Over a weekend in mid-August, with Covid-19 restrictions impeding many festivals and shows from proceeding, the Boutique Cigar Association descended on Cedar Creek Winery, Distillery, and Brewery in Central Indiana, USA, bringing together 20 boutique cigar manufacturers for an outdoor event complete with VIP welcome night, live music, bourbon and rum tastings, and of course plenty of cigars.
At the opening event, Armen Caprielian (committee chair), Dr Gaby Kafie (founder of the BCA), Harrison Clark (Cigar Rights of America) and representatives of Cigars for Warriors welcomed guests and spoke of the importance of supporting boutique cigars and the wider cigar community.
“Each speaker, in turn, highlighted how critical unity is within the cigar industry, as boutique cigar companies come under fire as part of the FDA’s continued assault on premium cigars. They talked about the challenges and joys of what it means to produce something whose legacy is older than the US itself, and how many families are impacted (both here and abroad) by what our boutique cigar companies do. Most poignant, though, was the central message of community that kept resurfacing. The boutique cigar industry is a tight-knit community, and everyone present had gathered not merely to observe the community, but to become a part of it, to strengthen it, and to help guide it into a brighter future,” said Jamie DeViese.
Smoke at the Creek 2021 was pleased to feature the following companies and organizations: Alex Spencer Reserve, Bahama Mamas / LaMirada Cigars, Cedar Creek Cigars, CigarMedics, Cigar Rights of America, Cigars for Warriors, DAV Cigars, David Blanco Cigars, Garo Cigars, Gina Cigars, GTO Cigars, Hiram & Solomon Cigars, Kafie 1901 Cigars, Karen Berger Cigars, KJD Cigars, Linga Cigars, and San Jeronimo Cigars. Live music, DJs, and a live broadcast by The Great Lakes Smoke Show kept the crowd sonically enthralled over the weekend.
The inaugural event was a huge success and plans are afoot for the second edition in mid-August 2022. Mark your cigar event calendars for next year.
Jamie DeViese, on location at Smoke At The Creek, reports:
“Just over the ridge and past the cornfield.” Ambiguous as those instructions may have sounded to the average listener, they pointed clearly to a destination in central Indiana that could only have been described as other-worldly, and for an event that could only be described as paradigm-shifting. A clearing in some farm land gives rise to structures both rustic and modern, out-of-place and yet entirely appropriate. A stage had been set and a tent erected. Cedar Creek Winery, Distillery, & Brewery (and home of Cedar Creek Cigars) was about to help a small group of cigar enthusiasts make a big noise!
Friends and colleagues, some of whom had never met in person, breathed in the muggy Indiana air, which was soon cleared and made crisp and clean by a torrential Midwestern summer rain. Chairs and tables. Ashtrays and bourbon bottles. After months of planning, the dream was finally becoming a reality: Smoke at the Creek, the world’s first Boutique Cigar Festival, was about to begin!