Gin and Juice, makes its long-awaited return to Long Beach for its fifth annual celebration, with a delectable palette of gins and the unveiling of a rare, local spirit. The festival will take over Roxanne’s, Willie’s Tin Shop Distillery, and the Wardlow studio along Wardlow Road in the California Heights District from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 24.
In addition, their main event will be a brand-new liquor; a rare barrel-aged gin, Pine Avenue, will be headlining the evening. In addition, the release of the limited edition liquor will also be in collaboration with acclaimed street artist, Prime.
Each bottle will be numbered and features a signed note from the master distiller detailing the secrets of the recipe wrapped in a box designed by Prime himself, with a digital recreation belonging to one person for the rest of time. Working with the creative team at the Wardlow studio, Willie’s created its first and only non-fungible token.
“We got a team of creators, web developers, and 3-D graphic design artists that are going to be showcasing what the metaverse is like using the Oculus system,” said Jim Torres, creative director at the Wardlow.
Through the VR experience, participants can explore a virtual space that hosts a virtual Long Beach with several galleries that feature artworks from local artists throughout the city.
Though the Gin and Juice festival will be hosted in California Heights, that doesn’t mean that the whole of Long Beach won’t get in on the action. That’s where the juice in the title comes in, which will feature local vendors who are taking part in the return of Mi Vida Local, a Long Beach centric marketplace.
Local clothing brand, Stay Anchored LB, and legendary retail and recording studio, World Famous VIP Records will make appearances. The Long Beach Heritage Museum will also participate, featuring a display of antiquities and photographs reflecting the progression of historical Pine Avenue in Long Beach.
“It’s wonderful, it’s exciting, and we really have Willie’s to thank for that,” Torres said.
For additional refreshments, Verdes, a cold-press juice bar will be present alongside North Long Beach’s local favorite, Aguas Way and its aguas frescas. Roxanne’s will also host a series of live musicians including local Sublime cover band, Santeria.
Tickets are on sale now on EventBrite and also include a limited edition Willie’s tote bag, 100 ml bottle of Pine Ave, access to all festival fun, with a complimentary cocktail.
By Carter Williams II
Photo credit: Gin and Juice