Monday, November 7, 2011

Barbados: 2011 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival

Official Poster
Taking advantage of another opportunity to visit the land that gave birth to rum (as we know it) is a labor of love. I arrive just in time for the 2nd Annual Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival to kick off. It is nothing short of perfect timing for any rum lover to visit Barbados. This young festival began only a year ago, but its concept has won the hearts and minds of many and is back to rum it up again. This year they secured a place at the Prime Minister's house to enjoy some of the Caribbean's best rum and beer. Party time!
The event was sponsored in part by Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. Located in an area known as St. Lawrence Gap, its a short walk away from a beautiful beach, a variety of different restaurants overlooking the water and numerous places to quench your thirst for some of that Barbados water. The judging for the 2011 Caribbean Alcohol Beverage (CAB) Awards (see previous post) took place here followed by a welcoming reception the night before the main event. What is like to judge 40 rums in just under four hours? Yes, that is approximately 10 rums/hour, if you did the math. Well, our friend and fellow judge, Steve Bennett from Uncommon Caribbean, gives you an uninhibited account of the details in his recent article. Now, off to the reception!

First, a quick detour to the beach!

At the reception, we enjoyed a wide selection of great rums and tasty appetizers as the festival's art mural was unveiled.

Art by Oneka

There were some brilliantly decorated deserts in the form of cupcakes from the local company, Infusion. Several of the cupcakes utilized traditional Bajan cake recipes......Yum and full of rum!

Cupcakes by Infusion

Adrian Elcock, Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority

The first day of the event began with Adrian Elcock, Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority, who gave the introduction, welcoming back the Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival. There was an emphasis on the importance of rum in tourism, particularly within Barbados. Spreading the gospel of rum is fun!

There is no better way to start off a party, then with drum beats and dancing surrounded by booths full of awesome rums and beers! A traditional dance turned heads. Short and sultry, it ended with the breaking of the calabash gourds and indicating the beginning of the festival. Let's go have some rum!
The El Dorado booth had a great jungle presentation to accompany their line of delicious Guyanese Rums! How about a El Dorado 3yr swizzle?

The Appleton Estate booth was full of flavor and fun. Those present were able to sample their full line including their Master Blenders' Legacy and 21yr old Rums. Another round of the 21yr please! Plus, if you liked them, you could simply buy the bottle at prices that made you wish you had an extra suitcase. Awesome!
If you were lucky, you had your Appleton Estate Reserve daiquiri made by David Barker of Tapas.
Next time you are in Barbados, stop in for one of his tasty cocktails and say hi!

If that wasn't enough, welcome to Edwin Charlie Proprietor's Collection

The Banks Rum and Beer booth kept you coming back for more and more...

Cheers to Cheryl Collymore and Dr. Williams for putting on another rumtastic festival!
Looking forward to the Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival next year!!


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