Our 2014 lineup will be announced later this year. Stay in touch by following us on Twitter or Facebook!

Want to teach a seminar at Thirst 2014? Send us your ideas!

Pick up your tickets at registration:

Sunday & Monday, November 10th & 11th, 9am-6pm @ Lobby Hotel Commonwealth

You must stop by registration to have your ID checked and receive a wristband as well as pick up your tickets. Check in for evening events after 6pm will be at the door of the event.


Sunday Nov. 10

The Evolution Of Bourbon

Presented by Heaven Hill
Sunday Nov 10, 10:00-11:30am || Esplanade Room 2
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

“The Evolution of Bourbon” takes you through 200 years of Kentucky whiskey history and allows you to taste what folks were drinking here back in the 1700’s when it was just called “whiskey”. It was clear and un-aged (Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey). Then it evolved by taking that same corn whiskey and aging it in a used barrel in the early 1800’s (Mellow Corn). By 1836, Bourbon Whiskey made from corn and wheat had a name and Kentucky had a whiskey making reputation established (Bernheim Wheat Whiskey). The Bottled In Bond Act of 1897 really set the bar in what has come to be known as “pre-prohibition style whiskey” and saved straight whiskey from the blenders and rectifiers (Evan Williams Bottled In Bond). In 1984 it was the Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbon’s that revitalized the category and put us clearly in the 2nd Golden Age of Bourbon (Larceny Small Batch Bourbon).

"The Evolution of Bourbon Flight" is an all sensory experience. You will feel, smell, hear, see, and taste the history of bourbon as it evolved from the 1700’s to today.

Coffee & Cocktails

Presented by St George Spirits
Sunday Nov. 10, 10:00-11:30am || Esplanade Room 3
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

In the world of cocktails we are going way beyond the Irish coffee. Using coffee as a cocktail ingredient can be a labor of love, one that is often shared by both bartenders and Baristas. Join Tyler Wang of Kirkland Tap and Trotter and Jake Robinson of Counter Culture for an exploration of how these two worlds can collaborate to make great drinks. This seminar will focus on how to integrate extraordinary coffee as an ingredient while still retaining the unique character of the beans.

Boston Cocktails: Past, Present, and Future

Presented by Pernod Ricard
Sunday Nov. 10, 10:00-11:30am || The Gallery @ Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

We’ve gathered the three legends of Boston mixology together in one room to educate and entertain you on the past, present and future of cocktail culture in our beloved, thirsty city. Join Jackson Cannon (The Hawthorne, Eastern Standard), Josh Childs (Silvertone, Trina’s Starlite) and John Gertsen (Drink) as they trace the drunken footsteps of Bostonians from colonial times to modern day mixology. Belly up to the bar and drink in lore of Locke Ober and other gentlemen's clubs, the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, Boston’s infamous red-light district, the “Combat Zone” and taste an array of inspired Boston cocktails, from the Ward 8 to the Flip.

The Science of Taste

Presented by Oxley Gin
Sunday Nov. 10, 11:45-1:15pm || Esplanade Room 1
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Join Oxley Gin Ambassador, Jamie Evans and Bacardi Training Manager, Colin Appiah as they guide you through the amazing 'Science of Taste'.  During this interactive seminar, each guest will experience 'Tastes' unlike ever before and by the end will be able to describe and understand the reasons for these phenomenon.  By understanding flavor, smell and genetic differences, each guest will learn what Taste really is and how Taste should be considered a muscle to be trained.  Many in our wonderful Industry assume we are masters in this discipline, however, by promoting the training of this powerful sense, we can all improve our ability to taste. Seize control of your palate and really hone the skills of the Industry greats.

Whiskey Women

Presented by Bulleit and George Dickel
Sunday Nov 10, 11:45-1:15pm || Longwood Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Brown is the new black! Women have been making and drinking whiskey for centuries, in fact Sumerian women invented beer and Mesopotamian women invented the distillation.Without these two fundamental pieces, whiskey may not exist. And did you know that Queen Elizabeth I and proper Scottish ladies started every day with a dram of whiskey? Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey lover or want learn more, this seminar will take you on a spirited journey, complete with a tasting and lessons on American, Scotch, Canadian and Irish whiskies. Presented by Fred Minnick, journalist and author of “Whiskey Women: The Untold of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey,” Allisa Henley, Dickel Distillery Marketing Director and the Dickel Barrel Program Director, and Joy Richard, aka “Bourbon Belle” and Bar and Beverage Manager of Franklin Restaurant Group.

