Sharing the Stories Behind the Sips at Alys Beach Crafted

Four days of festivities and educational events
Alys Beach Crafted

Simply gazing at the Alys Beach landscape, it is apparent that intention and attention to detail are important in the community. It’s in this spirit that Alys Beach Crafted came about, a celebration and gathering of craftspeople who share their stories through crafted beverages, culinary experiences, artistry, workmanship and handcrafted products.

Alys Beach Crafted is an extension of the 2019 debut Firkin Fête which tapped not only firkins but the creativity and camaraderie shared in the craft spirit and bartender community. Industry and community members alike enjoyed the experience of learning, tasting and mingling.

The event was put on pause in 2020 and 2021, but ideas from the Alys Beach team continued to percolate, and the event came back bigger and better in 2022 as Alys Beach Crafted. Much like the 2022 event, the 2023 event, held Oct. 25–28, will include the Firkin Fête, the Makers Market and the Spirited Soirée with the addition of even more Spirited Seminars and Be the Maker workshops.

“We’ve added more events that are hands-on because people have an increased interest in handcrafted goods that have a story and a purpose behind them,” said Diana Lane, director of public relations for Alys Beach. “When we consume, we are now looking for a meaningful exchange, to be able to know and share the stories of the craft and the craftspeople.”

To continue to promote the storytelling aspect of each artisan, Alys Beach Crafted is pleased to share that all proceeds from the weekend’s ticketed events will benefit the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, a nonprofit organization impacting the local arts community through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education.

Festivities begin on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 4–6:30 p.m. in Firepit Park in partnership with the Emerald Coast Storytellers. Gather around the fire to hear from local writers and participating Alys Beach Crafted talent as they share stories centering on the theme of Liquid Courage.

Thursday, Oct. 26, begins with two seminar opportunities from 4–6 p.m. Head to Papilio Park for Story of Agave with Lou Bank. Explore the rising popularity of agave spirits through sips and sharing historical tidbits. Sarah Pierre, owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta, Georgia, will host a wine seminar at NEAT Bottle Shop and Tasting Room. Pierre aims to open up your palette and introduce you to new go-to wines. Stay at NEAT for Crafted Mixologist Meet & Greet from 6–8 p.m. Chat with the experienced bartenders and select from a special cocktail menu.

On Friday, Oct. 27, at Holiday Cafe, Jose Medina of Adios Bar will host Coffee Cocktails, an exploration of coffee-based cocktails that are enlivening and invigorating.

The Makers Market at the Alys Beach Amphitheatre will begin Friday, Oct. 27, from 3–6 p.m. and continue Saturday, Oct. 28, from 12–4 p.m. Local and regional artisans will showcase their crafts and share their stories in an event open to the public. Purchase art and products, listen to live music and enjoy a variety of refreshments.

Locally acclaimed artist, Justin Gaffrey will host a Be the Maker workshop from 4–6 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to experiment with Gaffrey Art material products using techniques such as swiping, piping and sculpting to create their own masterpiece.

Two Spirited Seminars will be held from 4–6 p.m. Learn the building-block basics of creating a cocktail at Mr. Potato Head Cocktail Seminar with Miles Macquarrie of The Kimball House and Neal Bodenheimer of Cure Nola. Get educated by the women of Sips of Paradise, a nonprofit that provides resources for hospitality professionals during their seminar, Reduce, Reuse, Imbibe. Useful tips for reducing waste, intentionally selecting ingredients and investing in sustainable liquors will be provided.

Friday evening from 6:30–9 p.m. the third annual Firkin Fête will commence in Central Park. The firkins of beer will be tapped for tasting, for the first time even by the brewers themselves. The event will also include live musical performances and culinary features from chefs throughout the Southeast.

Saturday’s Spirited Seminar from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. is Music and Cocktails featuring Eric Bennett, owner of Continental Drift in Birmingham, Alabama, and Ricky Lyn of Singani 63. Set to tunes, the mixologists will help you curate cocktails that hit all the right notes. Mixologists Whitney Hobbs and Rob Crabtree will teach guests how to whip up frosty tropical drinks for sweltering days at the Boat Drinks Seminar.

The weekend concludes with the Spirited Soirée from 3–6 p.m. at the North Pedestrian Path. Spirited Soirée pairs mixologists and distillers to create unique craft cocktails. Attendees will be able to taste the spirits both neat and mixed while getting to hear the stories behind each bottle.

“Every aspect of Alys Beach Crafted is meant to be immersive,” said Alexis Miller, director of events for Alys Beach. “Each brewer, distiller, mixologist and maker has a unique story to tell and are wealths of knowledge. I hope each attendee takes something away whether it be something learned, a new cocktail recipe or the sense of having joined in on the camaraderie and communal spirit of Crafted.”

For tickets and to learn more, visit

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