With an abundance of great suppliers and producers in and around Bristol, it's little wonder that we also have some amazing tasting events in the city every month. We've slurped, swilled and quaffed our way around all the finest spirit, beer and wine tasting events in Bristol to create this definitive must-visit list – it's a hard job, but somebody's got to dot it. Whether you fancy a brewery tour at one of Bristol's many epic microbreweries, a gin tasting in a hidden speakeasy, or simply a delicious wine tasting in the city's historic wine cellar, we've got you covered.
If you're more of a bottomless prosecco brunch fan, check out our guide to the very best in town here.
Rum aficionados, you're gonna like this Wriggle. This month, The Clockwork Rose's Rum Club is honouring Botran Rum with a special tasting event. You'll have the pleasure of listening to guest speaker Pete Thornton who's returning with a selection of 5 Rums from the Botran range for you to sample, including the Reserva Blanca, 8 year, 12 year, 15 year and 18-year-old rums. Your ticket includes a welcome drink, tasting of all the rums and The Clockwork Rose signature final pairing. Talk about a Wednesday night treat!
On Thursday 30th May The Milk Thistle have a real treat for you at their famous Gin Club, with not one, not two, but FIVE fabulous gins for you to try! What’s more, the evening will be hosted by Alix Walker, one of the spirit industry’s most dynamic and respected characters, meaning you’re in for quite the night of entertainment, education and cocktails! This Wriggle will entitle you three delicious cocktails, nibbles, a tutored tasting and some neat tasters of the range – winning!
Are you a sucker for Rom-Com movies? Do you enjoy the fuzzy feeling you get after watching a great romantic comedy movie? Then head over to Bristol Film Festival and enjoy the classic British rom-com Four Weddings And a Funeral, paired with wines that are perfect for weddings. Expect a tasting flight of fun and fruity wines perfect for a summer celebration, with a guided tasting led by a resident Averys expert.
Bristol Craft Beer Festival brings together the best of Bristol's breweries along with the most creative beers from the rest of the UK and around the world.This festival showcases what puts Bristol at the forefront of the worldwide craft beer scene - it's creativity and independent spirit. With representation from Wild Beer Co, Wiper & True, Lost & Grounded, Left Handed Giant and many more still to be announced - it really is time to hail the ale!
Enjoy festival favourite Casablanca this Summer – back by popular demand after two sell-out screenings – in the stunning setting of Averys Wine Merchants’ historic wine cellar. Following a sparkling wine reception, the film will be accompanied by a tasting of four carefully selected wines that have connections with key characters and locations. Expect American, French and German wines, and even one from Casablanca – albeit not the one you might expect.
Summer is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than to join Bristol Ferry Boats for a fun-filled evening aboard one of their iconic ferry boats? Cruising around the sun-soaked harbour, sipping on cocktails whilst taking in the sights and sounds of Bristol's bustling waterfront... sounds good, doesn't it?
Setting sail from the Cascade Steps, right in the city centre, you'll make waves around the docks on a two hour tour, whilst sitting back, relaxing and unwinding with two nautical-themed Juniper Jollies Gin cocktails which promise to tickle the taste buds of any landlubber! Bristol Ferry will make a few stops along the way to tell you a bit more about the gin scene in Bristol.
Hawkes Cider-making team are down at Two Belly for a tasting session that is not to be missed. If you’ve not heard of them before, Hawkes are London’s Urban Cider Makers. Led by Head Cidermaker Roberto Basilico, Roberto brings his winemaking expertise to the cider scene, pushing innovation and blurring lines. For this session, Hawkes will be taking you through the range, including the core hero Urban Orchard, the single variety wonder Soul Trader and a never-before-released Methode Traditionelle cider that will convert any champagne drinker into the wonderful way of apples.
And what better way than to try all these wonderful ciders than to pair them with Two Belly's amazing range of British Farmhouse cheeses?
Two Belly is excited to welcome Alvar and Veronika Roosimaa of Jaanihanso, all the way from Estonia, who will be in town for Cider Salon. They will be introducing and extolling the virtues of 5 of their fine ciders, talking you through each, whilst Two Belly serves the cheese. What better opportunity to explore the finer aspects of fermented apples than in good company, and surrounded by cheese?
Vintage Screenings combine fantastic films with themed wine tastings in the stunning setting of Averys Wine Merchants’ historic wine cellar. Wriggle your way over there to enjoy Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning role as a runaway princess in Roman Holiday.
Take your seats in Averys cellars, accompanied by a mouth-watering selection of wines picked by Averys resident experts - in keeping with the film's beautiful Italy setting, these will be showcasing some of the highlights from this nation so famed for its wine production.
Are you a snob for everything vintage? Do you highly appreciate vintage films? Then, this is the Wriggle you've been waiting for! Bristol Film Festival is bringing you a vintage screening combined with a themed wine tasting in the stunning setting of Averys Wine Merchants' historic wine cellar.
Back by popular demand, Sideways is the quintessential vintage screening movie – just don't mention Merlot! Drink along to this surprise comic hit, which follows two amateur wine tasters on a misadventure through Santa Barbara Wine County, with a selection of delicious Pinot Noir.
