Virtual Tours and Tastings During COVID19

virtual tours and tastings

COVID19 and the Coronavirus has driven people to drink!

According to various reports, demand for many different types of alcohol have spiked, from craft beer, spirits, and wine. Sales of alcoholic beverages were up 58% for the week of March 21, according to Nielsen, with Tequila leading the pack, up 75%. Wine sales were up 66% and beer sales were up 42%. Not knowing how long stay-at-home orders will last, sales of canned beverages soared with canned cocktails up 93% and canned wine up 95%. Another novelty was Corona beer, whose name is similar to coronavirus saw a 50% rise in sales. The big winners have been online alcohol retailers, with Nielsen reporting that online spirits sales were up 243%. Some inners include  Drizly, which saw a 300% increase in sales, Winc, a 578% increase in new member sign ups, Vivino, up 162%, and Vinopro was up 50% since the start of the pandemic.

While sales and interest is up, the pandemic has made it hard for brands to continue to connect with customers. Therefore many companies have gotten creative and are turning to virtual tours and tastings. Here are few that we are aware of, and please add any others to the comments for the enjoyment of our readers.

DISTILLERIES

Whiskey from Home is a half-day interactive online seminar recently announced. See our blog post for more.

Patron Tequila offers a 360 virtual tour through Hacienda Patron on their YouTube channel. If you have Google Cardboard or the ability to watch 360 video on your device, you can look around the for yourself as you’re taking through the tequila making process.

Buffalo Trace has hosted a live virtual tasting with Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, and recently released four virtual tours, including walkthroughs of the mashhouse, the catwalks to the fermenters and stillhouse, and behind-the-scenes tours of Colonel Albert Blanton’s home and aging Warehouse C.

Breckenridge Distillery hosts live virtual tours every Wednesday in April beginning at 5:30 p.m. MT, as well as virtual cocktail workshops with Breck Distillery’s Liquid Chef Billie Keithley. The interactive cocktail workshop teaches you how to make hand-crafted cocktails and offers tips on how you can become an at-home bartender on Thursdays in April at 7:00 p.m. MT.

Woodford Reserve, the official sponsor of the Kentucky Derby is making up for the postponement of this year’s derby with a live stream on May 2nd from 3-3:30 p.m. EST to toast to Kentucky Derby traditions. The live virtual tasting of Woodford’s Bourbon, Double Oaked, and Rye will be led by Chris Morris and Elizabeth McCall.

Old Forester, is hosting virtual cocktail classes with brand ambassador, James Joseph. Register for the upcoming sessions on April 23rd @ 3:00pm EST – 100 Proof, and April 30th @ 3:00pm EST – Rye.

Lux Row is hosting a virtual tasting at 5pm EST  on April 24, on their Facebook Page. Master Distiller, John Rempe, will sample and shares his expertise on Rebel Yell 100, Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon, David Nicholson Reserve, Lux Row 12 Year, and the highly anticipated Blood Oath Pact 6.

Jack Daniels also gives you a 360 look at their iconic Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery via YouTube.

The Macallan, one of the best-known scotch distilleries in the world built a beautiful new 172 million dollar facility in 2018, and now offers 360 virtual tours on their webpage (scroll down quite a bit to view it). So while you may not be able to get to Scotland soon, you can check out their incredible new building.

Glenfiddich, another one of the best-known scotch distilleries in the world takes you over the Speyside countryside in virtual reality 360 and into their Dufftown distillery. You can get a view from inside a mash tun while steaming copper pot stills slide past, fermenters drop down and thousands of casks build up around you in the warehouse.

Ketel One Vodka in Schiedam, Holland not only offers a 360 virtual tour of their 325 year-old facility, but you can also immerse yourself in learning how to make a Ketel One apple cinnamon mule in 360 as well.

Talisker distillery is believed to be the oldest working distillery on the Isl of Skye has also made it possible to explore their distillery via Google Maps.

Penderyn distillery has released a virtual tour of its distillery with global brand ambassador David Cover and includes animations explaining how the stills work. The video is now available on their Facebook page.

Laphroaig distillery is one of the few distilleries that malts by hand and the site has been making whisky for more than 200 years. also offering a 360-degree tour of its idyllic Scotch whisky site on YouTube. You’ll be able to view the peat bogs, the crackling of the kiln and Laphroaig’s journey from water to whisky.

Sipsmith, a London gin distillery has a large distillery in Chiswick, which you can navigate your way through via their YouTube video.

The Kyoto Distillery in Japan, makers of KI NO BI Kyoto dry gin also offer a virtual 360 tour of their distillery.

BREWERIES

Ale Asylum Brewing in Madison, Wisconsin hosting a virtual brewery tour, and highlighted their new brew – #FvckCovid a 14% ABV pilsner. See the replay here on Facebook.

