Save the Date: The L.A. Spirits Expo Takes Over Downtown in May

A multi-day event that’s open to the public

What: Manhattan has one, and so does New Orleans. Cedd Moses and the Los Angeles Times tried hosting one in January, but it wasn’t open to the public. Is the coming L.A. Spirits Expo our city’s answer to a centralized cocktail event and celebration? This May, bar owners, managers, bartenders, liquor representatives, distillers, and the public are invited to join in on two days of seminars, demos, discussions, classes, and tastings hosted by event organizers Maricela Lopez and spirits expert Forrest Cokely. Says Cokely in a release, “Having worked on the marketing side of the spirits industry, I know first-hand the challenges of breaking into the L.A. market and wanted to create a supportive place where those in the business can exchange ideas and learn from each other.” 

Trade seminars include “Is the L.A. Market Right for Your Brand,” “Choosing the Right Distributor,” “How Craft Spirits/Micro Distillers are Making Their Mark in the L.A. Market,” “Bottles and Labels,” “Social Media and Your Brand,” and “Alcohol Beverage Laws.”   Public discussions include “’Bartender’” vs. ‘Mixologist’,” “Women in Whiskey,” “Tequila vs. Mezcal,” and “Mixology: 101,” led by Joel Black founder of Black Lab.  

Where: L.A. Center Studios, 1201 W. 5th St. T-110, Downtown

When: May 9 and 10, 2014

How: The first day of the event, Friday, May 9, 2014, will be open to trade exhibitors and industry attendees only. Industry/trade tickets are $75. The public may attend events on Saturday, May 10; tickets for the public are $60 for general admission or $75 for an all-access pass. A percentage of proceeds go to Club 21, a charity organization that provides a support system to families with children with down syndrome.