Recently my friends and I discovered the worlf of New Zealand beer. If you care about craft beer, which you obviously do, then don't get anything made by Monteiths/DB. Lion aren't all that much better, but at least they don't do stunts like this.
For Lion's standard beer range you don't want Lion Red of Waikato. Too much bullshit tribalism/loyalty over these brands. Speights, perhaps, but personally Speights is my least favourite mainstream beer. People like it though so maybe the best in that price range. I'd drink Lion Brown over any of the above, but it's considered a cheap nasty beer even though it's on par in quality. Main difference is that don't bother to advertise it.
Next level up, their "international" selection. Steinlager is safe but boring. Zip to Stella. Becks is the best of this style.
Then you come to their "Craft" selection. So Macs. This is where I would be heading. If the wedding is in the summer then Hop Rocker, hands down. If it is getting towards the cooler part of the year then Sassy Red. Black Mac is the best, but people are scared of dark beers. They also import Little Creatures Pale Ale which is another reasonable option.
You could also think about looking at Founders or Boundary Road, both which are owned by Independant Liquor – the honorary "Third" in the Duopoly.
Perhaps Stoke or Moa if you want to still support the little guys a bit more and still play within that price range.
Good one you for going to the effort, in any case. It is important. I'm not getting married myself until I can personally make all the beer that is to be drunk. I'm not giving people a substandard event.
If youve got a range of people coming I would do the following; 1x low end beer.
I would go for speights or Corona. Some people will 'only drink speights, mate' and this will satisfy them. Cover maybe 10% of your drinkers, or if theyre middle class go for 5%. In my experience there is always one and you do not want to be caught without speights.
Follow this up with your mass beer seletion from a green bottle lager. Becks or steinlager pure I eould recommend but it doesnt really matter. Stella is shit but peiple will enjoy it. Throw in corona in this category too. This will satisfy 65%.
Everyone is saying go for macs or BRB etc., but if youve covered a nice range of craft beers then their tastes will be covered here. Given the choice someone who normally drinks a macs pilsner will have zero problem going for a tuatara version.
If you buy Macs/moa etc in bulk they will get left in favour of the crafties.