Spring sipping events (Updated!)

- March 28th, 2012

beerfest
(Watch out — BeerFest is coming! LYLE ASPINALL/CALGARY SUN)

Now that spring is finally here (and we seem to have gotten our one early-spring dump of snow) you’re forgiven for wanting the hell out of the house.

And if your choice when you get out of the house is to explore and discover a new favourite beer, wine, or whatever, I have you covered.

That is, I have a whole list of events. I’m not covering any tabs. I know what you people are like.

All hopped up:

• In springtime in Calgary, suds lovers are bound to be found at the Calgary International BeerFest, May 4 and 5 at the BMO Centre. This is a big event, with more than 200 beers from dozens of breweries on offer. Bound to be fun, but also could easily get a tad, er, fuzzy.

Over at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, be sure to plan out your Canada Day beer menu with Beer Manager Dave Gingrich as he presents Canadian Craft Beer June 22. But be sure to check out a full list in Willow Park’s spring calendar.

The grapevine
Who wouldn’t want to sample fine wine and food in the Mountains? Add a healthy selection of beer and spirits, and you have one hell of a getaway at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. This time, in the actual Rockies, at the picturesque Banff Springs Hotel. This one goes May 4 and 5 as well, making for one boozy weekend.

If you want to stay closer to home, Willow Park is offering their California Wine Festival April 19, or as a nice kickoff to Canada Day with the Oh Canada! Wine Festival on June 30.

Meanwhile, Co-Op Wines & Spiritsis offering a chance for people to get up close and personal, kind of, with Rock ‘n’ Roll winemaker Charles Smith. Smith is taking part in a Skype wine tasting at the Crowfoot location.

Getting spirited
While, most unfortunately, the two nights are sold out, Kensington Wine Market is offering up a whisky lover’s dream evening this week, with the Ancient Malts nights March 29 and 30, featuring “not one, not two, not three, but SIX 40 Year Old distillery bottled whiskies” according to the store’s website. Fear not, though, they are also the home of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada.

Whisky lovers can also head to Willow Park Wines & Spirits for Trip around Scotland, or the Mild and Strong Malts of Scotland events. But Willow Park’s most spirited spring event looks to be the Suds & Stills Festival May 18, featuring the best of the new beer and spirits to hit their shelves in 2012.

But let’s not forget Canadian whisky. Crowfoot Wine & Spirits hasn’t, with an event April 3 featuring the best this country has to offer.

If Rum is more your thing, Co-Op is giving people a chance to get to know it a little better April 14 at the Oakridge tasting centre. And who wouldn’t want to get to know rum a little better in time for warmer weather?

UPDATED
I apparently went looking at Kensington Wine Market’s events calendar a few days early.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the update, as they have a fairly full slate, including some specialized whisky tastings. Check it out here.

Calgary is blessed to have a whole host of events, and there are tons more at links listed above, so go. Find one of your own. And if they don’t have one, many outfits in town will set up a private tasting for you and your friends.

Cheers!

Categories: Drinking

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