"The joy is in the journey; the discovery process is very much part of what we are trying to encourage at KAABOO." -- Bryan Gordon, KAABOO creator
Discovery indeed. With an astounding selection of 50 craft beers, 30 wineries and 75 wines, and over 30 craft spirits, Kaaboo provides a veritable cornucopia of drink choices for guests.
As festival organizers Bryan Gordon and Chris Brown note, it isn't just about creating another music festival, but highlighting other aspects of culture that encompass the KAABOO idea, including art, food and drink.
"We put a great deal of attention into everything else that surrounds the music so that there is a very strong ensemble cast," Gordon said.
In wonderful symmetry, each room of the Palate and Indulgences building will host a culinary theme, with wine, spirits and cocktails carefully paired with that particular cuisine. Examples include Mexican food with Baja wines and tequila, sushi with Japanese craft beer and spirits, and contemporary American with California wine and spirits.
Under Gordon's vision, Cindy Lasar, director of culinary operations, strives to wow guests with a variety of experiences.
"It's just so exciting what's happening in San Diego right now!" she said.
For wine fans, the possibilities are wonderfully diverse and impressive. Thirty wineries will be pouring their selections, including the famous Chateau Montelena, La Sirena,
and sustainable winery J.W. Thomas from Napa; Lomita, Monte Xanic, Torres Alegre and Adobe Guadalupe from Mexico; local wineries Orfila and Domaine Artefact; and even Bon Affair, a healthy version of wine spritzer seen on TV's "Shark Tank." In between swirling and sipping, don't miss the special book signing, presentation and Q&A session with Rex Pickett, author of "Sideways," at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 on the Palate Stage.
Craft spirit and cocktail lovers will be raising glasses to the locally themed distillery choices, with San Diego's own Malahat, Kill Devil and Old Harbor alongside crowd favorites Sammy's Beach Bar Rum
from Hawaii, Hangar One Vodka from Redlands and Casamigos Tequila from Mexico. Italy's famous digestif Fernet-Branca, a San Diego favorite for late nights, pulls double duty as a crowd pleaser and panacea to any tummy-aches from gourmet food binges. Cocktail fanatics shouldn't miss the mixology session with Snake Oil Cocktail Co. at 3 p.m. Friday Sept. 18 on the Palate Stage, followed by a chef band performance with Snake Oil and George's at the Cove at 4 p.m.
Craft-beer fanatics, your suds will be flowing in the Craft Beer Garden in Plaza de Mexico, with over 50 selections, including KAABOO official partner Sierra Nevada with a variety of its beers available. On the local front, 30-plus breweries will be in attendance, from big names like Green Flash, Karl Strauss and Pizza Port to cult favorites Alpine and Societe.
Get those glasses up, filled with wine, craft beer, or cocktails, and cheers to the success of KAABOO's first year in San Diego!
With 15 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 700 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.