Dean Hurst, president of the Left Coast Bartenders’ Guild (LCBG), is seeking to muddle all preconceptions of Tampa, Florida’s tippling scene. Determined to show that Tampa is more than spring training and theme parks, he formed the LCBG in 2010. Their mission is to create a stronger cocktail culture in Tampa, one drink at a time.
The LCBG meets monthly and has put on some of the most notorious theme parties in Florida, taking over historic spaces for grand-scale soirées. The Sunset Tiki Party was held around a 1950s island-themed bar, and The Postmodern Cocktail Experience (a benefit for Philanthropic Young Tampa Bay), took place at the Roose-velt 2.0—formerly a barn where Teddy Roosevelt kept his horses—and offered a tasting tour through molecular mixology.
LCBG’s annual Repeal Day Party boasts three floors of cocktail history at the Don Vicente Hotel in Ybor City (Tampa’s Latin Quarter). “Our Repeal Day Party is the flagship event of the LCBG,” says Hurst. “We hope to grow it into a national event, drawing bar professionals and enthusiasts from all corners of the nation.”