The first annual Los Angeles Spirits Expo is coming to downtown Los Angeles May 9-10, 2014. The trade and consumer event will bring together craft spirit distillers, bartenders, bottlers, label makers, and the public for two days of seminars, tastings, and panel discussions at LA Center Studios. Exhibitors and attendees will have the opportunity to meet buyers, bloggers, bartenders, influencers, and writers who associate themselves with the craft spirit industry. The expo will host various exhibitors offering tastings of small batch distillers, as well as speakers who will provide new insight to the craft spirits industry and advice for breaking into the Los Angeles market.
The Los Angeles Spirits Expo is the brainchild of Maricela Lopez, who has been consulting with blogger and spirits expert Forrest Cokely about the concept for months. “Having worked on the marketing side of the spirits industry, I know first-hand the challenges of breaking into the L.A. market and wanted to create a supportive place where those in the business can exchange ideas and learn from each other.” Cokely will be the head judge of the spirits competition between participating distillers, the winners of which will be announced on the second day of the expo.
The first day of the event, Friday, May 9, 2014, will be open to trade exhibitors and industry attendees only. Held from 12:00-5:00 pm, seminars include "Is the L.A. Market Right for Your Brand," "Choosing the Right Distributor," "How Craft Spirits/Micro Distillers are Making Their Mark in the L.A. Market," "Bottles and Labels," "Social Media and Your Brand," and "Alcohol Beverage Laws."
The second day, Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 1:00-6:00 p.m., is open to the public. Discussions include "’Bartender’” vs. ‘Mixologist’," "Women in Whiskey," "Tequila vs. Mezcal," and "Mixology: 101," led by Joel Black founder of Black Lab.
Industry/trade tickets for Friday, May 9th are $75, with an additional $20 add-on to attend the second day. Tickets for the event open to the public on Saturday, May 10th are $60 for general admission or $75 for an all-access pass to all seminars. A percentage of proceeds will go to Club 21, a charity organization that provides a support system to families with children with down syndrome.