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The San Diego Spirits Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday ( June 25-26) at the Broadway Pier's Port Pavillion on San Diego Bay. The venue is a big-time upgrade from last year when it was held at multiple venues all throughout downtown and never really took on the feel of a cohesive "festival."

Immersion into San Diego's cocktail culture and education about the emerging scene is what this festival is all about. That said, it seems a decent deal of entertainment is scheduled to keep things from getting too serious. Burlesque and cabaret performances will help to drive home the retro "golden age of cocktails" theme of the festival, as will the vest- and fedora-clad, mustachioed mixologists performing demonstrations and competing against each other. I judged one of the preliminary qualifying competitions. There should be no shortage of talent in the final round.

Live bands and aerial acts are also in the mix.

The festival line-up is included below. For more information, visit www.sandiegospiritsfestival.com .

SATURDAY, JUNE 25 12 PM: Artisanal Cheese & Single Malt Scotch Whisky Pairing 1 – 5 PM: Grand Tasting

SUNDAY, JUNE 26 1 pm – 5pm: Grand Tasting

Note: Grand Tastings will include cocktail demos, cooking demonstrations, bartender competitions, performance art, and live music.

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