The Golden State of Cocktails is the West Coast’s answer to the annual (and extremely popular) Tales of the Cocktail, which is perennially held in New Orleans. Both offer industry insight into building bar brands, working with the best purveyors and finessing a commercial approach to drinking, among other things. The only problem? They’re so embedded within the industry that more often than not, civilians are left with little to sip on by way of public events.
This year’s Golden State of Cocktails runs from Monday, January 26 to Thursday, January 29, and is hoping to change things up, at least a little bit. There’s a handful of approachable options that involve dinners, bar crawls and special parties — don’t get too excited, they all cost money still — that anyone can glom on to.
Here’s what to experience at this year’s Golden State of Cocktails, beginning next week.
Finger Lickin’ with SF’s The Bon Vivants
This kickoff party is open to the public, with proceeds benefitting local schools. A $20 entry tickets gets anyone access to food from Luke Reyes of Hollywood’s Butchers & Barbers, as well as drinks from a handful of the nation’s best mixologists, stepping in from places like The NoMad and Trick Dog.
When: Monday, January 26, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, 1611 N. El Centro Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Courvoisier Cognac Dinner at Scopa Italian Roots
Pegged at $100 a seat and with only 30 seats per night, spirits manufacturer Beam Suntory is doing a series of dinners around town at great restaurants that also have wonderful bar programs. The first, on Tuesday, is a night of Courvoisier drinking at Scopa Italian Roots in Venice.
When: Tuesday, January 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Scopa Italian Roots, 2905 W. Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
Small Batch Whiskies Dinner with Scarpetta's Freddy Vargas
Scarpetta’s Freddy Vargas Jennie Trinh is taking over Apartment A for a night of whiskey drinking on Thursday. The evening is presented by Imbibe Magazine, and runs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., featuring labels like Booker’s, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden.
When: Thursday, January 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Apartment A, 652 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA 90021
Westside Bar Crawl
Anchor Distilling is hosting a Westside-centric bar crawl for $50, which takes drinkers from The Chestnut Club and Brilliantshine to Copa D’Oro and finally The Back Room at 41 Ocean. Only 75 tickets, and they include one drink at each location, transportation between them all and food at the end. Not bad.
When: Tuesday, January 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Last Call with The 86 Co.
The closing night ceremonies takes place at The Regent Theater downtown, and will feature drinks made from great bars across the state. Sassafras and 320 Main in Long Beach will be representing locally, serving drinks from the likes of Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Caña Brava Rum and Fords Gin. Tickets run $20 and can be purchased here.
When: Thursday, January 29, 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Where: The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013