A guide to free drinks in Atlanta

Wednesday March 10, 2010 04:00 am EST

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free drink. Who needs lunch when you can drink, anyway? That isn't to say that finding free booze is the easiest thing in the world. But with a little determination, you'll be imbibing without paying the cost – at least not monetarily. Free drinks = free hangover.

Art openings

The original high-brow, low-budget drink scam, the art opening is famous for providing crappy Chardonnay for nothin'. All you have to do is put up with a little culture on the side. Many galleries recommend a $1-$2 tip/donation per drink. We'll leave that up to you, but even $2 is a pretty decent price to pay for a glass of wine. Here are a few ways to find gallery openings:

Every Friday on CL's arts blog, CultureSurfing.com, we list a bunch of openings on our "Weekend Arts Agenda" post. By using this educated resource, you'll not only find free booze, but the art should be pretty decent as well. You can also search on our events page by entering your dates, choosing "Arts Agenda" on the drop-down menu, and putting "openings" into the search field.

Go to www.artopeningsatl.com/calendar for a fairly comprehensive listing of gallery openings and events in a convenient calendar format.

Get on party promoters' e-mail lists

Almost every night, some party promoter is having some event in Atlanta where some free booze is happening. The way the laws work, bars and clubs can't give away free drinks, but if a drink distributor or promoter "buys" the drinks, you can be the happy beneficiary of what's essentially free hooch. One of the best ways to find out about these promotions is to get on the e-mail lists of the promoters. Often, the free drinks are along the lines of "free vodka bar for ladies at Club X until 11:30." A few examples of places to sign up are: www.atl2nite.com, www.sol-fusion.com, and www.chriscolemanenterprises.com. There are also venues that have e-mail blasts letting patrons know of parties and drink promotions. Check out OperaAtlanta.com and PrimalAtlanta.com to sign up.

Here’s a list of websites where you can sign up to receive e-mails detailing parties and drink promotions:

The following are venue sites where you can sign up for similar e-mail blasts:
Kenny’s Alley: underground-atlanta.com/nightlife/kennys-alley.html
Champagne Fridays at Subzero: E-mail your guest list to SubZeroATL@gmail.com Ladies drink free until midnight.

Follow drink reps around

In every city, beer and liquor representatives have a mandate to promote their product. This often means events where free booze flows. For example, you can keep up with Atlanta's PBR events at the blog, pabstblueribbon.wordpress.com/author/pbratlanta. You can also follow the PBR rep on Twitter, twitter.com/bean_Pbr_Atl. And if you see those girls at the liquor store giving out free shwag, ask them for a way to keep up with their company's promotions. You'll likely get more than a beer koozie. (And no, I don't mean you might get lucky. Who needs girls when you can drink for free, right?)

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