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Clusterfest 2012: The Speakeasy Cocktail Festival

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None of the "Clusterfest" events highlighted in these pages appears to more of a genuine cluster-eff than the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival. It's an absolute grab bag (a nicer word for it) of themes, styles, events, brands — basically anything the organizers can do to get you in the door and drink. "Hey, we're celebrating speakeasies, the latest in 2007 trends! Hey, we're not only mixin' drinks with mixologists, we're drinkin' drinks with laymen drinkers! It's for the industry, it's for 'tenders, it's for beer lovers. Here are some cigars, wanna play poker, and why don't you try some local brews, plus we've got a Texas-made tequila, too!" It's as if they wrote down the lineup after six shots of Fernet Branca, woke up bleary-eyed, shrugged their shoulders, and said, "Screw it, let's just go with what we've got. It's about booze. People will come." And you know what? THEY'RE RIGHT! And we're totally OK with that. Don't overthink these things. Let's drink some drinks. $25-$225. Sept. 1, noon-6 p.m.; Sept. 2, 2-6 p.m. Georgia World Congress Center, 285 International Blvd. Purchase tickets online at speakeasycocktailfestival.com through August 30 or at the door on the day of the event.

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