Why you need a beer burro at your next event
Sure, live entertainment is a pretty established wedding trend. But have you heard about beverage burros? This relatively new fad just may be here to stay! Besides, what could be better than a four-legged, furry bartender?
Whether you’ve already heard about beverage burros, or you’re brand-new to this party trend, the most logical next question is—how do I book one?
As with any event vendor, there are the exceptional and there are the avoidable. We have scoured the internet to find the best beverage burro services in the United States.
Each company on this list has been personally vetted for their professionalism and response times. We also verified that they are actively booking for events in 2023 and beyond.
But before we dive into our top list of beverage burro companies in the United States, we must address the basics—what do you even look for when vetting a beverage burro company?
Featured Photo Credit: openairfoto.com – used with permission from Beer Burros & Brands (featured)
The Basics of Burros
These gentle, social, strong animals may just be the perfect bartenders for your next event.
Not only are they a walking photo booth, they happily carry brews, bubbles, and even bounty. From coozies to corporate-branded swag, these versatile animals can be customized to a wide variety of events.
Beverage burros go by a variety of names:
- Event Donkeys
- Wedding Burros
- Tequila Donkeys
- Beer Burros
- Beverage Donkeys
Most companies are happy to dress their donkeys for your specific event. Whether you have a certain theme in mind, or want to color-coordinate, the sky’s the limit.
Decorations typically include hats, flower wreaths, brightly colored saddle pads, beautifully adorned baskets, and optional signage.
We recently hired Rocky Mountain Beverage Burro for our wedding. While we’d hoped to have our own adopted BLM burros in attendance, Blue and Moon were not yet ready for a trip off the farm.
RMBB owner Amber Wann stepped up for us and brought burro Dominick to make our day even more special.
She was one of my favorite (and lowest stress!) wedding vendors to work with. After providing some initial details (location, schedule, and decor preferences), she ran with it and executed everything without a hitch.
While we think beverage burros are the bees’ knees, we do feel the need to pause and potentially burst your bubble. There are some logistical considerations to think through before trying to hire a long-earred bartender:
- Location. Does your venue allow beverage burros? Do they even know what a beer burro is? You may need to educate them, and you definitely need to get permission. Personally, I used this as a screening question as I evaluated vendors…and most of them said no.
- Liquor Licenses. If your burro will be serving adult beverages, liquor licenses are an unavoidable part of this discussion. Regulations vary by state, so you’ll need to do a little research.
- In Colorado, a licensed bartender is required to serve alcohol. I was able to work with my wedding bartender to ensure she was comfortable with allowing a four-legged beer distribution system.
- Some states require the donkey handler to carry alcohol-serving certifications. A professional company will be able to help you with this part of your decision-making process!
- Insurance. I hate to break it to you but most basic wedding insurance policies don’t include animal coverage. You should definitely ask, and consider having it written into your policy. That said, reputable beverage burro companies should have insurance and will provide proof of it to you (and your venue) upon request.
- Surroundings. Think about your audience. Will small children be running around? Other animals? For example, many donkeys view dogs as predators, and won’t necessarily get along.
- Since we had my dog at our wedding, we opted to leash her up for happy hour to prevent any less-than-desirable interactions. A little extra caution goes a long way!
- Poop. Yep, we just went there. Manure is inevitable, so many professional companies will equip their animals with “bun bags,” specifically designed to catch manure and eliminate any need for clean-up.
Now that we’ve covered the details, it’s time to discuss our list of top beverage burro companies. We’ve listed them alphabetically by state, for your convenience.
Tiny Hiney’s Travelin’ Farm
This company is much more than beverage burros–you can book an entire traveling zoo! From alpacas to tortoises, miniature goats to miniature pigs, this travlin’ farm even has a kangaroo.
Affectionately referred to as “The ZOO That Comes to YOU!” farm owner Susan tries to rescue the majority of her animal menagerie while simultaneously educating the community about animals in need.
Tiny Hiney’s Travelin’ Farm allows you to book everything from beer burros to barnyard parties. My 8 year-old-self would have been over the moon to book a unicorn, painted to match my specific party colors.
Tiny Hiney has by far the broadest spectrum of available animals on our list and is definitely worth your consideration!
Location: Athens, Alabama
Service Area: A strictly mobile business covering northern Alabama and the Tennessee Valley area (Huntsville, Birmingham, Nashville, & everything in between!)
Contact Via: Email or phone
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org / 256-998-8439
Business History: Started in 2020
The Beer Burro
The Beer Burro is one of the first-established beverage burro companies on our list. Their motto is “the premier beer burro company of the southwest,” and they are already booking two years out!
This Tequila Team consists of four beer burros and two self-proclaimed pony kegs (love this!).
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Service Area: All of Arizona, and we do travel outside of Arizona
Contact Via: Email or phone
Contact Info: email@example.com / 480-822-0025
Business History: Beer Burros has been in business since 2009
Beer Burros & Brands
This company is based in the high desert, serving SoCal with beverage burros and customized brand services. Owner Heather started the business when she realized there was a deficit in service for her own wedding.
Thus, Beer Burros and Brands was born!
