Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Advance ticket sales for this event have ended. Tickets still available for purchase at the CCAC Box Office at Upside Brew starting at 5:45pm. 

All of the taste, none of the buzz and we guarantee you won’t regret it in the morning. Settle in to hear some of Cincinnati’s best bartenders discuss what’s powering the skyrocketing popularity of non-alcoholic mocktails and, of course, share recipes and samples of their most delicious concoctions.

Featured Panelists


The Upside Brew
329 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220


$10 in advance, $12 at the door

Advance ticket sales for this event have ended. Tickets still available for purchase at the CCAC Box Office at Upside Brew starting at 5:45pm. 

About the Panelists” title_tag=”h3″][vc_column_text]

SAM BOWLING is a passionate Cincinnati native who does all she can to shine a light on our beautiful city. As an active member of the Cincinnati Pride committee, a bartender and restaurant manager, a community advocate, and most importantly, a wife and cat mom, Sam has so much valuable perspective to share. When she isn’t running a restaurant or facilitating discussions at Living with Change Foundation’s youth group meetings, she is visiting Cincinnati’s hottest spots and sharing them with her TikTok audience as the wildly popular @CincyFaves. Through her broad network, Sam is able to keep a finger on the pulse of the city, and continues to work to make Cincinnati a welcoming and fun place for everyone. Her passion for inclusion and representation permeates all that she does, and you can count on her to be the first to make an outsider feel welcome. In her spare time, Sam enjoys checking out local bars and restaurants, traveling with her wife Shelly, relaxing with her friends and family, and snuggling her cats. She’s known to make a mean charcuterie board, and does sassy cross stitch from time to time. Be sure to check out her latest adventures the next time you’re browsing TikTok!

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AKABALON KHALFANI is from Akron, Ohio and relocated to Cincinnati a little over a year ago. She is a graduate student at UC studying Information Technology. She spends her time exploring the city, trying new places and new things as much as possible. She’s a dog mom of two, Jax and Josi. Akabalon has been with Somerset OTR since it opened and has a passion for being creative behind the bar, using the time at work to make people smile.


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JUSTIN DEJOHN is the Lead Specialist at Somerset OTR. He began his career in hospitality ten years ago at Japp’s in Over-the-Rhine at the beginning of the neighborhood’s revitalization.  From there, he moved on to be involved in some remarkable projects including the Thunderdome restaurants on Vine Street, Sundry and Vice, and e|19 Lounge Bar and Discotheque, among others. Justin’s role at Somerset is to lead and develop training for the team of talented bartenders.


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VALERIE DIEHL has been a bartender in Cincinnati for ten years now. She likes to refer to her lifestyle as “sober adjacent” as she has ceased imbibing on pretty much all fronts other than the very occasional glass of wine.  She hasn’t lost her love for the art of the cocktail though, and currently holds the lead bartender position at Lost and Found OTR.  Val also owns a small business with her lifelong friend entitled Val and Yazi “Sober” Shack, which focuses on the creation of non-alcoholic “active culture tonics” that are easily adaptable into low or high proof cocktails. Val and Yazi “Sober” Shack also creates experiences and collaborates with local farms, businesses, and artists.