Balmain Rozelle - Food and Art Festival 2021
The inaugural Balmain Rozelle Food and Art Festival ran from 17-28 March 2021. Organised by the Balmain Rozelle Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local businesses McGrath (Cindy Kennedy), White Bay Brewery and Inner West Council, the entire event was designed around local businesses and artists showcasing their best within the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Whisky Enlightenment already widely known within the community through regular attendance at Orange Grove Markets, whisky and gin tastings and other events we were delighted to add a bit of our distinctive flair to the local night life.. We collaborated with wonderful local chefs, pairing their fantastic food with our signature whiskies, gins, liqueurs and bespoke cocktails. Sketches of local sights by Drawing Georgia, our resident Whisky Enlightenment artist, decorated our pop-ups as our contribution to the ‘Art’ element of the festival. Whisky Enlightenment go all
The Balmain Rozelle Food and Wine Festival was a fantastic opportunity for Whisky Enlightenment to showcase the amazing products currently being produced by the Australian Craft Distillery Industry. And with every event sold out, it was great to see the local Balmain and Rozelle Community turn out in support of the festival’s first outing.
During the festival we partnered with ‘The Lodge’, ‘Wilhelmina’s’, ‘Corner Bar’ and ‘The Royal Oak’ and ran a whisky walking tour of Balmain. Whisky Enlightenment also designed a number of Pop up Shops and events to showcase products from Corowa, Craft Works, Hold Fast, Joadja, Newcastle and Riverbourne Distilleries. As cocktails, mixers and neat drams, Whisky Enlightenment was able to showcase each and every current release from these amazing Distilleries over the course of the
Following a series of “Pop Up Shops” our first sit-down event was at the iconic bar Wilhelmina’s for our “Weekend Vibes” event. Despite the hundred-year storms threatening to put a damper on the day, our thirsty guests managed to swim up to the bar and sit back and let us serve them up some amazing drinks and food combinations. Showcasing our range of small batch clear spirits and liqueurs, this was the largest combination of neat expressions and mixed drinks we have ever done. The team at Wilhelmina’s ensured it was a very well orchestrated event. They didn’t stop shaking drinks until the last minute and everyone had an amazing afternoon sitting inside, watching the torrential rain batter Darling Street. If you have a lazy weekend coming up, we recommend that you check out Wilhelmina’s and let the world pass you by - even if just for an hour or two…
Next up was Corner Bar - The best damn bar in Rozelle. Owner-operator and local personality Lindsay Egan is always knows how to work with us to stage an amazing event. ’Flavours of Summer’ allowed us to finally go ahead with an event that had been largely cancelled due to December’s partial lockdown. For this event our focus was on gin. Neat expressions followed by cocktails meant diners could sit back and engage new and old friends in the cozy, laid back Corner Bar. Once again the team at Corner Bar delivered on an amazing event and worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone had a terrific time. With the Hold Fast Distillery’s very own distiller there in person to host the event, participants were left informed, well fed and well refreshed. Be it for a coffee, a quick bite or an evening out - Corner Bar has you covered with their amazing menu and drinks offerings.
Our final event was held at the Royal Oak Balmain. At this locals’ favourite we wanted to focus on what we love best - Australian Craft Whisky and Rum. This event sold out within days of release, and sold out again once we opened up a third more tickets. Set in the beautiful upstairs function room, punters sampled eight whiskies, three rums and the amazing Joadja Pedro Ximenez. Paired beautifully with food from the Royal Oak’s much-loved menu, each and every expression sampled wasenjoyed by all. With a diverse range of Whiskies on show there was something special for everyone. With over 40 people in attendance, special thanks needs to go to Neil and Chef Keith for keeping the Whisky Enlightenment Team on track and not letting us divert too far from the schedule. . Maureen and her team had never held a Master Class before but after this hugely successful event, look out for more and more to follow.
It has to be said that without the hard work and dedication of the team from the Balmain and Rozelle Chamber of Commerce none of these events would have been possible. With a broader vision for the future, this first festival has certainly demonstrated that the local community supports the festival initiative and cannot wait for the next festival to run. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that next year’s event will be free from COVID restrictions, and that with time the Balmain and Rozelle Food and Art Festival will grow to be one of the premier festivals within the Inner West.
Watch this space for future events that we hold within Sydney and the greater Sydney Area.