The Boozy Bee: Philly’s first adult spelling competition

The Boozy Bee
The Boozy Bee is sponsored by Dunce Whiskey.
Quaker City Mercantile

Spellers and drinkers can unite at the city’s first-ever boozy spelling bee, hosted by Art in the Age and sponsored by Dunce Whiskey. 

This adult competition, dubbed “The Boozy Bee!”, will take place at Philly’s own one-of-a-kind tasting room, home bar supply, and bottle shop this Sunday, May 21, at 5 p.m. This is not to be confused with the famous Scripps National Spelling Bee taking place a week after, though the stakes are about the same (that’s a J-O-K-E.) 

Scripps is for students through eighth grade, and the prestigious event is televised annually, while at The Boozy Bee, participation is for those 21+ because you get some liquid courage to be on stage. 

As a release states, imbibers will compete in a series of challenges that will leave only the greatest spelling whiz standing. Tickets are $15/person and include one slot in the competition, one Dunce cap, one Dunce Whiskey shot glass, and one shot of Dunce Whiskey for a competition warm-up. 

“We’re thrilled to add The Boozy Bee to our robust line-up of events,” noted Craig Richie, General Manager at Art in the Age in a statement. “Our bee benefits a local nonprofit that works with the next generation of spelling bee champions. Participants will be sipping our Bee-themed cocktails — and Dunce Whiskey – for a cause, while enjoying some friendly competition.” 

The Boozy Bee
One of the signature cocktails at Art in the Age.Quaker City Mercantile

Dunce, the event’s sponsor, is said to be a bourbon inspired by the dunce cap’s stolen legacy, and its crafted by Art in the Age’s sister distillery Tamworth Distilling, based in New Hampshire. While there, guests are also invited to sip on a special one-night-only menu of themed cocktails (think: Bees Knees, floral flavors, and plenty of honey), available à la carte.  

Those who attend can feel good about having a fun time as well. As mentioned before, proceeds from the event will go directly towards Education Works, a Philadelphia nonprofit that provides enriching education and career readiness programming, with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEAM), entrepreneurship, and social and emotional wellness. 

Through this program, according to a release, Education Works provides out-of-school, in-school-support, and summer services for thousands of students annually throughout Greater Philadelphia, putting students on a path to career exposure, opportunity, graduation, and future success. 

Those who participate in The Boozy Bee will be able to compete for the grand prize: A bottle of Dunce Whiskey, a round of free cocktails at Art in the Age, and, of course, a shiny trophy. Additionally, the attendee who brings the most audience members to the competition will be awarded a Secret Special Hive Prize, which will be announced during the event, the release finishes.

The Boozy Bee
Inside of Art in the Age.Quaker City Mercantile

Art in the Age is located at 116 North 3rd Street. More information on The Boozy Bee and other activities can be found online at