Flossmoor Station Brewing Co. is hosting a Virtual Beer Tasting” on April 30 at 6:30 p.m. CT. However, you have to purchase a 4-pack of our newly-canned Lighten Up Hefe OR a bottle of Disco Wagon #4 to receive a free link to the tasting hosted by Brewmaster Ryan Czaja.

McFleshman’s Brewing Company in Appleton, Wisconsin has been hosting a virtual tasting every Sunday on their Facebook Page.

Yuengling Beer is hosting an Instagram live on April 25 at 5 p.m. EST with a cooking demo led by celebrity chef @kelseybarnardclark and Sheryl Yuengling. They’re teaching you how to make Lager Mac and Cheese and will be talking all things Yuengling.

Sweetwater Brewing‘s popular 420 Extra Pale Ale will be highlighted on Monday, 4/20 with a virtual chat and Q&A on 4/20 at 6:00 p.m. ET. SweetWater’s Head Brewer, Nick Nock will be hanging out to talk about how SweetWater 420 came to be, and answer questions. Atlanta beer aficionado @AleSharpton will be the virtual host and guide the conversation.

Vermont craft brewery and 14th Star Brewery, will be hosting a live virtual tasting on April 24, from 7-8 p.m. ET. The University of Vermont’s Business of Craft Beer Certificate Program Director, Gregory Dunkling, will be joined by 14th Star Brewery’s Brewmaster, walking through the tasting profile and backstory behind their Wingman Golden Lager, Raspberry Vermonter Weiss, Maple Breakfast Stout, and Dive Bomb Hazy Pale Ale.

Union Brewing in Baltimore, MD is doing a virtual tasting and tour on April 24 at 4 p.m. EST with their co-founder, Adam Benesch.

Cyprus Grove Brewing in Assumption, IL hosted a virtual tour on Facebook.

The Craft’d Company has been hosting virtual “Beers with Brewers” on their Facebook page. So far, they’ve had virtual beers with brewers from  Greater Good Imperial Brewing, Crue Brew Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales, and many others over the last several weeks.

Abbeydale Brewery in the UK , allows you to take a virtual tour of the brewery via a walkthrough on Google Maps from the comfort of your own home.

Eden Mill, a Scottish brewery and distillery in St. Andrews, also takes you on a 360 video tour via YouTube.

WINERIES

Kendall Jackson and Wine.com are hosting a live, interactive wine tasting and cooking demo on April 24, from 4-7 p.m. PT hosted by Wine.com’s wine educator, Gwendolyn Osborn and featuring Kendall-Jackson’s Winemaster Randy Ullom, and Executive Chef Justin Wangler. Randy will walk through fan favorites such as Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon while Justin demonstrates 3 recipes from their Season cookbook. Additionally, Winemaster Randy Ullom has been hosting recorded virtual tasings over on Kendall Jackson’s Instagram account

Boisset Collection will be hosting virtual wine tasting sessions with special guests, including a May 6 Wine.com tasting with singer/songwriter John Legend, proprietor and innovator Jean-Charles Boisset, and Wine.com host/educator Gwendolyn Osbornfrom 4-4:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday, May 6 to taste and discuss Boisset Collection’s LVE Provence Rosé and the LVE French Sparkling Rosé.

Wines of Great Britain will host two virtual wine tastings on Instagram Live on April 24. At 7p.m. (UK time) join Sergio @blackbookwinery and Woody @montgomeryvineyard, and at 8 p.m. (UK time) join Brad @winetimelondon, Woody @montgomeryvineyard and Robb @welshwines, for a talk about their wines and what the future holds for the region. Tommy @tommygrims, winemaker at @langhamwinery and part of the @emergingvines, will also be joining them and share his own tasting notes!

The Wineries of British Columbia  are hosting virtual tastings, as well as virtual tours of all of their wineries on their collective website.

Moretti Wines will be hosting a virtual tasting of their new Moretti Sauvignon Blanc and Barbera. Join Antonio and Jeni Moretti on April 25 at 4 p.m. PST on the Taste of Santa Rita Hills & Moretti Wine Co. Facebook page.

Blanchard Family Wines in Denver, CO is hosting a series of virtual tastings during the first two weekends in May. Check out their newly established Virtual Tastings page.

Aridus Wine Company in Arizona is offering personalized virtual wine tastings when you and at least 5 friends buy bottles of their wine. After it’s delivered in the Pheonix/Tucson area (or you pick it up), you can contact them to set up a time and date. They’ll schedule the Zoom meeting and talk you and your friends through the tasting.

.von Stiehl Winery hosted a virtual tasting experience on their Facebook page with Winemaker, Dave Pizzala. he walked through three of their wines paired with unique chocolates. See the replay on Facebook.

Spy Valley Winery in New Zealand also has a cool 360 tour of their winery on YouTube.

Jordan Winery, based in Healdsburg, California is offering a virtual tour here.