Craft Event Bar got its start at Canyon Run Ranch in 2015, when the Wards were in need of responsible bar management during events at their enchanting, and increasingly popular, rustic wedding barn. Since that first wedding in the spring of 2015, Craft Event Bar has staffed over 200 wedding and event bars in the Miami Valley. From the bucolic Canyon Run Ranch to the Dayton Airport and the Miami County Fairgrounds, we've handled events of up to 600 people, and still find time to innovate and develop incredible cocktails.
as experienced bar professionals, we’ve also made forays into consulting, helping local establishments put together bar programs and staff that will impress their guests. we continue to develop our skills as curators of sophisticated and approachable cocktail menus for our neighbors. At the same time, we are always looking for ways to improve the service experience, on both sides of the bar.
We will serve over 8,000 unique guests this year; we hope you’ll be one of them!
Carly Witmer: Owner/Operator
Carly handles accounting and event planning and logistics for Craft Event Bar; she is who you will communicate with as you plan your event.
Carly has been working in bars and restaurants since 1997, becoming a bartender in 2004. She has been on staff in Ohio at Michael Anthony's at the Inn in Versailles and was bar manager at The Caroline in Troy from it's opening in 2007 until 2010. Carly is a life-long beer aficionado (her father is a home-brewer, beer critic and industry professional) and has hosted craft beer tastings since 2007. When not living in Ohio, she has worked as bartender at an oyster shack on Australia's southern coast, and at a popular discotheque in Quito, Ecuador. She tended bar at Slainte Irish Pub in Fells Point, Baltimore (one of the top 10 US soccer bars) during the 2014 World Cup, and worked events such as the Preakness and Baltimore Pride festival.
Carly's favorite drink is beer.
Hugh Kelly: Owner/Cocktail Director
Hugh Kelly is a professional cocktail geek; he designs and oversees the production of all Craft Event Bar cocktails.
Hugh has been working in bars and restaurants on and off since 2002, while also devoting time to an advanced degree in philosophy. He began to study wine in earnest in 2010, while a server at the popular Rusty Scupper restaurant in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Hugh now works as a bar consultant, designing bar menus and preparing cocktails for consistent, high-quality service. He trains bartenders and promotes advanced beer, wine, and cocktail knowledge among restaurant staff.
Hugh's favorite drink is currently his Vieux Carré, though he tends to reach for a good bottle of wine on the average evening, paired with whatever he is eating.
Amber Patton: Event Manager
Amber manages set-up and day-of logistics for events at Canyon Run Ranch. She is a service professional who has run entire kitchens with her education in culinary arts.
Amber has been working in the service industry for the past 24 years, covering jobs from dishwasher to chef, and kitchen and front of house management. She enjoys working in novel environments--from a truck stop to fine dining. Amber's career is ultimately built around adventure and creativity and working to achieve a happy end result. She is trained in, and passionate about cake decorating, but otherwise spends her time as 'Slamber Patton'; traveling with Dire Skates out of Richmond, and bringing roller derby excellence to it's adoring fans.
Amber's favorite drink is a Peach Bellini, because she is a classy lady.
If you know a CEB bartender, feel free to request their services for your event.