A 2017 Battle of the Bartenders was crowned. Video by Amelia Robinson

Get ready to party in 2018 with these boozy events

You have toasted the New Year and now it's time to toast in the New Year. 

These 10 events are coming out early in the year to tempt you with specialty brews, wines and spirits. 

So mark your calendars and get ready to keep the party going with these 10 big boozy events

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It wasn't the first barrel-aged beer on the market, but it was a first for many regardless.
Photo: Contributed

Jan. 13 


Jungle Jim's International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield 


Jungle Jim’s Barrel Aged Beer Bash celebrates the art of barrel aging by bringing together beers of all kinds. Spent barrels that once contained whiskey, tequila, rum and wine are given a new purpose. The results range from light and funky, to sour and bright, to deep, dark and roasty. Tickets include entry to this year’s Barrel Aged Beer Bash, a tasting guide and commemorative glass for you to keep. 

Citilites at the Schuster Center will host a wine event this Saturday, Feb. 18. This photo was taken last month at the Winter Brewster & Spirits event. Photo from Citilites Facebook page
Photo: Staff Writer

Jan. 13 


Citilites Dayton, Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton 


The Winter Wine Festival will feature over 50 wines. Visit themed stations and explore wines with experts at each station, including representatives from Banfi Wines, Terra D’Oro Winery, Prisoner Wine Company, Napa Cellars, Neyers Vineyards, Conn Creek, Piatelli and many more. A buying guide will be provided for attendees to make notes, and retail purchases will be available at the end of the event. There will be a 10 percent discount on cases purchased. Tickets include samples from each wine station, an artisan cheese and charcuterie station and parking in the Arts Garage. 

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The Bloody Mary Showdown took place Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Jan. 14 


Montgomery County Fair & Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton 


The Bloody Mary Showdown returns for a third year. First year defending champ MacKenzie Manley from Mack's Tavern tied last year with Scott Conrad from Vue Ultra Lounge. The audience judges this event. After tasting the bloody's, they vote for the winner, as well as best garnish and best decor. Purchase your judging credentials for $25, which gives you the chance to taste eight 4-ounce Bloody Mary's and one vote for your favorite. Upgrade to VIP tickets for $40, and you'll get early entry at 11 a.m. and 12 tasting tickets as well as two votes for your favorite. 

People appeared to have plenty of fun at the 2014 Cincy Winter Beerfest. The 2015 Cincy Winter Beerfest will be held at the Duke Convention Center Feb. 13-14. CONTRIBUTED

Feb. 2-3 


Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St, Cincinnati 


Breweries and beer enthusiasts from across the region will gather in early February in Cincinnati to sample hundreds of craft beers (more than 400 according to organizers) in all styles and flavors. The weekend event has many components, but at the end of the day, regular admission purchased in advance is $45 and will buy you 25 samples in a 5 oz. souvenir acrylic mug. Admission day of is $55. 

Feb. 10 


Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club, 1400 E 5th St, Dayton 


Celebrate the end of prohibition with the Chardon Polka Band at Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club. There will be door prizes, a costume contest (think 1930s), Charleston contest, drink specials and merriment. $3 members, $5 guests and some of the best deals on beer in town. 

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Feb. 24 


Jungle Jim's International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield 


Calling back to the days of speakeasies and a drink on the sly, Jungle Jim’s Whiskey Fest: Prohibition-Style is taking on a new name, but promises the same satisfying experience with a few surprises along the way. A general admission ticket provides eight samples and a bonus cocktail, access to master distillers, and, of course, some delicious bites to eat throughout the night. All ticket options feature music by The Dirty Shirleys, food from the in-house Oscar Kitchen, and the opportunity to purchase hand-rolled cigars to enjoy throughout the night. 

Heather Schuyler, bartender, and Bill Castro, co-owner of El Meson, celebrate two first place wins in the Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders event on Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer



Primetime Party Rental, 5225 Springboro Pike, Moraine 


Bill Castro of El Meson is the defending first-place champion, and Joshua Dotson and Travis of Carver's Restaurant will be defending their People's Choice 2017 win. More than 10 area bartenders will create their own signature Buckeye Vodka cocktail. You vote for who you think has the best drink. Each restaurant will also have food as well. Restaurants include: Basil's On Market, Carvers Steaks & Chops, Coco's Bistro, elé Cake Co. Bistro, Wine Bar, El Meson, Lily's Bistro, Meadowlark, Mr. Boro's Tavern, Roost, Watermark Restaurant, Wheat Penny Oven and Bar and more. Tickets are $20 in advance and include food samples from each restaurant and four drink samples. Additional flight cards are $5. 

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Connoisseurs investigate and sample the hundreds of varieties of wine at the 2014 Cincinnati International Wine Festival. CONTRIBUTED

MARCH 8-9 


Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati 


The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is the nation's second longest running charitable wine festival. Half of your ticket immediately goes to support 36 different charities. Over the past 27 years, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival has raised $5.3 million for local charities. 

There are special winery dinners, grand tastings, a charity auction and luncheon. More than 700 new, rare and exciting wines from more than 250 wineries around the world are available to sample, while guests enjoy delicious food and a silent auction. Whether you're a seasoned expert or an intrigued beginner, winemakers and winery representatives welcome you as they pair their useful knowledge with exquisite samples of their art. The education sessions are definitely worth checking out if you are looking to learn. 

This craft beer and food-pairing event was held Feb. 4, 2017 at the historic Masonic Center in downtown Dayton. More than 30 local and national breweries were involved, offering more than 75 beers. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM

March 10 


Dayton Convention Center, 22 East Fifth St., Dayton 


The details so far on this are slim, but the date has been posted and organizers promise more information on beer, food and ticket information. This is a must for craft beer lovers, so save the date and stay turned. 

The Dayton Art Institute's Bourbon & Bubbles event, held Friday, April 21, will offer tastings of several bourbons and Champagnes.
Photo: Staff Writer

April 20 


The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton 


Celebrate spring with an artsy cocktail party in the beautiful setting of the museum's Shaw Gothic Cloister and Great Hall. Bourbon & Bubbles features handcrafted bourbons, refreshing bubbly, gourmet bites, tasty treats, and entertainment. Tickets are on sale now and priced at $60 for museum members and $75 for non-members. Last year was this event's first year and it sold out weeks before, so get tickets now while you still can. Watch for more information in January about an exclusive VIP package. More event info can be found by visiting http://bit.ly/2gYX9p7 

Contact this reporter at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com