So... this just happened.
It was a fantastic event!
Not only can you get your drink on at this event, It also benefited the Clean Lakes Alliance. It's a win-win!
So let's not dilly-dally... Here's what we saw... and DRANK!
We met the President!
Ok, so it wasn't Barack, but we met with Justin Gibson, President of Vom Fass USA, who was kind enough to extend an invitation our way to the Mix-Off. His first taste of VOM FASS Aceto Balsamico Maletti while traveling in Germany manifested destiny into what is now known as Vom Fass USA. He also founded the flagship store in Madison, WI. He's a super stand-up gentleman and a wonderful host! Prost!
You read that right. UNLIMITED COCKTAILS!
So for all you craft cocktail aficionados, or boozie beverage lovers that didn't make it, let's just say... YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE! We're not talking sample sized cocktails folks. They served up FULL SIZED cocktails in all it's beautiful glory! It's all in the details daaaahling! A lot of thought went into the ingredients and presentation of each cocktail made, so there was no skimping out on the good stuff.
The Live Music was on point!
The swing and jazz melodic sounds of Harmonious Wail entertained the crowd, and they definitely delivered. They brought a nice touch of class, and added the right kind of energy that enhanced the speak-easy feel of the event. Don't let the formal wear attire fool you... these folks know how to have a good time and they look (and sound) great doing it.
They're not bartenders, they're Mixologists!
At least in our eyes they are. These folks represented their bar and eatery to the fullest, and we're not surprised that they were at this event serving up craft cocktails of Epicurean proportions. Check out the line-up:
Front row baby!
We had seats in the front row right where all the action was. Not only did we get to experience the Mix-Off competition from an amazing vantage point, but we were able to try the amazing concoctions the competing mixologists were able to put together for judging... a total of FOURTEEN other drinks apart from the 8 cocktail stations in the venue.
There were judges!
What competition would this be if there weren't any judges? They had a tough job picking the winners for each round, but this is one tasting competition we would gladly throw our names in the hat to be able to judge. Maybe next year?
We got up close & personal
Not only did we have a front row seat to the 'Chopped' style competition, but we were able to get behind the scenes and watch the highly skilled Mixologists in action. Check out these two vids of the Mix-Off Champion getting it done, and the Cocktail of the Year being made.
Scott | Graft Madison | Winner of the 2016 Mad City Mix-Off
Jason | Charlie's On Main | Preparing the 2016 Cocktail of The Year!
This cocktail was our vote for Cocktail of the year, and evidently, so was everyone elses!
Jason Wagner mixed up a fantastic elixir using Fernandez Spanish Brandy, aged 10 years on 5 different types of wood, plum balsamic vinegar. a house simple syrup made of 3 different kinds of plums, pineapple, madagascar vanilla bean, cinnamon, sugar in the raw, and fresh lime juice, topped with ginger beer. And the cherry... rather, the plum on top... a black plum garnish which was delicious all on its own.
The masterfully balanced choice of ingredients kept the brandy front and center in this winning cocktail.
Can't leave without a Bag of Swag!
They definitely didn't forget their guests! The folks at VomFass came correct with a bag full of goodies for all the folks that attended. Jacob, part of the VomFass crew, was working hard to make sure no one left empty-handed. Check out the goodies from VomFass and Yahara Bay Distillers, one of the sponsors of the event.
It was a blast!
We had a fantastic time at this event, and had a blast drinking all of the wonderful craft cocktails. This is one event we (and you) will definitely plan to be a part of next year. It's always a winner when you've got unlimited alcoholic beverages in one place for all to consume.
We leave you with this...
Rest assured, this was a classy event, and not your typical college town party. There was no beer pong being played, and certainly no keg stands or beer bongs. You won't find anyone shotgunning a beer (do people still do that?), but you will see people of all legal drinking ages enjoying themselves and having a ball!
Take a look for yourselves and we hope to see you at next year's Mix-Off!