Beer Back: Beer’s Integration in Cocktails

Presented by Lambise
Sunday Nov. 10, 11:45-1:15pm || Olmstead Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

We've all had our fair share of beer backs; a shot and a beer. Do we ever really think about how those individual flavors balance? Can they be cohesive enough to make a three dimensional cocktail? In this lively talk and demonstration, Kevin Martin (Eastern Standard) & Kevin Mabry (JM Curley) will take you through a start to finish process of how to balance these flavors with the use of several different techniques, methods, and thought processes. Join what's sure to be more than just a shot and a beer.

The Biggest Myths in the Spirit Industry

 Presented by Privateer Rum
 
Sunday Nov. 10, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade Room 1 at the Hotel Commonwealth
 
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Who is actually making your spirit? Is it a craft distiller, a mega manufacturing house dressed up to look like craft, or a label designer purchasing bulk spirit and bottling it as their own? In this seminar we will discuss what really makes craft, craft from how to read between the marketing lines to know where your spirit truly comes from down to what additives end up in spirits and how do they change the spirit. Join Misty Kalkofen, an agave expert and one of Boston’s greatest lady bartenders, Ed Hamilton, leader of the Ministry of Rum and Maggie Campbell of Privateer Rum for an interesting discussion on the growing category of Craft Spirits. Moderated by author and Liquor.com Editor Noah Rothbaum.

The Rise and Fall and Rise of the Tiki Bar

Presented by Appleton Reserve
Sunday Nov. 10, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade Room 2 at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

From the 1930s through the 1960s, America was swept away by a Polynesian-inspired revolution: The Tiki Bar.  The feeling of a tropical escape during the Depression ignited the imagination of people across the country, and launched a fad that was to last four decades and expand to include art, architecture, and most importantly- cocktails.  From the mind of one man in Hollywood in 1934 was born a new kind of cocktail that owed its roots to the rums & recipes of the Caribbean, the soda fountains of New Orleans, and much more.  These complex, layered, dynamic and inspired drinks delighted and intrigued people everywhere for years.  The complexity of the drinks, changing tastes, and lost recipes virtually erased the movement’s very existence, but now, the rebirth is at hand.  Come discover the fascinating history of The Tiki Bar for yourself with Willy Shine and Martin Cate!  With a special emphasis on the history of Tiki in the Greater Boston Area- the famed tiki bars that have come and gone, and those that still thrive!

Beyond the Shot - Mixing with Tequila at Home

Presented by Olmeca Altos
Sunday Nov 10, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade Room 3 at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Tequila is spirit of all trades. It's an amazing stand alone, but also plays well with others. Ever wondered how to make a badass tequila cocktail in the comforts of your own home? Join Dan DeOliviera and Olmeca Altos for a seminar you won't forget. This hands on class will teach you how to shake, stir and mix your very own margarita and other cocktails at home. 

Pirates, Partisans and Grandmothers: The Legacy and Use of Sherry

Presented by Gordon's Fine Wine & Liquors
Sunday Nov. 10, 4:15-5:45 || Longwood Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Sherry is one of the most complex and diverse styles of wine and needs a little decoding before use. Especially since so many misunderstandings abound--it has more to do with pirates than grandmothers, most of the styles are dry not sweet and it's not a new bartending trend but a longstanding part of classic cocktails. Learn the history and various styles of Sherry and how they can be paired to food and blended in drinks. Presented by Derek Brown, acclaimed writer, mixologist and owner of Washington, D.C. bars The Passenger, The Columbia Room, and sherry bar, Mockingbird Hill as well as Jackson Cannon, of The Hawthorne right next door!

The Cocktail Lab

Presented by Dewars
Sunday Nov. 10, 4:15-5:45 || Olmstead Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

If you are intrigued by avant garde gastronomy, welcome to the world of avant garde mixology, where science transforms cocktails. Join Juan Coronado, Beverage Director & Cocktail Innovator of José Andrés' Think Food Group as he takes you through eye-opening demonstrations, transforming everyday ingredients into unique craft cocktails. Juan will present you with a fermented Dark and Stormy bottled cocktail, then showcase the art of smoking cocktails and share a new "cloud technique." Part magic, part science, the Cocktail Lab will change the way you think about drink!

