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Melbourne boutique drinks festival to launch

Melbourne is set to become a hub for boutique spirits labels when a new drinks festival launches in the city in February.

Top Shelf will take place on 9 February and 10 February at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Centre

Featuring pop-up bars and eateries, and the latest in cocktail technology, Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival welcomes both consumers and industry members to explore the boutique drinks sector.

The event will also host a number of presentations by renowned bartenders and industry leaders, such as International Bartender of the Year Jack McGarry, of New York’s The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, and Harlen Wheatley, master distiller for Buffalo Trace.

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample hundreds of premium and craft products in the boutique drinks market and will have free access to numerous talks and presentations.

A “bar safari” is also open to those is possession of a Top Shelf “passport”, entitling revelers to discounted drinks at some of Melbourne’s most established bars, such as 1806, Black Pearl, and Double Happiness.

Exhibitors at the event include Absolut, The Botanist Gin, Patron, Bruichladdich, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and Hendrick’s Gin.

Top Shelf will be held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building on Sunday 9 February (11am-6pm) and Monday 10 February (11am-5pm).

Tickets cost AU$25 in advance or AU$30 on the door. Entry for those under 18 is free, but they must be accompanied by a responsible guardian at all times.

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