Crafted in Santa Cruz Wrap-Up: Celebrating 2 Years of Event Santa Cruz!
Written by Molly Lautamo (mollylautamo.com)
Event Santa Cruz celebrated its 2 year anniversary on September 17th at the newly opened Venus Spirits Distillery with yet another awesome event, but this time with a slight twist.
The night featured some of the talented makers in our community who have followed their passion and now make a living crafting artisanal goods from beer to hand-carved guitars.
This time the night’s speakers also demonstrated their craft in 4 minutes or less, requiring a bit of creativity.
(Check out the Crafted in Santa Cruz Kickstarter campaign for your chance to back this community of makers and get an awesome t-shirt!)
The night began with tastings of Venus Spirits’ signature gin, Wayward Whiskey, and El Ladrón Blue Agave Spirit inside the new tasting room designed by Stripe Design Group. Attendees sipped their spirits at a stunning copper bar lit by vintage filament bulbs. Black wooden chevron shelves display bottles filled with spirits from crystal clear to amber and gray and white tile that matches their Ladrón label design covers an entire wall. The whole effect is a classy space that’s both modern and rustic. There’s nothing like it in Santa Cruz and it makes you feel wonderfully misplaced.
Outside the tasting room as the sun swiftly set, a variety of vendors showed off their craft, including MÄKSĒ BAR, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Sojourn Box, Ashby Confections, Ventana Surfboards, and Farm Ranch Productions. Guests also had their choice of Equinox wine or beer from Uncommon Brewers.
The night’s featured guests described the process behind their craft from an outside stage in front of Venus Distillery. Here’s what you missed:
Sean Venus from Venus Spirits poured a fragrant mix of juniper, cardamom, coriander, orange rinds, lavender, and other herbs into a large glass jar of water to demonstrate how to make his famous gin.
Nick Pavlina of Humble Sea Brewery gave everyone a short lesson on brewing and built excitement around their upcoming tap room. (You can’t find their beer anywhere yet but that should change soon!)
Matthew Armstrong of Mutari Chocolate (pronounced Mu-dari) explained the importance of sourcing your cacao beans and revealed that the grinding process can take almost 40 hours!
Richard Hoover of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company demonstrated the difference in sound between a hand-carved guitar and one that’s mass-produced.
Lisa Bibbee of the Samurai Seamstress donned her very first creation (a skirt made of her mother’s vintage scarves) and brought up a friend to model another of her up-cycled designs.
Jefferson Shallenberger of Sugar Percussion kept the crowd spellbound with his story of how crippling self-doubt resulted in crafting some of the highest quality percussion instruments – one even made it to the Oscars where it was played by Maroon Five drummer Matt Flynn.
Last but not least, the entertaining local cover band Coffee Zombie Collective ended the night with hilarious renditions of songs from a variety of groups, from Outkast to Radiohead.
The crowd left buzzing with the happy, inspired energy unique to Event Santa Cruz nights. It’s the kind of energy that results when you’re reminded of how lucky you are to live in a community that embraces creativity and supports people pursuing their craft in many shapes and forms.
Don’t forget to check out the Crafted in Santa Cruz Kickstarter campaign and get a t-shirt!
Don’t miss out next event at the Tannery