This year's Summer of Wine event has found a new home with the recently renovated Engine Shed, next to Temple Meads Station. The team is taking over the whole venue to offer the ultimate tasting experience with over 100 wines to taste from around the world, including their top picks for summer, staff highlights, and new arrivals. Avery's Cellar will be welcoming many of their favourite wine-makers and producers to the tasting to give you insider knowledge on all things wine. On top of that, they'll be hosting free to join master class sessions throughout the day focusing on some of the hot topics of wine today. Haven't you always dreamed of hearing the latest wine gossip?
This Wriggle includes a glass of Champagne on arrival, unlimited sampling, and a tasting booklet.
Setting sail from the Cascade Steps, right in the city centre, make waves around the docks on a two-hour tour, whilst sitting back, relaxing and unwinding with two nautical-themed Rum cocktails which promise to tickle the taste buds of any landlubber! Bristol Ferry will make a few stops along the way to tell you a bit more about the rum scene in Bristol.
Fancy trying loads of different types of Bristol brewed beers? If so, this brilliantly beery event is your golden opportunity! Bristol Hoppers are organising a sociable afternoon out where you can try 8 different type of Bristol Brewed beers and have a good stretch of the old legs.
Meet at Bristol Beer Factory brewery tap room, then stroll down North Street, as this is where Upfest, (Europe's largest live graffiti & street art festival) is held, so many buildings are covered with new artwork each year. You'll stop twice at different pubs for a half of locally produced cask beer and some bar snacks along the way. When you reach the harbourside, by Wapping Wharf, you'll be given some facts about Bristol historic docks' interesting past. The fourth and final refreshment stop is Wild Beer. These guys brew about half an hour outside of Bristol and embrace individuality. A member of their team will talk you through three of their own fabulous and unusual beers as you drink them.
Every Friday & Saturday: Local Gin Tasting @ The Rummer | £25
Hidden away down a picturesque back street in Bristol's Georgian-era arcade is the Rummer Hotel. Whilst its main trade is the excellent hotel and bar, underneath this gorgeous building lies a secret micro-distillery that makes Bristol Dry Gin. Well, it's not a secret any more, since David and his team now host epic gin tasting events every Friday and Saturday, where you get to sample not only their very own gin, made a few metres away from your seat, but also gins from four other local Bristol gin producers. A proper taste of Bristol indeed.
Make Fridays fun again. With this Wriggle, you'll be embarking on a voyage of beer discovery - with a guided tasting and short tour with local brew experts Wiper & True Brewery. This tour is shorter than their usual weekend tours, focusing on the beer while giving you Wrigglers a glimpse into the inner workings of the brewery itself! You'll be enjoying 4 x 1/3 Wiper & True Beers throughout the hour as you are guided through the flavours. Get your mates on board, and grab this Wriggle while you can - this tour makes a fab kick-start to your Friday night plans.
One of Bristol's best-loved brewers, Wiper and True invite you down to see where the magic happens in their St Werburghs' brewery. You'll get to see the end to end brewing process which has gained the guys such a large reputation, hear about the W & T history, sample an exclusive beer that they only serve on site in the brewery, and enjoy a drink or too in the taproom. Be rude not to grab a few more for the road as well.
Hidden down a side street in Stokes Croft is the unassuming Croft Ales Brewery who are serving up some tasty, tasty beers for thirsty Bristolians. As well as being a buzzing bar at the weekend, they also offer a really good tour of their facilities with the added bonus of being able to polish off four of their concoctions afterwards. Lush.
Brew brains rejoice! This is a fun and informal tour where you'll discover the ins and outs of a working brewery– and also meet fellow beer enthusiasts from the city. The tour takes about thirty minutes, and afterwards you'll get to enjoy some properly tasty drinks - three 1/3 pints – fresh from the tank! Staying open til late, the taproom is the perfect place to chill and sip a few bevvies that aren't available anywhere else in the world. The Moor Beer Company are UK pioneers of unfined beers, meaning that all their beer has been vegan friendly for over a decade - impressive!
What could be more decadent and easier on the beauty sleep than a bottomless two-course lunch?! Sitting and admiring the view over Bristol from the inside of Zerodegrees, you will be enjoying bottomless prosecco along two courses of mighty fine food. The Prosecco itself is from Doc Belstar, Conti Neri, Italy, with hints of pears and white peaches on the palette.
Bristol Wine School | £30 - £150
Bristol Wine School offer a huge variety of grape-based events to help you further your wine knowledge. From tasting sessions, to food & wine pairings, all the way up to 4 week courses, there's something here to match your ambition.
Clifton Wine School | £22.50 - £325
Clifton Wine School will take you on a tour around the wine world, with plenty of events focused on specific regions of wine excellence. They also offer regular food pairing events and wine courses that last up to 8 weeks. Your journey to being a master sommelier starts here.
English Wine Tasting Cycling Tour | £40
For something a little different, why not focus your attention on the great wine that's grown and produced around England? Sample award-winning English wines whilst enjoying picturesque backdrops of Bristol and Somerset. Did we mention you'll be on your bike? Don't worry, Bristol has one of the most extensive car-free cycle networks in the country so you'll be plodding along flat cycle paths with beautiful scenery. Can't get better than that.