Two miniature bartenders named Ranger and Alfalfa are reporting for duty. These rescue donkeys are happy to carry both beverages and high-quality, branded wedding gifts your guests will appreciate.
Location: Morongo Valley, California (between Palm Springs & Joshua Tree)
Service Area: Southern California
Contact Via: Website Form or Email
Contact Info: Contact form at beerburrosandbrands.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Business History: 2022
Rocky Mountain Beverage Burro
She also rents out race burros via Colorado Burro Rentals! (Yes, pack burro racing is a thing–learn more here!)
RMBB caters to a variety of events, from weddings to business grand-openings. Burros can attend solo or in matched pairs, and each burro can be customized to your specific theme.
While Amber rents out both regular-size and miniature donkeys, she’s found that “standard size” donkeys are great at weddings, as guests can more easily pose for pictures.
Location: Douglas County, Colorado
Service Area: We haul @$$ all over the state!
Contact Via: Website form to “Reserve a Burro”
Contact Info: www.BeverageBurro.com ; Amber@ColoradoBurroRentals.com
Business History: We were playing around with the Beverage Burros for fun with friends years before we made it an official business in early 2017.
The Farm at Sparrow Hill
A new addition to the NoCo scene, The Farm at Sparrow Hill offers two teams of mini donkeys. Paisley, Pearl, Penelope, and Pierre are available to travel up to 100 miles (one way) from Fort Collins, Colorado.
Business owner Dani Alvarez states they are “the perfect party icebreaker,” making for an excellent photo op while simultaneously serving beverages.
Each reservation comes with two event burros and two handlers. The handlers are certified through the TIPS Alcohol Training Program. If you want to hire one of these adorable duos, just double check that your venue allows you to provide your own beers!
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Service Area: All over Colorado, but mainly Northern Colorado and the Front Range
Contact Via: Email
Contact Info: email@example.com
Business History: The Beverage Burro component of the Farm at Sparrow Hill started in 2022
Big Sky Burro
Two formerly wild BLM burros, Rocky and Daisy, attend a wide variety of events from birthday parties to weddings. Their owner, Lacy, refers to these two donkeys as “the Golden Retrievers of the Equine world.”
You’ll be happy to note that this company is already pre-approved at seven different Montana wedding venues.
Montana requires an alcohol serving license, which includes beer burros. Fortunately, all Big Sky Burro handlers meet this requirement.
Location: Manhattan, Montana
Service Area: Bozeman, Big Sky, Livingston, Paradise Valley, Gallatin Valley, Madison Valley
Contact Via: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Business History: Big Sky Burro started in the beverage burro business in 2019
Ears with Beers
Mini-donkey team Carry and Spirit (those names!) are ready to bring some smiles to your next event. Ears with Beers was officially established in 2017. Owner Paula has a vast amount of equine knowledge and experience.
She also owns two miniature horses, Freedom and Skywalker. Both world-champion show horses, this team of minis works together for events ranging from weddings, to parades, to visiting friends at the local nursing home.
Location: Dripping Springs, Texas, just west of Austin, Texas
Service area: Mini donkeys serve at celebrations in Texas in Dripping Springs, Austin, Bastrop, Georgetown or San Antonio. We love traveling to Texas Hill Country which includes New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Wimberley, Johnson City, Fredericksburg and more.
Contact Via: Email email@example.com. Check out the whole herd on Instagram @earswithbeers
Business History: Our business was established in 2017
Whatever you choose to call them, these fuzzy bartenders would make a great addition to your next event! Looking for a more complete directory of beverage burro companies?
Search no further: https://blueandmoonburros.com/f/the-best-beverage-burro-companies-by-state
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a beverage burro?
A newer trend, beverage burros are donkeys that carry drinks (alcoholic, or non-alcoholic) at events like weddings or parties. They help create highly-photographic, unique, and fun experiences for your guests!
How much can a donkey carry?
Donkeys can carry approximately 20% of their body weight. Beverage burros can easily carry 12+ beers (with ice!) if equipped properly.
How do the donkeys carry beer?
When vetting beverage burro companies, pay attention to how their animals are equipped. Beverage burros should wear a properly-fitted pack saddle. This helps ensure they can carry a load comfortable, with even weight distribution.
Decorative baskets can then be attached to the pack saddle, along with fun decor.
Pack saddles should have at least one cinch (also called a girth) and may have a breast collar (strap around the chest of the animal) and breeching (strap around the bum) for extra security.
How much does it cost to hire a beverage burro?
Costs can range significantly, depending on the number of animals and handlers required, travel expenses, and particular requests. You can expect services to start at around $1,000.
We definitely suggest reaching out directly to get a more accurate estimate!
How long have beverage burros been around?
Beverage burros have been a thing since at least 2010, possibly earlier. This trend is still on the upswing, and we expect it to continue to grow.
PS: Enjoyed this article? Trot on over to:
- How to Adopt a Wild Donkey: A Helpful Beginner’s Guide
- Donkeys and Horses: Better Together or Bad Roommates?
- 5 Simple Steps to Halter Training Your Wild Donkey
- 13 Best Treats and Toys for Busy-Minded Donkeys