Wine, charity and fun converge during Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week, April 27-30, 2017 There will be a “spirited” kick off for the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival 2017 with the fourth annual Craft Beer & Spirits Jam. This year’s highly anticipated precursor event to the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be held on Friday, April 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. and staged throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, located within the beach communities of idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida. Just one sip of what’s on tap and what’s in the well of nearly any bar across the nation and it’s clear to see that the virtual renaissance of “precision” cocktails and fine crafted beers continue to cause a stir. And South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is ready to mix things up with a festive and fun event brimming with creative cocktails, crafty brews, delicious food and rocking music, too. There is also a cocktail competition voted on by attendees. Food & beverage industry “celebrities” representing some of the hottest breweries and happening distilleries from across the country will be pouring more than 125 different kinds of specialty craft beers and spirits samples. Highlights of this lively event include celebrity guest appearances by some of the beverage industry’s elite including Tommy Brunett owner/founder of Iron Smoke Whiskey; James. C. “Jimmy” Russell, iconic master distiller of Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve Bourbon; Carlton Grooms of Papa’s Pilar Rum; Fred Parent, Brand Ambassador for Hendricks and Rob Ryan of Tullamore D.E.W. Along EATS STREET, guests will be able to taste a smorgasbord of savory small plate menu items prepared by a range of award-winning restaurants, eateries and food trucks including Another Broken Egg, Jackacuda's Seafood & Sushi, Cabana Café, Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican, The Craft Bar, Crepe La Rus and Roux 30A. Beers will be poured by, among others, Abita Brewing Company, Sweetwater Brewing Company and New Belgian, local breweries include Idyll Hounds, Grayton Beer Company, Destin Brewery, Nibol and many others. This year music and spirits lovers alike are in for a real kick. Rocker-turned-whiskey-maker Tommy Brunett founded Iron Smoke Whiskey with his partner Steve Brown in 2011. As a singer, songwriter, and showman, Brunett and his band Tommy Brunett Band, have opened for such acts as ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, Cracker, Marshall Tucker, and Kellie Pickler. Brunett has performed on local and national stages, including the Today Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and was the touring guitarist with the British rock band Modern English (“I Melt with You”) in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. A natural raconteur, Brunett still rocks with The Tommy Brunett Band and Festival goers will get a chance to watch this artist rock the bar and the main stage as the special music guest for Craft Beer & Spirits Jam. “It fascinates people to understand how spirits and craft beers are made and what goes into them,” says Chan Cox, founder of South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival. “This event is great opportunity to meet an amazing line up of knowledgeable artisans — who are leaders in their field — and hear first-hand from them about what all goes into their crafting of these beers and spirits.” South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival continues through the weekend. In addition to two days of wine and food tastings and seminars, attendees will be treated to live entertainment and special features such as Champagne Lane Tasting, featuring floating bubbles and dozens of Champagnes and sparkling wines, and tastes of some of the best chefs in the region throughout the Savor South Walton Culinary Village and several Nosh Pavilions peppered along the Boulevard. Presented by Visit South Walton and Wine Enthusiast Media, the festival offers the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway. The Festival is made possible by the generous support of the following Founding Partners: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the official lodging partner of the festival. The Craft Beer & Spirits Jam kicks off the festival Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.Advance tickets are $35. The Grand Tastings are on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $99 for Saturday and Sunday (ticket price includes Spirits Row, Champagne Lane Tasting, wine and food tastings, tasting seminars and live entertainment); and $175 for the VIP Tasting, which is already sold out. The event is rain or shine; sorry children and pets are not allowed in Culinary Village. To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule visitwww.SoWalWine.com. ACCOMMODATIONS Plan your South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival Adventure with ResortQuest, official lodging partner. ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals would like to offer 15% off 3 or more nights at any of our eligible vacation rentals during the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival at Grand Boulevard. Not only does this include complimentary transportation to and from the wine festival, but also an afternoon of live music by select award-winning Nashville Songwriters on Friday afternoon at TOPS’L while enjoying a complimentary glass of sangria! MORE INFO!