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With another week of quarantine under our belts, we wanted to share with you our favorite way we’re filling the many idle hours and fostering connection these days. Undoubtedly the most exciting development in our world since the California stay-at-home order started are our new Virtual Tasting Experiences! In an effort to think about how we could continue to support our craft maker community — and our own business — during these uncertain times, we had the idea to take happy hours up a notch and launch our own Virtual Tasting Experiences. These live virtual events are part education, part tasting, and all fun. Kind of like a virtual happy hour, but better!

So far, we’ve hosted a handful of tastings, a couple we’re sharing below so you can take a peek at all the fun we’re having… the fun that YOU could be a part of!

Cider Virtual Tasting with Ethic Ciders & Ragged Hill Cider

“We’re going back to an older time, like when I first started in 1992, where we’re educating people and allowing those people to create relationships. That’s truly what you guys are doing with what you put out tonight. You guys are doing the greatest thing you could do right now…we’re learning in a new environment how we control our message. And our message is supposed to be about our fans. Keep educating people. Help me send the message about what we do, and who we are, and why we’re special. You guys are doing a great thing…thank you.” ~Rich Norgrove, Founder & Master Brewer, Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Craft Beer Distilled Into Craft Whiskey Virtual Tasting with Bear Republic Brewing Co. & Charbay Distillery

We’ve designed these experiences to help Tippler Nation in isolation feel less… well, isolated during this era of social distancing. But we’re so excited about what we’re doing that we hope these virtual tastings will continue to be a regular part of our community long after the COVID-19 crisis is over.

You may have joined one (or many) virtual happy hours during these crazy times, but what we’re doing is a bit different. More educational and more experiential, all while still being super engaging and fun. For those of you who have been to our in-person Meet the Maker events, these are a similar style, except virtually!

Why Join Us for a Virtual Happy Hour?

So why join us for one of these tastings, besides the obvious (that drinking alcohol with other craft enthusiasts is always awesome)? Here are just a few reasons…

  • Our tastings are structured, so there’ll be some educational components, some specific tasting tips and techniques, and plenty of time to geek out with us
  • The makers themselves almost always join us to chat about their process, products, and answer any questions you might have.
  • A list of what we’re tasting for each event is published in advance on our calendar so you have the opportunity to buy ahead of time (and support those makers – often with special promotions and discounts!) and taste right along with us. You can also decide to buy during or after the event to show your support as well.
  • You don’t have to have the featured products to join…we know it’s not always possible to get everything in your state or as quickly as you need it. So no worries, all are welcome no matter what you’re drinking or even if you’re not drinking at all!
  • We offer cool freebies, like our popular downloadable tasting mats and space to engage directly. No one-sided lectures here!
  • These events are completely FREE!

We’re building out the schedule fast with lots more exciting events to come. If you have ideas for topics or makers you’d love to get a chance to experience let us know in the comments below. We look forward to bringing you plenty more incredible craft makers and their delicious products over the coming months and hope to see you there…virtually, of course!

Meet Your Virtual Tasting Hosts

Evan Rothrock

Sommelier, Certified Cider Professional & Bespoke Wine Tour Guide for Max Napa Tours

Having spent 9 years bringing craft alcohol enthusiasts, like you, to wineries, distilleries, cider houses, and breweries I have a deep appreciation and love for craft alcohol and the people behind each sip. As a certified sommelier and cider professional, I have deep knowledge that I am passionate about sharing with others in a way that is approachable, engaging, and fun. Suzanne and I love helping people find new types of alcohol, as well as new brands of alcohol they already enjoy. I look forward to doing this both virtually and in-person when we’re able to meet face to face again!

Suzanne Henricksen

Founder of The Crafty Cask & the 10-course online Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp

Passionate about all things craft alcohol, I founded The Crafty Cask to support the success of craft alcohol makers and expand the enjoyment of craft alcohol enthusiasts. At my core, I’m an explorer. I live life with the sole purpose of feeding my curiosity and discovering new experiences…mostly through travel, food, and alcohol. I am obsessed with trying and learning new things, hearing stories, meeting people, and sharing what I find and love with others… which is exactly what I’ll be doing with Evan during these virtual tastings!

Group of friends clinking glasses representative of our Tippler Nation Craft Alcohol Community

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