It began with a conversation at a bar in November 2011 and has grown into one of the premier cocktail culture events in the country. A unique showcase for bartender artistry in all its forms - cocktails, fine art, photography, sculpture, music and more - Art Beyond the Glass is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Sunday, June 26, 2016. Online tickets are $60 and are now available at Eventbrite.
"Five years and my love and passion for this city's bar community has only grown," says ABTG co-founder and Courvoisier National Brand Ambassador, Zahra Bates. "I am blown away by their creativity, compassion and incredible devotion to one another. I hope this year is just as wild, weird and wonderful as every other year."
The fifth annual Art Beyond the Glass is taking place at Resident, a stunning indoor-outdoor venue located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. The multi-use space features a beer garden with a converted Spartan Trailercoach on the expansive patio, a craft cocktail program overseen by Randy Tarlow (Liquid Alchemist) and a curated live music and DJ experience.
Tarlow says, "We are thrilled to have Resident chosen to host the fifth anniversary of Art Beyond the Glass, and couldn't be more proud to partner with this organization to help showcase the talents and artistic ventures of L.A. bartenders, while raising funds for a local charity."
"A rich history of community and artistic expression are ingrained in the foundation of Resident," he continues. "These ideals are procured by our eclectic music and innovative beverage programs. We extend a warm welcome to Los Angeles to experience a day of artistic creativity at our place and a chance to support the bar industry professionals who work hard to make our evenings taste so delicious."
Since its inception, Art Beyond the Glass has raised more than $57,000 for local cultural nonprofit organizations. ABTG co-founder and Thirsty in LA founder, Daniel Djang says, "We are so grateful to the extraordinary family of L.A. bartenders and our wonderful sponsors that have donated their time, talent and product on behalf of these vital nonprofits. From saving an arts facility from closing to restoring a historic mural and contributing to the construction of a public radio station and community gathering place, Art Beyond the Glass will continue to make a positive and lasting impact on L.A.'s cultural legacy."
Last year's event - the largest ABTG to date - raised just over $20,000 for KCRW. This year's designated charity is Global Inheritance, an L.A.-based 501c3 nonprofit that develops experiences that educate individuals about global issues and inspire them to take positive actions that create solutions.
"Good things happen when people are inspired creatively," says Dave Stolte, the Home Bar Basics author and ABTG logo designer who has curated the bartender art gallery at every ABTG event. 'I'm proud to be associated with this organization to do what I can to foster creative expression in the bar community and to support a range of vibrant and deserving charities. Art Beyond the Glass is more than a party, more than 'let's put on a show,' it's a boundaries-busting celebration of the creative impulse that unites us all."
ABTG NATIONAL EXPANSION
To coincide with its five-year anniversary, Art Beyond the Glass is going national and expanding for the first time to cities across the country. While the basic concept of showcasing bartender artistry and raising funds for a local cultural nonprofit will remain constant, the national ABTG events will also spotlight the unique spirit of these bar communities and their great cities.
OKLAHOMA CITY: July 17, 2016
The first-ever Art Beyond the Glass outside of Los Angeles is taking place in Oklahoma City on Sunday, July 17, 2016. The inaugural ABTG OKC is being organized by Joshua Cockle, the owner-operator of Winship's Small Batch Bitters. "Oklahoma City has a thriving bar and cocktail scene and we feel this is the perfect event to show what our bartenders do to create art, as well as our great community and their love to support both the bar/cocktail culture as well as the arts and charities."
A chance meeting at Bar Keeper between Cockle and Djang led to an impromptu tour of Downtown L.A. bars and a conversation that inspired Cockle to bring Art Beyond the Glass to Oklahoma City, where he's lived since 1988. "With a young chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild that's burgeoning into one of the most active in the country, we have a great base of people eager to participate in ABTG. Our bartending culture is rich with musicians and artists alike. We cannot wait for the opportunity to show what our city has to offer!"
CHICAGO: August 14, 2016
A participating bartender at ABTG III in 2014, Elizabeth Mickiewicz is leading the team in Chicago, which will host Art Beyond the Glass on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. An alum of the Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales of the Cocktail, Mickiewicz is a U.S. Brand Ambassador for The House of Angostura and a Chicago Whiskey Guardian for Angel’s Envy. Mickiewicz moved from L.A. to Chicago to open Bordel and went to drumBAR after that.
"ABTG is everything we need to be doing as a bar community," says Mickiewicz. "Nurturing and highlighting the artistic talents within our Industry, while raising money for the arts. It's a beautiful thing when bartenders and brands can get together in such an impactful way."
"Chicago is an extremely inspiring environment to live and work," she continues. "Chicago is the perfect city to help take ABTG national - the bar community really looks out for one another; the sense of camaraderie is palpable. The desire to do new and creative things both behind the bar and in the kitchen is citywide."
LAS VEGAS: Fall 2016
Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch are integral members of the ABTG team and have been essential to the event's growth and its readiness to go national in Year Five. The dynamic duo recently moved to Las Vegas to open their own bar and will be bringing ABTG to the city this fall.
"Five years is only the first of many milestones for us," says Katz. "Every year our bar community and the city converge, mix, celebrate, and give a little more to ensure the arts remain a visible and viable part of L.A."
"ABTG Year One was the moment I truly fell in love with Los Angeles," says Crouch. "Art Beyond the Glass has been something I've been honored to be a part of - for me, it is a manifestation of everything that I love that has kept me addicted to this industry: camaraderie, community, charity, nostalgia and art. Plus, there's day drinking - which is my favorite."
"This year is going to be the best yet and I am wildly excited to take ABTG national - sharing the magic that can only be felt by attending the actual event. Art seems to be the best way to see into the spirit of an individual and a community, and I look forward to seeing that happen in other cities."