 

 

Monday Nov. 11

Rum: The World’s Most Versatile Spirit


Presented by Bacardi

Monday Nov. 11, 10:00-11:30am || Esplanade Room 2 at the Hotel Commonwealth

Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Whether it's Rum, Rhum, or Ron, you'll be taken through the classifications and history of this dynamic spirit from it's early seventeenth century roots, to it's modern day romance with bartenders worldwide.  Equally as enjoyable shaken, stirred, or blended, you'll learn how Rum is diverse enough to shine in everything from light classic cocktails like the Daiquiri, to an Old Fashioned, and everything in between. Is there really a weapon for all of these in one spirit category?  Come learn and taste your way to your own conclusion with your hosts, Will Thompson, Principal Bartender at Drink, Jacob Briars, Bacardi Global Trade Advocacy Director and Heath Davis, Bacardi Brand Master Apprentice.

Location, Location, Location: Terroir and Merroir


Presented by Del Maguey and Domaine Select
Monday Nov. 11, 10:00-11:30am || Island Creek Oyster Bar

Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

We all want to know where our food comes from, and  in the world of wine, savvy oenophiles talk about terroir, or the sense of place that makes each bottle unique. But we don’t often look at where our spirits come from, and the results may surprise you.  Join Misty Kalkofen, Brand Ambassador to Del Maguey Mezcals and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, General Manager of Island Creek Oyster Bar for this fascinating look at terroir and merroir in what we eat and drink: wine, mezcal,  rhum agricole, coffee and of course, oysters.  Learn how these products represent the truest essence of their locale in every sip and slurp.

Old World vs. New World - New England Cocktails with David Wondrich


Presented by Bols Genever

Monday Nov. 11, 11:45am-1:15pm || Esplanade Room 1 at the Hotel Commonwealth

Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Join Bols Genever and cocktail historian and author David Wondrich as he presents the historical drinking habits of the early settlers on the East Coast of the United States.  David will discuss the preferred primary cocktail ingredients in early days of the American cocktail and how members of the population chose to drink them.  The seminar will be filled with whimsical anecdotes, useful imbibing facts, typical Wondrich humor, and of course, a ladle or two of punch.

Rethinking Vermouth: The Renaissance of Fortified Wine

Monday Nov. 11, 11:45am-1:15pm || Esplanade Room 3

Presented by Atsby, Imbue and Sutton Cellars
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

When most of us think of vermouth, it’s perhaps a whisper in a martini or a dusty bottle on the shelf. But the classic cocktail revolution has breathed life into vermouth - from beloved Negronis to Manhattans - and it’s taken center stage as a complex, craft product made right here in the United States. Join Theresa Paopao, General Manager and Beverage Director at Ribelle (named Best Sommelier in Boston in 2013 by Boston Magazine), and esteemed artisanal vermouth producers Carl Sutton from Sutton Cellars Brown Label Dry Vermouth (California), Neil Kopplin from Imbue Bittersweet and Petal & Thorn (Oregon) and Adam Ford from Atsby Armadillo Cake and Amberthorn (New York) to learn about the history and process of making vermouth. From inspired aperitifs to to creative cocktails, experience a whole new side of vermouth.

Scotch Cocktails in the Modern Bar


Presented by Monkey Shoulder

Monday Nov. 11, 11:45-1:15pm || Olmstead Room at the Hotel Commonwealth

Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Monkey Shoulder would like to invite you to a lively and informative class on the past and future of scotch cocktails.  Two Masters of Maltiness will help you understand the complexity of scotch cocktails and how to get excited about building your own.  This class will be hosted by the Scotch and Boston lover Charlotte Voisey. Charlotte is the Company Mixologist with William Grant & Sons USA. She will also have Curtis McMillan, the local Monkey Shoulder pre-prohibition scotch guru to help out.  If you, like us, are in love with Scotland’s best export you should enjoy building on your existing knowledge with some fun new inspiration. We will cover many topics, bringing Scotch whisky alive as a smart choice cocktail ingredient and we hope you will walk away from this class with a deeper and richer appreciation for Scotch cocktails and Monkey Shoulder.

Japanese Whisky: Pride. Perfection. Passion.


Presented by Nikka Whisky

Monday Nov. 11, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade Room 3 at the Hotel Commonwealth

Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Join Nick Korn, Japanese whisky enthusiast and outstanding bartender and Alyssa DiPasquale, advanced sake professional and manager of O Ya restaurant, to learn the history and cultural significance of Japanese whisky. Attendees will taste through a variety of whiskies along with Anchor Distilling’s Gregory Fitch: Nikka Taketsura 12, 17 & 21, Nikka Yoichi 15, Nikka Coffey Grain, Nikka Miyagikyo 12. These Boston experts will guide you through Japan's famous drinking culture, the rich history of Japanese whisky, including the passionate stories of industry leaders and a tasting that will included Nick's outstanding cocktails and Alyssa's izakaya food pairings.

