snacks helps to slow the absorption of alcohol. Another important part of the tasting room experience is taking care of non-drinking customers, too. “How do we provide [the non-drinker] with the same level of world-class hospitality as the person they came in with got?” Edelstein asked. To that end, the KDA developed The Mocktail Project, a list of alcohol-free cocktail recipes. “The Mocktail Project has been instrumental in helping us communicate our respect for the choice not to drink,” said Edelstein. Panel member Sara Barnes, Managing Director of Bourbon Women, elaborated. “That inclusion for the pregnant wife of the diehard bourbon fan who is rolling her eyes because she had to come along,”
Barnes said. “Then you make her a mocktail that tastes wonderful, that she can have and not feel out of place at the table. Those things are huge.”
EMPLOYEE E D U C AT I O N Staff training is a large part of overserving prevention. “In terms of employee training, are they certified?” asked Edelstein. She recommended TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS), and the KDA also uses STAR (Server Training in Alcohol Regulations). Other measures distilleries can take include having an intoxicated guest policy and keeping an incident report log for employees to report problems if they do happen.
Barnes, a former manager at Boone County Distilling, added, “We had one instance where some customers bought a bottle of our 12-year single barrel, about 114 proof. Next thing I know they had opened the bottle and consumed half of it while sitting there. It was an awkward situation having that conversation with [the customers] and having my staff trained so that it doesn’t happen a second time. Education starts with your owners, your management, and your employees. Everyone needs to be on the same page.” Hopefully you can use these three topics as a starting point for social responsibility in your distillery. Before the next issue, think about concerns your distillery has dealt with and how you and your staff handled them.
Find KDA’s best practices documents and more information here: kybourbon.com/responsibility/kdas-responsibility-initiatives. For additional information from Better Drinking Culture visit betterdrinkingculture.org/
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