One of the biggest celebrations of Irish culture in the Midwest is just a few weeks away.

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During the first full weekend in August, thousands of people from all across the country flock to Waterloo for one of the most lavish Irish cultural festivals of the year; Iowa Irish Fest. This year's event kicks off on Friday, August 4th and runs through Sunday, August 6th.

Kerri Mac
Kerri Mac

You might be familiar with the stellar Irish musical acts that take to the stage over the course of this three-day festival, or the authentic and delicious foods, but do you know you can also take classes on different aspects of Irish culture...

Mainly alcohol related but still a part of the culture...

There are various tasting classes and experiences that will make you truly appreciate some of the best things Ireland and Iowa has to offer.

The Guiness Experience

These sessions are all led by a National Guinness Brand Ambassador, named Jimmy Callahan. His classes are more like seminars in the history of Guiness brewing and the beer making process.

What You'll Get From the Class

All attendants will learn how to pour the perfect pint, sample five Guiness Family beers, and take home a Guinness pint glass.

When: Saturday, August 5th 2023: 

12 PM, 2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM

The class size is capped off at 40 people and all attendants must be over 21 (obviously).

Cost per session: $30

Where: Lower level of Screaming Eagle

World of Whiskey Master Class

With this class you'll be able to "taste your way around the World with 5 different whiskey profiles." Attendants will be able to sample spirits like Minor Case Sherry Cask Finished Straight Rye Whiskey Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

What You'll Get From the Class

All of these spirited students will be able to try these five different whiskeys, and a Whiskey Master t-shirt.

When: Friday, August 4th at 1:45 PM and Saturday, August 5th at 5 PM

Cost per session: $40

Where: Elks Club Ballroom

Irish Whiskey Master Class

These classes will focus solely on Irish whiskey and have attendants sample five different Irish whiskeys to see what makes them unique.

What You'll Get From the Class

Students will be able to sample five different Irish whiskeys and receive a Whiskey Master t-shirt.

When: Friday, August 4th at 7 PM, Saturday, August 5th at 10 AM, and Saturday, August 5th at 3:15 PM

Cost per session: $40

Where: Elks Club Ballroom

Irish Whiskey Master Class – “Spot On” Whiskey

What You'll Get From the Class

Attendants will sample Green Spot, Green Spot Chateau Montelena Finished in Zinfandel Wine Casks, Yellow Spot, Red Spot, and Blue Spot. In addition, you will receive a t-shirt.

When: Saturday, August 5th at 4:45- 5:30 PM

Cost per session: $50

Where: Elks Club Ballroom

Cedar Ridge Master Class with Head Distiller, Murphy Quint

What You'll Get From the Class

You'll be able to sample different Cedar Ridge whiskeys and receive a complementary Iowa Irish Fest branded whiskey glass.

When: Friday, August 4th at 5 PM

Cost per session: $40

Where: Elks Club Ballroom

Keeper’s Heart Irish-American Whiskey Master Class with Distiller, Kate Douglas

What You'll Get From the Class

Participants will be sampling drinks from this Minnesota distilling company and are set to receive a Iowa Irish Fest branded Tuath Whiskey glass.

When: Saturday, August 5th at 6 PM

Where: Elks Club Ballroom

Purchase tickets to any of these sessions only until Wednesday, August 2nd. All attendants to these classes must be 21+.

Another reminder, these specific event costs do not cover the cost of your admission into the festival.

Stay up to date with the latest events in Eastern Iowa by downloading the free station app from your app store. Also, make sure that you are following the station across all social media platforms so you can stay in the know about events coming to the Cedar Valley.

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