The Wharf Miami hosted the “‘Bout Damn Time: American Whiskey Festival” late last month, an event that featured over 800 whiskeys , live country music and a cowboy performing rope tricks.
There were several bars stationed throughout the venue during the Jan. 31 event, each serving a different brand of whiskey and run by the distributors of each brand.
The marketing director for the Wharf, Ricardo Delgado, said the event was a natural fit.
“We do rotations on the types of drinks we feature at an event because we work with different companies,” he said.
Delgado said that the Wharf is an event venue, organizing events in partnership with different organizations and liquor brands throughout the year.
“We host these spirits festival several times a year in order to introduce our guests to brands and labels that they may never have had an opportunity to try otherwise,” he said. “These events are about bringing a unique experience to our guests, that they won’t receive anywhere else.”
Jonathan De Castro, the digital marketing manager for the Wharf, said they advertise to all the followers that engage with them on social media as well as those that have a preference for the featured drink.
“You target what is interesting to people,” he said. “You put people that like whiskey with people that sell the whiskey and they show up.”
De Castro said about 3,000 people RSVPed.
The featured band was Ricky Valleo and the Hialeah Hillbillies, a country music band based out of that city.
The lead singer and guitarist, Ricky Valleo, said that people in Miami are growing more receptive to their music.
“It is a little weird playing country music for Hispanics,” he said. “But people are receptive to it and like it.”
One of the attendees, Will Valencia, said that as a whiskey drinker, a whiskey event in Miami is a rare opportunity to try new drinks and add to his repertoire.
“For me it’s big because I’m from New York and there’s a huge Irish population, so I’m used to going to Irish dive bars and there’s always whiskey there,” he said. “Miami is so opposite of that, it’s more vodka, and tequila and rum, so when you hear about something like this, it’s a nice change.”
The festival was a success according to De Castro who confirmed that over 2,000 guests attended the event despite the rain throughout the day.
“If not for the heavy rain, we would have most likely broken records with this event,” he said. “But it just shows how interested people were in the festival that they braved the storm to come out and celebrate.”