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[YEAR IN REVIEW] First Ever Alberta Spirits & Cocktail Festival

Thank you to everyone who made the first-ever Alberta Spirits & Cocktail Festival a success.

Riley from the Ultimate Bartending School shows off his skills at the Flair Bar while preparing cocktails made with local Alberta spirits.

Photo credit, @jrush.photos


Supporting Alberta Spirit Producers


The first-ever Alberta Spirits & Cocktail Festival took place on April 27th at the Edmonton Convention Centre, in downtown Edmonton, where we had over 30 Alberta based spirits producers exhibit along side local restaurants, artisans and special guests.


We'd like to thank our many guests who came out to enjoy their afternoon and/or evening with us and supported local Alberta business.


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INITIAL FEEDBACK

We heard many comments from our guests and exhibitors that were overwhelmingly positive, which was amazing to hear considering how much effort was put in from the entire team at ABSpiritsFest. However, we know that there is always room for improvement, so we were not afraid to ask what we could do better to increase overall guest experience for next years event.

WHAT WENT WELL

  • The Atmosphere was great | We heard from many guests that they loved the cocktail vibe at the show and felt like it was a great date night spot or night out with friends.

  • The exhibitors we're friendly | Guests loved how approachable and knowledgeable the vendors were. Many ended up going back to their favorites multiple times.

  • The Liquor Market | It was laid out great and guests loved that they we're able to purchase products that they sampled at the event.

  • Alberta Content | Many guests we're surprised and excited to see how many spirit producers are based in Alberta and that we're at the show.

  • The Fire Truck | The Booze Brothers came to party in their restored classic fire truck that was dispensing some of their most popular products. Guests loved getting pictures inside the truck!

  • The musical talent was great | Guests loved that there was live music throughout the event and really got the crowd going.

  • Great food selections | We had several food vendors onsite which we're all unique and offered a variety of food including classy cocktail appetizers, jerk chicken, lobster rolls, East Indian delicacies, sweets, and frozen desserts.

  • The Red Carpet & Photo Booth | Guests loved that there we're multiple photo opportunity locations and some we're even to get their group photos by our event photographer.

  • There were chairs! | We heard this one a lot! Guests mentioned that many of these types of events do not have places to sit and take a break. They loved that there we're plenty of places to site down and soak in the atmosphere while they chatted with friends and sipped their cocktails.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

  • Better communication on sampling tickets | In order to keep the line moving smoothly we opted for a cash only option, which is typical to other similar style events. We had communicated this on our website and had ATMs onsite for guests who needed more cash on the day of, but we heard through some guests that they we're surprised to see the sample tickets as a cash only purchase. We will work on improving this communication for next years event.

  • Water stations more clearly marked | While we had several water stations onsite, we heard from some guests that they had trouble locating them. For next years event, we will place these locations on the event map and have better visual cues on the floor.

  • The Passport Program was confusing | The intent of the passport program was to collect stamps from various exhibitors for a chance to win prizes throughout the event and to submit the passport at the end of the event to win additional prizes. We heard there was some confusion as to how to win prizes and or how to submit the passports. We also heard that some passport stamps ended up smudging making the stamps illegible. We apologize for any confusion this caused and we will be entirely revamping this program for next year.


VENDOR LIST

In case you missed them at the festival, please see the complete list below of all who addended as exhibitors in this years event.

130

Alberta Craft Distillers Association

123

Anohka Distillery

108

ATLAS Steak + Fish

134

Badlands Distillery

111

Bar Oro Caffe & Roastery

106

Black Diamond Distillery

120

Blake Brewhouse & Distillery

137

Booze Brothers Moonshine

105

Bridgeland Distillery

121

Broken Oak Distilling

119

Burwood Distillery

139

Choco N' Dip

128

Cold Like Brewing & Distilling

118

Doege Company

138

Edmonton Convention Centre

116

Elk Island Spirits Co

125

Field Notes

114

GNU Craft Spirits

112

Guru Kitchen + Bar

102

Hansen Distillery

140

HART Edmonton

107

Hawke Prohibition Distilleries

115

Highwood Distilling

124

Lone Pine Distilling

101

Lost Things Distillery

135

MD Distillery

142

Middleton's Bitters

141

Mojo Jojo Pickles

122

Park Distillery

133

Pivot Spirits

103

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Distillery

104

Romero Distilling

117

Silver Devil Spirits

135

Soul House Sweets

129

Stickler Shrub Cocktails

127

Strathcona Spirits Distillery

109

Sunset Reggae Kitchen

143

Tisk One Art

126

Token Bitters

110

West of the 5th Distillery

CHARITY PARTNER

  • Humane Animal Rescue Team (hart) | We are huge supporters hart and love the work they do with stray and abandon dogs within the Edmonton area and were able to help raise hundreds of dollars for their cause through this event.


OPERATIONS PARTNER

  • Ultimate Bartending School | We partnered with UBS to facilitate our event operational procedures and to serve as our exhibitor engagement manager. They we're also the host of this years Flair Bar, where there past and present students put on a spectacular show for our guests and served up classic cocktails with an Alberta twist, using locally produced spirits.


MEDIA PARTNERS

  • Stingray Media | Parent company of 100 of radio stations including K97 Classic Rock, 96.3 The Breeze and Stingray Music. Radio host Terry Evans, even joined us at the event and met with many of our exhibitors to chat with them about what they were serving. More to come from this segment on Terry's Cocktail Trail.

  • Culinaire Magazine | Alberta's premier food & beverage magazine and host of the Alberta Beverage Awards.

  • Global Edmonton | We we're featured on Global Edmonton's Saturday Morning show on April 20th, with host Lisa MacGregor


PHOTO GALLERY

Stay tuned for more photos from the 2024 Alberta Spirits & Cocktail Festival.



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