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Here's Where You Can Do a Virtual Happy Hour With Winemakers & Brewers This Week

virtual tastings and happy hours
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It's certainly not a primary concern, but there's no doubt, a lot of people miss going to the bar right now. Meeting up with friends and having a menu of drinks at your fingertips sounds like a tiny slice of bliss.

You can get a little of that feeling with virtual happy hours. But, because we're all staying home together, there are experts you can join for a virtual drink. Sommeliers, winemakers, brewers, and distillers are offering group tastings and even some one-on-one sessions where you can try something together. However, everyone is scrambling to put them together and it's pretty easy to only hear about the good ones after they've already taken place. So, we're collecting some of the best virtual tasting events together in one place so you don't have to miss any drink or cat wandering through someone else's background. 

Wednesday, May 20

Big Cork Vineyards
Join Big Cork and Master Winemaker Dave Collins at 7:30pm to talk about vineyards in Maryland, as well as Big Cork's 2018 Russian Kiss, 2018 Viognier, 2016 Cabernet Franc, 2017 Petit Verdot, and Black Cap Port. 

Skrewball Whiskey
Every week the whiskey company is hosting an 8pm EST happy hour on Instagram with a different bartender demo a new cocktail each time.

virtual happy hours to join
Courtesy of Seven Hills

Thursday, May 21

Guinness and BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
At 7pm EST, Guinness and BJ's are hosting a virtual happy hour hosted by BJ's SVP of Brewing Alex Puchner, BJ's Brewery General Manager Aaron Stueck, and Guinness Brewery Ambassador Eoghain Clavin. The happy hour includes a history lesson, tips on pouring a half and half, a Q&A session, and a tasting. 

Seven Hills Winery
At 8pm EST, Founder and Winemaker Casey McClellan and Associate Winemaker Bobby Richards will host a virtual tasting of their Bordeaux-style blends. The wines that will be tasted can be ordered in advance through the Seven Hills website. 

Slane Irish Whiskey
Founder Alex Conyngham is hosting a virtual happy hour every Thursday at 4pm EST on Instagram. 

Friday, May 22

Ampelos Vineyard and Cellars
Head to the link to find details on how you can join the weekly tastings from Ampelos. This week, they're tasting the vineyard's 2019 Viognier "Phi."

Dano's Tequila
The tequila company hosts a weekly virtual happy hour with discussion and cocktail demonstrations. The happy hour starts at 6:30pm EST. 

Sunday, May 24

Belden Barns
The Wine & Wishes Virtual Tasting pops up every Sunday, offering a guided tasting of one wine from the package. (Plus, the package comes at a 35% discount from the regular price.) Each tasting will take place at 5pm PST. This week's wine is the Late-Harvest Viognier, though you don' t have to have the wine to participate. 

Monday, May 25

Goose Island Beer Co.
The ongoing "Ingrain Live" series brings Goose Island together with Chicago-area artists and chefs for demonstrations, performances, and tastings. They'll also be raising money for COVID-19 relief. The brewery will donate $1,000 to the guest's charity of choice. This one will feature Osteria Langhe Chef Cameron Grant at 4pm CST on the Goose Island Instagram account.

Wednesday, May 27

Skrewball Whiskey
Every week the whiskey company is hosting an 8pm EST happy hour on Instagram with a different bartender demo a new cocktail each time.

Thursday, May 28

Slane Irish Whiskey
Founder Alex Conyngham is hosting a virtual happy hour every Thursday at 4pm EST on Instagram. 

Friday, May 29

Ampelos Vineyard and Cellars
Head to the link to find details on how you can join the weekly tastings from Ampelos. This week, you'll join them for a special blending session in the Ampelos's barrel room.

Dano's Tequila
The tequila company hosts a weekly virtual happy hour with discussion and cocktail demonstrations. The happy hour starts at 6:30pm EST. 

Sunday, June 3

Goose Island Beer Co.
The ongoing "Ingrain Live" series brings Goose Island together with Chicago-area artists and chefs for demonstrations, performances, and tastings. They'll also be raising money for COVID-19 relief. The brewery will donate $1,000 to the guest's charity of choice. This one will feature Parachute Chef Beverly Kim at 3pm CST on the Goose Island Instagram account.

Friday, June 12

Archery Summit
Winemaker Ian Burch will be joined by Wine Club Manager Chris Lopez to taste newly released club wines. The wines they're tasting can be ordered ahead of time through the Archery website. 

wine tasting online
Courtesy of Italics Estate Winery

Private Tastings You Can Schedule

Clos Du Val
The "Tasting at Your Table" wine experiences can be purchased for a live one-on-one virtual tasting centered on the package you choose. The package prices range from $395 to $95.

DAOU Vineyards and Winery
Pick out a DAOU wine you have around the house or get some from their online shop, and you can reserve a free tasting with a DAOU wine educator for a group of 1-10. Reservations are available hourly from noon to 5pm PST through June 1.

The Donum Estate
The Estate, specializing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, began offering private tastings via Zoom in May. You'll get a personalized tasting set and a tour of the grounds that features more than 40 sculptures from artists including Yayoi Kusama, Zhan Wang, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tracey Emin, Subodh Gupta, and Louise Bourgeois.

Hope Family Wines
The winery helps put together a flight for you and friends. Then after everyone has received their wine, you and friends can virtually get together over a glass with an expert from Hope Family Wines. 

Italics Estate Wines
You select the current release wine flight, and you'll get to schedule a private and virtual wine tasting. There are two options. One is a three-bottle flight of reds for $195, the other is a five-bottle flight with a bonus dinner wine for $375. 

Passalacqua Winery
The Sonoma County winery is offering individual tasting appointments. You can order a tasting kit with three little vials of wine for $30.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.