If one word were to be used to describe the San Diego Spirits Festival, that would be it.
The event is incredible, the venue is incredible and the atmosphere is incredible. Walking into it for the first time is like going to one of those over-the-top New Year’s Eve promotor parties with different rooms that makes you stop and say “wow, this is incredible.”
The San Diego Spirits Festival – the 2023 event was held the first full weekend in October and will move to the last weekend in September for 2024 – has musicians, a DJ, an acrobatic pole dancer, Brazilian samba dancers (in full costume) a girl who dances like a snake and with a snake and a somewhat upscale but none-the-less casual Southern Californa crowd.
It is held at the spectacular Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla with stunning views looking out toward the coastal bluffs and Children’s Pool. And, of course, it has spirits, more than 20 distilleries and 65+ brands in all. There are bourbons and whiskeys, canned vodka drinks but above all it is a tequila lovers paradise with more than a dozen high-end brands pouring samples.
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The event, $100 for the busier Saturday and $90 for the calmer Sunday, is one of the longest-lasting such events in San Diego. It goes from 3-7 on Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. That provides plenty of time to taste at the different tables, talk with the representatives, to go back to what you like, to take in all the entertainment and to pause to appreciate the outstanding view from the patios or even the large room with the floor-to-ceiling windows.
There are two patios and three rooms at the San Diego Spirits Festival. Each has a different vibe and I kept finiding myself at the room down the steps which had the DJ. That’s the main social spot of the San Diego Spirits Festival; the “party room,” so to speak, although it’s a refined scene and not like, say, Maverick’s bar down the street in Pacific Beach.
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In fact, it’s interesting to observe how people keep their wits about them with all that alcohol sampling availabe to them, especially considering most of the samples are tasting shots rather than in cocktails.
A few La Jolla restaurants serve snacks, tho it’s recommended to eat a full meal before attending the festival.
La Jolla, of course, is known locally as “the Jewel” and the San Diego Spirits Festival is definitely a jewel within the Jewel.
Event Website: San Diego Spirits Festival
About PubClub.com And Kevin Wilkerson
PubClub.com is one of the original websites on the Internet. It features articles on nightlife, food & drink, events, activities, travel and sports. It has been featured in USA Today, the LA Times and American Way magazine, among other publications. Kevin Wilkerson is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in daily newspapers and with the Associated Press. He has covered wine, beer and spirits festivals throughout the country and is an authoritative figure on the topics covered by the website.