If you are a wine or craft beer enthusiast, your dream event is coming to the Tyson Events Center on Feb. 16.
The fifth annual Steins and Vines beer and wine tasting festival is in a new location this year with plenty of free parking. There will also be some other changes, according to Dave Grosenheider, director of sales at Powell Broadcasting and event coordinator of Steins and Vines.
“Everything is on the main arena floor," said Grosenheider. “There will be close to 50 booths there that represent over 200 varieties of beer, wine, coffee and energy drinks. We have had coffee and energy drinks for the past couple of years.”
Providing the coffee will be local coffee companies Habitué Coffeehouse and Stone Bru.
Different tiers of tickets are available and range in price from $10 for a designated driver ticket to $40 for a VIP admission. People with designated driver tickets are not allowed to drink any of the alcoholic beverages, but can enjoy the rest of the festivities.
“The first hour, from noon until 1 p.m. is our VIP hour,” said the event coordinator. “The VIP ticket-holders do pay a premium price which includes light hors d’oeuvres from Sneaky’s Chicken…that’s one of the big things during that hour. It’s also an easier setting than when the general admission opens at 1 o’clock. There will be easier access to the sampling.
“Everyone in attendance, whether you are a VIP or general admission, will get a tasting glass. That is a souvenir tasting glass that they keep. The tastings are limited to small pours. According to our tasting event plan, there will be no more than one-ounce pours of wine and two-ounce pours of any brand of beer.”
A few Iowa breweries that will be in attendance: Jackson Street Brewing, Brioux City Brewery and Keg Creek Brewing Co.
Some Iowa wineries in the mix: Broken Kettle Wine Cellars, Grandma’s Fruit Juice Winery, Soldier Creek Winery, Sugar Clay Winery, Tucker Hill Winery and Little Swan Lake Winery.
“One thing that is becoming popular is wine in a can,” said Grosenheider. “Johnson Brothers, one of our distributors, will have wine in a can. Some of the other distributors who are just huge in this event are L & L Distributing, Glazer’s, Johnson Brothers and Cask and Cork. They will have multiple booths at the event.”
Not only will there be plenty of libations to sate your palate, there also will be tasty jazz grooves to tingle your eardrums.
“Everyone who attends will have access to the live entertainment,” said Grosenheider. “This year it is Terry Brooks and Friends.”
If that isn’t enough, you can even learn a thing or two during two separate seminars that are free to attend for any festivalgoer.
“At 2 p.m. is a seminar by Chef Jennifer,” said Grosenheider. “Her seminar is ‘Divine Dining: Find the Perfect Pairing for Any Meal.’ She is with Scout & Cellar and Dashing Dinners Personal Chef Service. At 3 p.m. there is a seminar called ‘Beer Styles Discussion: A Journey through the Variety of Beers as Presented by Sam Doty from Old Chicago.’”
We can’t forget to mention that this is not just an event designed for fun and pleasure; it was also designed as a charity fundraiser.
“Over the past four years we have donated close to $30,000 to local charities,” said the event coordinator. “This year’s recipients include the Ronald McDonald House and the Cosmopolitan Club. The Knights of Columbus games proceeds will be given to the local special Olympics. The Knights of Columbus games this year include hammerschlagen, bean bag toss and the ring toss.”
There will also be light food items from Palmer Candies, Heartland Seafood and Gringo’s Pork Rinds.
Ticket sponsors for the event include Old Chicago, Bar Louie, Clyde’s Grill & Pub, Downtown Liquor and Cork It!- Le Mars.
Tickets can be purchased at www.steinsvines.com/tickets/.
“We limit our capacity to approximately 2,000 people,” said Grosenheider. “I’m expecting we will sell out before the event date."