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Presented by Audi Virginia Beach

Proceeds to benefit The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation

November 2, 2019


You're invited to experience the 2nd annual Virginia Bourbon Invitational at The Historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club. Join us for an afternoon of bourbon and other spirit tastings from Virginia distilleries and beyond. Cast your vote for your favorite bourbon in our People’s Choice Awards. Plus, enjoy tapas-style food from leading culinary restaurants in Coastal Virginia and live music on the Great Lawn of The Historic Cavalier Hotel.



 Participating Distilleries:

  • Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

  • Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co

  • Blue Sky Distillery

  • Reservoir Distillery

  • Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

  • KO Distilling

  • Virago Spirits

  • Three Crosses

  • Dida's Distillery

  • Copper Fox Distillery

  • Ironclad Distillery

  • Smooth Ambler Spirits

  • Maker’s Mark

  • Lux Row Distillers

  • Heaven Hill Distillery

  • Chesapeake Bay Distillery


Meet The Judges



Ashley Horner

Ashley Horner is a mother, a local business owner, and a hard core professional athlete. She is the owner of a coffee/whiskey bar, American Brew, and a private 24-hour training facility, America Sled Dogs. 

She is a major philanthropist, having raised money for Maison Fortune Orphanage and St. Jude Children’s Hospital through her athletic feats. 

Horner also started The Unbroken Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps women who are getting back on their feet after leaving domestic violence situations by providing them employment through her businesses.


Markus Schmidt

Markus Schmidt is the associate editor at Virginia Living, the most read lifestyle magazine in the Commonwealth. He is also a recovering political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and a former music business executive, a job that has allowed him to taste a wide array of food and beverages all over the world.

As a native German, he has grown up on beer, but ever since making his home in Virginia, he has acquired both a taste and passion for bourbon.


Patrick Evans-Hylton

Patrick Evans-Hylton is a Johnson & Wales-trained chef and an award-winning journalist, food historian and cookbook author (Popcorn, Dishing Up Virginia, Nuts, The Classic Restaurants of Coastal Virginia).

In addition to hosting two weekly segments for Virginia Eats + Drinks, Evans-Hylton is culinary advisor for the Commonwealth of Virginia and a media awards judge for the prestigious James Beard Awards. 

Evans-Hylton cooks and writes in his Chesapeake Bay kitchen in Virginia Beach with his four-legged sous chef, Miss Pico The Chow-huahua.


Erik Owens

As Vice President of the American Distilling Institute, Erik Owens has visited and tasted craft spirits at hundreds of distilleries around the US, UK, and EU.

Having served as a judge at last years inaugural Virginia Bourbon Invitational, Erik is excited to be back to taste the best spirits that Virginia has to offer.

 November 2, 2019 | 1pm-5pm, VIP Entry at 12pm

The Virginia Bourbon Invitational will take place on The Cavalier Hotel's sprawling great lawn overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 12:00 p.m VIP entry, 1:00 p.m. General Admission. Last call is at 4 p.m.


Live music will be provided on the main stage throughout the day with additional entertainment in the Hunt Room following the event.

Acoustic: Borderline Crazy
Full Band: Runnin’ Shine

Tapas Style Food

Virginia Beach's best restaurants will be present with specially prepared menus exclusively for The Invitational. Restaurants include Becca, The Hunt Room, The Cavalier Beach Club, and other local fare. 

Drink & Cigar Bars

The bar will be located on the Upper Lawn, and will include full spirits. Emerson’s Cigar Bar will be located on the South Lawn near the Tarnished Truth Retail Shop.



We invite you to make a weekend of the event and join us at The Cavalier Hotel with a special VBI rate. Lounge on the loggias, brunch at Becca and settle in to SeaHill spa. Hurry - these rooms won’t last long!


Get Tickets at The Door!

Those wanting to attend the Virginia Bourbon Invitational can choose from two ticket tiers at the door of the event:

• The Conservator | $60 | 1pm - 5pm
This ticket includes admission to the Virginia Bourbon Invitational, unlimited small plates & non-alcoholic beverages, cigar lounge access and live entertainment. You must be 21+ to attend this event. (NOTE: THIS TICKET DOES NOT INCLUDE BOURBON TASTINGS)

• General Admission | The Cavalier | $125 | 1pm - 5pm
Unlimited tastings from 18 distilleries, small plates from six restaurants, reusable bag with slots for bottle purchases (may use valet purchase), live music, cigar bar access 

• VIP | The Connoisseur | $195 | 12pm - 5pm
All of the above plus early entry at noon featuring high-end tastings for VIP only, swag bag with limited edition distillery items

Interested in becoming a sponsor? View details & information here.