Check out craft beer, wine, food, concerts in Panama City Beach
PANAMA CITY BEACH — If you have a taste for craft beer and wine plus culinary concoctions — or an ear for music, or an eye for fine art — then the fourth annual UNwineD festival is the place for you this weekend.
Named the 2017 Most Innovative Project of the Year by the Florida Festivals and Events Association, UNwineD will return to Panama City Beach on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, at Aaron Bessant Park, 600 Pier Park Drive. Enjoy a fun-filled weekend of craft beer, wine and spirits from around the world paired with mouth-watering creations from many of Northwest Florida’s renowned chefs.
Presented in partnership with Southern Living magazine, UNwineD will also feature musical performances by Brandi Carlile and JohnnySwim.
“With Brandi Carlile, JohnnySwim, Chef Kevin Gillespie and mixologist Mercedes O’Brien joining the lineup, this year’s garden party and grand tasting is shaping up to be one of the most memorable weekends of the year, featuring the best cuisine, cocktails and live music in Northwest Florida,” said Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe.
Gillespie, from Red Beard Restaurants, is a “Top Chef” finalist. Carlile is a three-time Grammy Awards winner, and JohnnySwim is a national recording artist. They are being presented by Southern Living, the magazine that celebrates the essence of life in the South, covering the best in Southern food, homes, gardens and travel.
The weekend begins Friday, with an elegant garden party presented by Southern Living, complete with bites from Chef Gillespie and drinks by mixologist O’Brien. Guests can expect the same bold flavors and delicious plays on ingredients that Gillespieuses in his two restaurants, Gunshow in Atlanta and Revival in Decatur, along with the same cocktail creativity that O’Brien uses at Gunshow and soon-to-open Cold Beer.
This exclusive VIP event has a limited amount of tickets available (only 300 will be sold), priced at $175 per person, for adults 21 and over only. The VIP ticket also includes entry into the UNwineD Grand Tasting from 1-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Guests can sip and savor craft beer, spirits and wine from around the world paired with delectable bites.
UNwineD officially gets underway with the Grand Afternoon Tasting on Saturday. Wander from booth to booth while tasting the best craft beers, wine and spirits from around the world. You can also nibble on delectable creations from leading chefs in the Northwest Florida area. New to UNwineD this year is Art and Vendor Row, which includes members of the Beach Art Group. Browse through local shops and boutiques including Sugar Bean and Aubrey and Oliver, and be sure to stop by the Southern Living tent for home decor, cook books and more. You must be 21 or older to attend the Grand Tasting (accompanying children 12 and younger are permitted).
A live concert from American folk, soul, blues and pop music duo JohnnySwim will be followed by a feature performance from Carlile to conclude Saturday’s festivities from 5-7:30 p.m.
JohnnySwim is the husband-and-wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, who say it’s important to have both intimacy and fire in their romance and their music.
“The music is the backdrop on which our life gets painted,” Ramirez said. “We’re not just writing partners; we’re partners. There’s no balance between work and romance. It’s all a gumbo. Our first excuse to date and hang out was writing together. We say things better in song than we discuss them in person. We’ve seen terrible things, brilliant things and beautiful things as a couple.”
Perhaps best known for her song “The Story,” Carlile released her most recent album “By the Way, I Forgive You,” in February 2018 featuring the single “The Joke.” A founder of the Looking Out Foundation, Carlile supports a range of social issues world-wide through awareness campaigns, donations and fundraising programs. For more information, visit BrandiCarlile.com.
Single-day tickets to Saturday’s UNwineD Grand Tasting and concerts are $75 per person, while concert-only tickets are $20 per person. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free with a paying adult. A portion of all ticket proceeds will go to United Way of Northwest Florida and World Central Kitchen. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to VisitPanamaCityBeach.com/unwined.
In 2017, UNwineD took grand prize honors for the “Most Innovative Project of the Year” from the Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA). Visit Panama City Beach Vice President of Marketing Jayna Leach said the TDC and Visit Panama City Beach were honored to be recognized. That year’s event included a live musical performance by Grammy-nominated American folk-rock band, The Avett Brothers.
“For the 2017 spring season, we continued our efforts to create innovative events that would attract different audiences to Panama City Beach,” Leach said. “Our team worked tirelessly from the strategy to the execution, and I am so proud that we were recognized among our peers from all over the state.”