Celebrate the summer with a string
of Beer, Whiskey and Wine Festivals
Whether for personal milestones, recognizing one’s heritage, patriotism, religion, music or a myriad of other reasons, all cultures love celebrations and festivals. Probably some of the most common and celebrated festivals usually revolve around alcoholic beverages. Why? Besides its bodacious flavor and notoriety as the ultimate social lubricant and party starter, alcohol has the magical power that makes the world go round. Liquor, wine, beer and cocktail festivals have been around in some fashion forever but lately have become particularly popular worldwide as droves of enthusiasts flock from all corners of the planet to experience some of the best festivals the world has to offer. So if you enjoy a nice cocktail when on your travels, maybe it’s time you travel to drink. Here are some of my recommendations to the best beer, wine and cocktail events going into the fall of 2016.
Haro Wine Festival
When: June 28th -30th
This wine war is declared to celebrate its numerous wineries attended by thousands of tourists and wine loving locals alike. There are many events that follow this 50,000-liter wine battle; from bullfighting to numerous wine-tastings, there’s something for everyone at The Haro Festival, as long as you love wine. Make sure to get rest and rise early and bring your corkscrew because festivities start at 7 am. Wine for breakfast anyone?
Tales of the Cocktail
Where: New Orleans
When: July 2016
Tales of the Cocktail is held annually in order to gain a higher level of cocktail education or a higher level of inebriation, depending on who you ask. The festival is said to be the world’s best cocktail festival highlighting what’s new and up and coming in the cocktail industry. The masterminds behind this festival have created a place where people can come together to embark on an adventurous journey of the taste buds. Experience some of the best food and craft-cocktail recipes created by the who’s who of the spirit industry. From food served on the finest of china to giant punch-filled trash cans, anything goes as long as it’s innovative
and a crowd pleaser. But be mindful that when you’re not tossing them back, this festival is extremely informative and educational.
Tales of the Cocktail takes its instruction very seriously, hosting not only informative parties and tastings but also award ceremonies and in-depth recipe composition and cocktail history classes. Plain and simple, the organizers really know cocktails and most importantly how to enjoy them. The skillfully shaken itinerary of events and guest speakers will keep any attendee occupied as you learn how to mix like the best and see firsthand the pulse of what the spirit marketplace is all about. New Orleans, with its rich history and knack for unbridled flare in entertaining, surely will not disappoint. So bottoms up!
The Joy of Sake
Where: Honolulu, Hawaii/NY, NY
When: July 22nd / Sept. 16th 2016
The Joy of Sake is the world’s largest sake celebration outside of Japan and the festival makes its appearance in Honolulu Hawaii Friday, July 22nd and in New York NY Saturday, September 16th with an array of more than 300 sakes. Made in traditional and contemporary Asian sake style, top local chefs serve sake inspired culinary delights and creations. If you love sublime food and sake in peak condition, then grab some of your closest tomodachi and head to this one-of-a-kind event. Perfect for passionate sake enthusiasts or someone looking to get introduced to the wonderful gift of sake from our friends in the far east.
Where: Munich, Germany
When: September / October
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. The event is all about one thing and that is beer and only beer (no cocktail umbrellas or wine in sight for miles). One huge misconception is that Oktoberfest, in all its beer filled glory, is a reason to partake in massive consumption of beer. While that may be partially true of this festival, it’s only part of story. This heavenly brew is more than a drink for the people of Munich; it is integrated into the cultural fabric and foundation of the city.
History states when founded in 1810, Oktoberfest celebrated the marriage of the Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe Hildburghausen. It has increased in size over its 200-year history, most notably with the addition of droves of bros, hipsters, beards, wifi, bratwurst, electricity and glass beer steins (not in any particular order). The 16-day festival traditionally opens with a military style twelve gun salute and the tapping of the ceremonial first keg by the mayor of Munich. The mayor also employees the service of nearly 2,000 toilets and urinals to provide relief for the more than 6 million brew filled bladders in attendance during the course of the festival. Officials estimate more than 7 million liters are served over the 16- day festival. So if you are ever in the mood for a nice beer with 5,999,999 of your closest friends, without a doubt Oktoberfest is the only place to be.
September 23, 2016
San Francisco, CA US
Cape Town Bierfest
December 4th 2016
Cape Town, South Africa
February 24th – 26th, 2017
May 26th – 28th 2017
Bruce Blue Rivera , The Urban Mixologist, is an accomplished mixologist with over 16 years of bartending, wine and spirits experience. Boasting an impressive resume that spans across 12 countries and many awards and winning cocktail recipes to his credit, Bruce Blue Rivera teaches the history, culture and application of bartending and has been featured on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue and Wendy Williams to name a few.