It doesn’t take long for the denizens of the Gulf Coast to recover from Mardi Gras.
Even when Fat Tuesday practically storms in on the heels of Christmas, we manage to jump straight from the cacophony of Carnival to the splendor of spring, where events start packing every weekend of the calendar. There are cook-offs of myriad varieties, flower festivals, art walks, music festivals. The list goes on, but I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my personal favorites are the events with booze, and there are plenty to choose from.

Before your weekends get too full, here’s an early look at just some of the events to pencil in on the calendar.

Inaugural Chandyfest
Chandeleur Brewing Company of Gulfport, Mississippi, is celebrating its first anniversary with the inaugural Chandyfest at the brewery Saturday, March 26, starting at noon.

The event will feature music by Party at the Moontower, Right Lane Bandits and Blackwater Brass, food from various Gulfport eateries and the release of Chandeleur’s anniversary beer, Big Smack Double IPA.

Cain Roberds, one of the partners in the brewery along with his twin brother, Cam, is a Fairhope resident and was the general contractor for both the startup and expansion at Fairhope Brewing Co. The brewery is located at 2711 14th St. in downtown Gulfport.

Firkin Fest
Firkin Fest returns for the third year to Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Mobile on April 2.

The festival highlights the creative potential and mysterious nature of a firkin — essentially a 10.8-gallon keg — in which brewers often put a flavorful twist on their beers. Previous entries have included imperial porter dosed with peppers and vanilla, stout with peanut butter and jelly, IPAs with massive amounts of hops and wheat beer with plantation-grown tea, to name a few.

(Photo | facebook.com/MoesOriginalBBQMobileAlabama) The Great Firkin Fest returns to Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Mobile April 2, highlighting the creative small-batch potential of a 10.8-gallon keg.

(Photo | facebook.com/MoesOriginalBBQMobileAlabama) The Great Firkin Fest returns to Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Mobile April 2, highlighting the creative small-batch potential of a 10.8-gallon keg.


The third iteration of the popular event will feature unique casks from Yellowhammer Brewing, Back Forty Beer Co., Cahaba Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Tallgrass Brewing Co., Fairhope Brewing Co., Black Warrior Brewing Co., Rocket Republic Brewing Co., Avondale Brewing, Grayton Beer Co. and Druid City Brewing, as well as sneak peeks from two local breweries-in-progress, Serda Brewing Co. in Mobile and Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores.

Tickets — which include live music by Winston Ramble, Festival Expressions and the Mulligan Brothers — are $22 in advance and $25 on the day of the event.

Doors open at 2 p.m. Firkins will be tapped during a special ceremony at 2:30 p.m. and awards will be given out at 5:30 p.m.

Food and wine event planned at GulfQuest
The Mobile Food + Wine Experience will be holding its 2016 Grand Tasting at the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum on April 23 starting at 6 p.m.

The event will feature a wide variety of wines from Gulf Coast wine distributors, as well as food from some of Mobile’s best restaurants and caterers.

According to its website, the Mobile Food + Wine Experience is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) “founded by a group of local food and wine enthusiasts that gather around the table to celebrate our passion for wine education, local culture and economic development.”

Tickets to the event, which include access to GulfQuest exhibits, are $60.

Dan Murphy is a Certified Cicerone® and the founding brewer at Fairhope Brewing Co. Follow him on Instagram @Grand_Krewe and on Twitter @Beer_Man_Dan.