The Japanese are a proud culture who want nothing more than to present the world with Japanese products that exemplify only the best. Japanese whisky is rising in popularity, and rightfully so. The product delivers culturally for their country but also for the highest standards of the rest of the world. Kanpai!

Letting the Spirit Guide You: From Jalisco to Boston

Presented by Milagro
Monday Nov. 11, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade 1 at the Hotel Commonwealth

Cost: $20.00 Sold Out

There's no mistaking agave distillates are unique. From the soil to the minerals, from the agave to the rain to the natural yeasts, each tequila takes on characteristics imparted by Mother Nature. From the first planting to the final bottle, every step of tequila’s production process influences the aromatic nuances and the flavor that you and I enjoy. Join us as we deconstruct those flavors through smell, taste and hand-crafted cocktails.

This interactive course will showcase two bartenders and their interpretations of tequila’s prowess, both sipped neat and in cocktails.

A New World Of Beer: Brewing In New England From The Pilgrims To The Present

Presented by Narragansett, Pretty Things Beer & Notch Brewing
Monday Nov. 11, 2:30-4:00pm || Esplanade Room 2 at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Here's something they don't tell you in school: The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth in November 1620 because they were running out of beer. Also, the Puritans drank like fish. In this seminar, learn about New England's unique beer history while drinking New England beer. Lauren Clark, author of the forthcoming Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to the Modern Day, moderates a stellar panel of brewers including Mark Hellendrung of Narragansett Beer, Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing and Dann Paquette of Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. While you soak up their ales and lagers, soak up some knowledge about the strange beers of the colonial era, the breweries of New England's industrial heyday--Boston alone had 30--and the origins of our current golden age of craft brewing.

La Dolce Vita: How to Drink & Eat Like an Italian

Presented by Fernet Branca
Monday Nov. 11, 4:15-5:45pm || Longwood Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Fratelli Branca and Erbaluce restaurant invite you to experience La Dolce Vita! Join acclaimed Chef Charles Draghi of Erbaluce and Kirsten “Kitty” Amann of Fratelli Branca as they walk you through a unique Italian gastronomic experience that is not to be missed. Italians drink long and strong and the focal point of their beverage culture - as anyone who’s traipsed through the Tuscan countryside will tell you - is always food. Be transported to an Italian café and learn about aperitivi, digestivi, and the culture of food and drink as you sample delicious dishes created by Chef Draghi and cocktails made with the Fratelli Branca line of unique Italian products.

Blinded by the Dark

Presented by Sidney Frank and Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits, a division of Domaine Select
Monday Nov. 11, 4:15-5:45pm || Olmstead Room at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 SOLD OUT

Amaros, Kräuterlikör's, and Herbal Liqueurs are all ancient secret recipes of mystery going back to the middle ages. Do you think you know your bitter liqueurs? Have you been "Enlightened" to the history of some of Europe's finest dark herbal liqueurs? Come test yourself and go through the sensory analysis which will be led by Tad Carducci and Todd Richman. Join us for a comprehensive blind tasting and test your palette, highlights include spirits from Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits, a division of Domaine Select Wine Estates, and Sidney Frank Importing Company

How Prohibition Changed Spirits & Mixology Around the World

Presented by G'Vine Gin, WhistlePig Whiskey, Suze Liqueur and I-Spirit Vodka
Monday Nov. 11, 4:15-5:45pm || Esplanade Room 3 at the Hotel Commonwealth
Cost: $20.00 (Buy Tickets)

In the years leading up to Prohibition, saloons were found on every street corner, and liquor stores were as common as drug stores. It was a golden age of cocktails; the best bartenders earned as much as the Vice President of the United States.  As Prohibition came into effect, these craftsmen chose to exercise their art in exile rather than abandon it. They created an American cocktail culture in cities around the globe. Join Audrey Fort, Portfolio Director of EWG brands, Sean Fredrick, bartender at Citizen Public House and Philip Duff, owner of Door 74,  Netherlands' first Prohibition-style speakeasy,  to sample pre- and post- Prohibition cocktails and learn about the lasting effect of Prohibition on spirits and mixology culture from Paris to New York.