This week, we’ve got 300+ varieties of whisky on tap for you. Plus more beers than you can count — the largest number ever served in one place, in fact. If you can’t make it to New York or Denver, or are simply choosing to lay off the booze, you may wish to rekindle your summer shellfish love affair at the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. And for the jetsetters among you, Sierra Oro’s Farmtrail Passport Weekend offers a trip without the turbulence and limited legroom. Because nothing says autumnal like a healthy dose of local farm-hopping.
WhiskyFest New York
New York, NY
The 16th Annual WhiskyFest has already hit Chicago and San Francisco, and this weekend, New York’s Marriott Marquis will host two days of tastings and seminars celebrating the quality brown stuff. Friday’s Grand Tasting will feature more than 300 varieties, including single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Tennessee, Japanese and Canadian whiskies. On Saturday, get schooled from master distillers like Wild Turkey’s Jimmy Russell on industry secrets and sip some never-before-tasted rare varieties. But make sure to save room for dessert: three expert whisky makers are teaming up with three celebrated chocolatiers to create to-die-for chocolate pairings. Looks like this festival just showed up your run-of-the-mill wine and cheese tasting party.
Great American Beer Festival
Held in Denver’s Colorado Convention Center, the GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served in one place. Over the course of the three-day festival, a professional judging panel will judge beers corresponding to different subcategories: fruit wheat beer, herb and spice beer, and coffee beer, to name a few. While the brewers await the results, guests can taste and learn about the best of Southern beer at the “Craft Beer Y’all” event, and at “The Fermented Sisters: Science, Logic and Tools for Pairing Beer and Cheese,” Mad River Brewery’s Head’s Dylan Schatz, Beer Advocate’s Sebbie Buhler and Cypress Grove Chevre’s Sonny Simonian give a quick science lesson on those two essential food groups: dairy and alcohol.
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Port Angeles, WA
Good news: fresh-off-the-boat seafood isn’t just a thing of summertime getaways in distant vacationlands. The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is celebrating the bounty of the Pacific Northwest with a weekend of chef demonstrations, educational seminars and live entertainment. The celebration kicks off with the Peninsula Daily News Community Crab Feed, featuring eight local restaurants, a raw shellfish bar, a beer and wine garden and live music. And over the next two days guests can look forward to a “Grab-a-Crab Tank Derby,” a sand volleyball tournament, and a chowder cook-off. Because someone has to settle whether New England or Manhattan style reigns supreme.
Sierra Oro Farmtrail Passport Weekend
Butte County, CA
Food and drink tours are great ways to get to know a foreign city, but now’s the time pay your local farms a visit and explore the great nearby. This weekend, get off the beaten track with this “agri-tourism” event celebrating Butte County’s farm-fresh bounty of flavors. Your ticket serves as a passport, granting you access to 30 participating specialty farms and wineries where you can taste artisan products in the very place they were made. Bonus: no waiting in an hour-long U.S. Customs line.
New York City Wine & Food Festival
New York, NY
The 6th annual NYCWFF celebrates the culinary culture of the city while making strides to end world hunger with proceeds benefitting the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Fitting with the bustling nature of its new (mostly) Midtown location, the festival is filled with seminars, intimate dinners, grand tastings and late-night parties. Highlights include “Date Night Memories: Tempting Tastes and Passionate Pairings from Union Square Café,” a Master Sushi Rolling Class with Masaharu Morimoto and the always entertaining and gluttonous Burger Bash.
Craft Beer & Bites
San Diego, CA
On October 19, SILO in San Diego’s Makers Quarter will host San Diego State University College of Extended Studies’ Business of Craft Brewing Program. The event will bring local brewers and food trucks to celebrate local food and drink and benefit the San Diego Brewer’s Guild. Local artisans will also give demos in the art of custom menswear, murals and silk-screening. If the brews, grub and art don’t do it for you, the festival also promises an epic game of life-size Jenga.
Chef Homaro Cantu At Chicago Film And Media Summit
Chef Homaro Cantu is a leading innovator in molecular gastronomy. On October 20, the chef of Chi-town’s Moto Restaurant will serve as a panelist at Chicago’s Film And Media Summit. His web series “Cooking Under Pressure” provides video shorts for all of his dishes, so diners can enjoy a virtual experience before digging in with their forks. Other participating Chicago filmmakers at the Summit will include actor Michael Shannon and director John McNaughton.