The California Rum Fest Hits S.F. Next Weekend

Bourbon might be the brownest of the brown liquors (in the words of Lionel Hutz) but it’s starting to feel like its recent dominance of the world of hard liquor is coming to an end. The party animals (and industry veterans) at the California Rum Fest, held next Saturday, Sept. 12 at Terra Gallery in SOMA, are keen to see the sugar-based spirit supplant its distant cousin from Kentucky.

[jump] Helping elucidate the mysteries of the this sensuous tropical alcohol are Nicholas Feris (a photojournalist who started Seattle’s first rum society, The Rum Collective), longtime bartender and TV personality Dean Serneel, master distiller of Barbados’ Foursquare Distiller Richard Seale, and H. Joseph Erhmann of San Francisco’s own Elixir. It’s about to get way educational up in there.

Beyond, the seminars, it’s also a party. Okay, the language as written on the site sounds a bit like the Rum Fest’s legal department overthrew the marketing team in a coup, but admission gets you three hours worth of rum tastings (24 tickets, each good for a quarter-ounce pour of rum or a shot-sized cocktail). That’s 12 ounces of alcohol, which is designated driver territory for pretty much everyone.

You also get to mingle with some ambassadors to the spirit world, who sound like friendly poltergeists, but who are really the stragglers from the industry segment of the festival that precedes the part that’s open to the public. In any case, it’s rum time!

California Rum Fest, Saturday, Sept. 12, 5-8 p.m., at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison.

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