.

Since portability (or semi-portability) was one of the features we were looking for with this homemade wedding bar, we thought that having a detachable draft tower would help in transportation. One, it would reduce the overall size and height of the bar. And two, it allows the weight of the bar to be split up.

Securing the Draft Tower to the Base

To make the draft beer tower detachable, we used 1/2″ x 4″ hex bolts with wing nuts attached. This gave us an easy way to secure the tower to the base while at the same time allowing it to be removed with little effort. We centered the draft beer tower frame on the base and clamped it into position using quick grip bar clamps. With the tower aligned on the base, we used a 5/8″ spade bit to drill holes for the hex bolts that would allow us to secure the tower to the base.

With the tower secured, the last thing to do was to add a cross bar and mark out the locations for our beer faucets.

4 taps will be installed 8" apart from one another.While common heights for faucets can be as low as 9″ from the drip tray up to 13″ on the high side, we opted to go for 12″ as our center point. Once the drip tray is mounted, we’ll lose about 3/4″ combined with the height of the faucet, we’ll have about 10 1/2″ of clearance between the faucet and the drip tray.

We had already decided that our faucets would be 8″ apart from one another, so this made our job easy once the height was determined. We would be installing 4 faucets, so we found the midline of the cross bar and measured out 4″ on each side. From each of those marks, we measured out 8″.

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When all was said and done, we had a very sturdy frame that was only going to become more sturdy when we added our reclaimed wood facade to it. Stay tuned for the next post in the series – Covering the Bar with Reclaimed Wood.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to rent this bar, contact us or reach out to us on any of our social media pages.

About Brendan

A self employed e-commerce developer, Brendan co-created PartsLogix. In his "free time", he coaches volleyball, enjoys homebrewing, mountain biking and hacking up golf courses. Connect with him on Google+ or Twitter.