Booze calendar! Where to sip, sample and savor this spring

Kevin Lingley at the Highwater Brewing booth hands festival goer Vandana Chima-Bhalla a sample of their beer during the “Great Vegas Festival of Beer” gathering on Fremont East Entertainment District Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Photo: Yasmina Chavez

Tickets for UNLVino went on sale in mid-February, with the annual food and beverage festival set to return April 16-18. Now in its 41st year, UNLVino raises scholarship funds for students in UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. The wino weekender kicks off April 16 with Bubble-Licious at Doge’s Palace Plaza in front of the Venetian, where attendees can sip on sparkling wines and champagnes paired with small plates from the Venetian and Palazzo restaurant collection. Tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. Supporters can again “take a sip for scholarship” April 17 at Red Rock with Sake Fever, a poolside fête featuring a number of sakes, Japanese spirits and cocktails crafted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada master mixologists Francesco Lafranconi and J.R. Starkus. Small bites from area restaurants and tunes courtesy of rock ‘n’ roll Rat Pack tribute band Franks & Deans complete the East-meets-West event. Tickets are $100 in advance and $125 at the door. UNLVino comes to a close April 18 with the Grand Tasting, which returns to Paris with a smorgasbord of spirits, wines, cocktails and beers to sample and savor. The culminating event also features cuisine courtesy of UNLV culinary students and Valley restaurants, as well as a performance by Strip headliner Frankie Moreno. Tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. All UNLVino events run 7-10 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at UNLVTickets.com. For more information, visit UNLVino.com.

Border Grill gets boozy March 12 with a Hornitos Tequila Dinner (6:30-9 p.m.) at its Mandalay Bay location. A shot and cocktail of the brand’s 100 percent blue agave tequila varieties will be paired with each plate in a multi-course meal of Border Grill’s modern Mexican fare. Tickets are $75 and those interested can RSVP by calling 702-632-7403 or emailing [email protected]

Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian partners with Glenlivet March 12 for a Four-Course Whiskey Dinner (7 p.m.). Scotch enthusiasts can look forward to sampling five varieties from the Scottish distillery, including its 15 Year French Oak Cask Finish, 16 Year “Nàdurra” Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish, 18 Year, 21 Year Archive and 25 Year. Bonus: Glenlivet’s global brand ambassador Ian Logan plays host at the event, providing a history of whiskey and the beloved Scottish brand. Tickets are $130, and reservations can be made by calling 702-414-3737.

Springtime is perfect for al fresco imbibing, which explains the onslaught of outdoor beer fests coming our way. The lakeside Brew’s Best kicks it all off, returning to Lake Las Vegas March 14 (1-6 p.m.) for the bi-annual fundraising bash benefiting non-profit New Vista. Locals and regionals will be pouring their products, all set to a live soundtrack from locals Haleamano and the Droppers. Tickets are $30 and are on sale at brewsbestlv.com.

The Boulder City Beerfest returns to Wilbur Square Park March 28 (1-7 p.m.), with local breweries like Banger, Tenaya Creek and Pints joining host brewery Boulder Dam Brewing at the now-annual event benefiting Operation Homefront. Pours from regional notables like Lagunitas, Lost Coast and Ninkasi will also be available, as well as street cuisine from six local food trucks. Vendors, the “Brewers’ Games” and live music from Thee Swank Bastards, Delta Bombers and more complete the hoppy happening. Tickets are $45 in advance for early entry, $30 for GA, and can be purchased at Boulder Dam Brewery, Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits or online at bouldercitybeerfestival.com.

The winner of our 2014 Weekly Award for Best Beer Festival returns to the streets of Downtown Las Vegas April 11, as Motley Brews’ Great Vegas Festival of Beer (3-7 p.m.) brings more than 300 craft beers from over 100 breweries to the Fremont East Entertainment District. While VIP passes are already sold out, tickets are $35-$55 ($20 for designated driver passes) and can be purchased at greatvegasbeer.com.

Uno mas! Big Dog’s annual spring brew celebration, Peace Love & Hoppiness, returns to its Draft House April 25 (3-9 p.m.).

  • The Weekly gets its first taste of the new brew.

  • Great tastes from Ballast Point, the Bruery and an up-and-coming local operation.

  • Reviewed: Goose Island's 312 Urban Pale and Urban Wheat ales.

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