It started with a question: What’s something new that can be brought to Pensacola?
“This region has no shortage of festivals and live entertainment, but there seemed to be a lack of Bluegrass music in the area,” said Casey Sparks, assistant general manager and director of marketing and sales of the Pensacola Bay Center.
From there, Sparks and her team developed Bourbon, Bluegrass, and Brews. Presented by Jim Beam, the event promises an evening of music listenin’, bourbon tastin’ and beer sippin’.
Though there will be plenty of bourbon and brews, Sparks believes that the team’s commitment to bringing bluegrass music to the area sets this event apart from other local “tastings.”
“Most ‘tasting’ events are focused primarily on the spirits first and the music is second,” said Sparks. “With our event, we have national touring artists performing, so the music was a high priority to us.”
The Grammy nominated band the Grascals will be supplying the “bluegrass” for the event. The Grascals, one of the most acclaimed bands on today’s bluegrass scene, have garnered many awards including the Society of the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s Bluegrass Band of the Year award in 2010 and Instrumental Group of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Performing with the Grascals are 25 year bluegrass music veterans, the Blue Dogs and North Carolina’s The Honeycutters.
Local bluegrass fans were also able to vote for one of three local bluegrass bands—Mill Town South, Highway Home Bluegrass, and TruGrass—to play at the event.
Even though the music is the focus of the event, there will be plenty of bourbon and brews. Event goers will be able to sample 20 craft bourbons including Knob Creek Single Barrel, Basil Hayden’s, Jim Beam and Jacob’s Ghost. There will also be tastings of 20 craft beers including brews from locals Pensacola Bay Brewery and McGuire’s Brewing Company and beers from Blue Point Brewery, Good Island Brewery and Redhook Brewery.
Specialty food items will be available for sale including a specialty drink made just for the event. The drink, Deliverance Tea, is made with Jim Beam Honey and tea. Sparks had only one thing to say about it—“It’s awesome!”
The event will be outdoors so event-goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to relax in while listening to good music, sipping a good drink and
BOURBON, BLUEGRASS, AND BREWS
WHAT: Live music by The Honeycutters, Blue Dogs and Grammy nominated artist The Grascals and sampling of 20 craft bourbons and 20 microbrews.
WHEN: 5:30 – 11 p.m., Tasting 6 – 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30
WHERE: Pensacola Bay Center, Ninth Ave. Parking Lot
COST: $40 tasting ticket or $20 general admission, non-tasting ticket