The Spirited Story Behind Alys Beach’s New Festival, Crafted

The Spirited Story Behind Alys Beach’s New Festival, Crafted

Coming to Alys Beach October 21-22

 Photos courtesy of Alys Beach, Florida


Whether a refreshing beverage or a hearty beer, a delightful bite or a work of art, the newest Alys Beach festival, Crafted, aims to tell the story behind the craft, connect the audience and the craftspeople, and celebrate the beauty of their creations that enrich our everyday experiences.

We’ve put together a rundown of the main festival events here, and more detailed information is available on the Alys Beach Crafted website, but we want to be sure to share the most recent updates on Crafted’s expanded offerings. Raw & Juicy Alys Beach has added a special pop-up event on Thursday evening, October 20, to jump start the Crafted spirit. Details have been released on the Spirited Seminars, a collection of wine and cocktail-based sessions taking place during the day on Saturday and featuring some of the country’s most highly regarded mixologists and experts. Also, the “Be the Maker” workshop series has been added to the Friday and Saturday festival schedule to expand on the Makers Market experience.

Take a look at these Crafted additions, rounding out a truly unique collection of events that will be as thoughtfully and exquisitely curated as the Alys Beach festivals (30A Wine Festival and Digital Graffiti come to mind) we’ve grown to love.


Raw & Juicy in Alys Beach has partnered with New Orleans expert and writer, Sue Strachan, and Michael Sichel, executive chef of Destin’s Soleil Restaurant, for a festive pop-up. The “Fired Up” pop-up will showcase the fiery history and spectacular flaming preparation of the legendary New Orleans Café Brûlot cocktail. This event is free and open to the public, with opportunities to purchase.


The Spirited Seminars feature four opportunities to learn from some of the best Mixologists in the industry. The seminars will explore the art of the cocktail from the elements of tasting like a pro to special tips for crafting the perfect drink for seamless, gracious entertaining. Preparations, pairings, new craft ingredients and products – these renowned Mixologists invite you behind the bar for a glimpse into the craft of creating beautiful cocktails.

Taste like a Pro- We all know how to sip and swirl, but dive deeper with the experts as they uncover their secrets for tasting spirits and wine like a pro. You’re invited to ease into this seminar with a welcome cocktail as you prepare to experience three spirits and three wines with gurus Christina Veira from Toronto’s Bar Mordecai and Sarah Pierre of Atlanta’s 3 Parks Wine Shop. You’ll complete this Spirited Seminar with an expanded knowledge of the components of tasting – with great tastes and a little splash of fun in the mix.

Garden to Glass- Join the creative ladies behind Sip of Paradise, a non-profit community garden for bartenders of the greater Atlanta area, as they teach you how to make the freshest cocktails using craft spirits from St. George Spirits paired with seasonal ingredients that can be harvested from your own garden.

Whoa! Low & No- Sit back and relax into the tropical setting of this cocktail seminar as hosts McLain Hedges of Denver’s Yacht Club Bar, Roy Clark of Mobile’s The Haberdasher, and Whitney Hobbs and Rob Crabtree of St. Augustine’s Boat Drinks bar. Mixing with spirits from our friends at Haus Alpenz and Spiribam, you will enjoy sampling tiki drinks as these connoisseurs share their trade secrets to help you create specialty cocktails with different ABV (alcohol by volume) levels, allowing you to cater to your guests’ cocktail preferences with thoughtful accommodations that exemplify Southern hospitality. The mixologists will showcase the prep and process of mixing cocktails with “Whoa,” Low and No ABV – a skill that will take your entertaining prowess to the next level.

Fords Gin Seminar- Martim Smith-Mattsson of Fords Gin teams up with Miles Macquarrie, co-owner and beverage director of Decatur’s Kimball House and recipe developer for Tip Top Proper Cocktails, and Neal Bodenheimer, founding partner of James Beard Award Winning New Orleans craft bar, Cure, to showcase their products from the experts’ point of view. Discover why (and how) mixologists and bartenders love to work with Fords Gin, a precise and thoughtful blend of nine botanicals including juniper, coriander seed, citrus, florals, and spices. The seminar will journey through the cocktail ages to explore the history of gin cocktails. From the gin punch of the early days to the current golden days of the craft cocktail, the rich course of gin timelessly intertwines with that of the classic cocktail in a story to be shared and sampled.

BE THE MAKER Workshops:

Be the Maker with Loft & Leaf

Join Kendra, owner of Loft & Leaf, for a “Be the Maker” workshop event as part of Alys Beach Crafted. During this workshop, Kendra will guide you through the creation of a beautiful succulent arrangement. With her creative and practical insights, learn tricks and tips for the care of this new arrangement and how to best introduce living design into your living space. Kendra’s gracious appreciation for these natural elements of design is sure to inspire and, with her trade secrets, your creation is sure to add life to your home.

Be the Maker with Sydni Gause Silks

Join Sydni, owner of Sydni Gause Silks and professor of art, for a “Be the Maker” workshop event as part of Alys Beach Crafted. During this dye workshop, Sydni will take you through the process of creating your own naturally dyed silk scarf. From the scouring and mordanting preparation of the silk fiber to the wash and care basics, Sydni will share each step in the process, along with insights into the plants used for variety of color and pattern, plants grown in her own large-scale, North Florida dye garden. Sydni attributes her study of the natural dyeing process with connecting her to the land, the plant, the history of dyeing textiles naturally, and with teaching her to approach her work in a way that is slow and thoughtful. Through shared story and process, hands-on instruction and demonstration, Sydni will guide you through the journey of creating a hand-dyed silk work-of-art.

Firkin Fête will take place Friday, October 21, in celebration of the art of the firkin, or small keg of craft beer, alongside live music, food, and a variety of beverage offerings. The Makers Market, featuring artists and makers, will be held during the day on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, and is open to the public. Spirited Soirée, pairing craft distillers with mixologists for special tastings, both neat and mixed into creative cocktails, will take place on Saturday, October 22, with culinary pairings and a festive setting.

Throughout the event, visitors of the sought-after 30A community will gather together for two specially curated days focused on the creative process and learning a few tricks-of-the-trade along the way through the engagement of artisans, distillers, brewers, chefs, and mixologists from the around the country who are gathering together around one common goal: to share the stories behind their crafts. Adding to the can’t miss festival events, including the public Makers Market and retail tent (where the Crafted-featured wine and spirits can be purchased) is that all proceeds will benefit Food for Thought Outreach, a nonprofit organization that works to fight child hunger in the greater Walton and Okaloosa County area.

To purchase tickets for Alys Beach Crafted, click here.