Recently, alcohol brands are taking it to new levels with unique parties and events, marketing themselves through curated experiences. Some of the world’s biggest booze brands have produced unique events worth posting about in Toronto as of late.
In recent years, Grey Goose has thrown parties and experiences all around the world that cut no corners, impressing even the society circuit regulars who have seen it all. Last summer in Toronto, the premium vodka brand’s Sunset Soiree featured a French-themed elevated picnic in the sprawling backyard of a Bridle Path estate. It included party perks like a gourmet three-course meal, Grey Goose swing sets, live music, fun activations, and a sunset dove/goose balloon release.
This past June, Grey Goose brought a bit the French Riviera flare to Toronto with a pop-up Grey Goose Marché, which took over the grounds of the historic Campbell House for two days on June 21 and 22. In addition to the tasty signature Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz cocktails that flowed freely, the pop-up offered a well-curated selection of goods like seasonal fruit, veggies, fresh-baked baguettes and breads, pastries, macarons, flowers, and preserves – and, naturally, no guest left empty-handed.
As part of the series, Grey Goose also hosted an exclusive dining experience courtesy of executive chef of the Michelin Star-awarded Les Bacchanales in Vence, Paris, attracting the city’s finest for a memorable meal. Each course – made with fresh local ingredients – was paired with a Grey Goose cocktail.
On the beer front, Bud Light Canada launched their all-new Bud Light House Party Tour this summer, with stops in three cities across the country. Attached to these parties – held in Toronto, Vancouver (August 1), and Montreal (later this summer) – are massive headlining artists. On July 11 in Toronto, in a residential house (the location was announced an hour before the event), chart-topper Ty Dolla $ign surprised the crowd with special guest Jeremih before they performed their new song, “The Light,” for the first time ever.
The party was free of charge and, and fans – who were chosen at random – had the chance to gain access to the party by signing up at Bud Light Canada. Those unable to join in person were able to watch and interact through live streams on Bud Light Canada’s social media channels (likely giving themselves a wave of inevitable FOMO in the process).
Inspired by Bud Light USA and the success of its Bud Light Dive Bar tour – an initiative that brought famous artists like John Mayer back to the venues of their early years – the Canadian tour offers a chance to kick back house party-style, offering a more low-key vibe than at a massive concert. “Bud Light stands for bringing people together through music and unique experiences, shared over a beer,” said Todd Allen, VP of Marketing, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “And the house party is bringing some of today’s biggest artists back to their roots; before the stadium tours and sold out venues, it all started in a house surrounded by friends.”
Meanwhile, on King Street, Stella Artois transformed a full city block of the now mostly car-free street into a talking point-full European streetscape for the summer to encourage pavement pounders to slow down and savour the simple pleasures. Café Artois kicked off on Thursday, June 7, and offered activations summer long, including a European-inspired patio space on King Street, a special “Stella Artois & Starters” menu, and scheduled entertainment, featuring live music, games, and chalice engraving. Participating establishments included CIBO Wine Bar, Fynn’s of Temple Bar, Spice Route, Bier Markt, and Elephant and Castle.
Gin brand Bombay Sapphire has also made appearances with some notable experiences throughout the Toronto recently. This year, their Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series featured the first-ever visual art exhibition of Canadian pop sensation Lights. Finding Your Power: Skin & Earth was a 15-piece original art show featuring never-before-seen drawings from her vibrant comic book creations that took over the Artscape Sandbox for two days in June.
The multi Juno Award-winning artist’s exhibition was designed to encourage Canadians to submit to the Bombay Sapphire art competition, an initiative that seeks to find the country’s next great emerging artist and take their career to the next level. In addition to her debut art exhibit, Lights will judge the Toronto reveal of finalists this fall. The contest is open to artists over the age of 25, and participants could submit their art until July 11. The winner will collaborate with Artsy on a public installation and will receive a $10,000 USD stipend.
Globally, Corona is offered a beer-filled excuse to party with its global Sunsets Festival. Making its Canadian debut, the event celebrated the magic moment of the sunset coast to coast in five cities on one night on August 11, including a large scale event in Toronto held at the sprawling Sunnyside Pavillion. Partygoers were met with a variety of local vendors, amazing experiences, and music from Hot Chip DJ Set, Thomas Jack, Christian Löffler, and Nitin. Those who couldn’t make it could livestream the entire cross country festival online at Coronasunsets.ca
If you missed any of these events, it’s safe to say that next summer will be just as full of unique booze brand-backed experiences – maybe even more so.