Bar Business February 2019

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February 2019



Spring Cocktail RECIPES

with a

A rooftop bar in Atlanta debuts a new look.



Are you getting the most out of your system?


New aging methods are trending

Meet Tobin and check out the Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station at the Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas March 27-28. Booth 435 Tobin Ellis, founder and CEO of BarMagic.

Imagine bar equipment conceived by a renowned bartender, and built by Perlick Perlick’s new Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station is a breakthrough achievement in underbar design resulting from an ambitious collaboration between 6-time national bartending champion and celebrated bar designer, Tobin Ellis and the award-winning engineering team at Perlick.

“Together, we’ve built a cocktail station that’s perfect for everything from craft cocktail bars to high-volume nightclubs and 5-star/5-diamond hotel environments. It’s the tricked-out station every serious bartender has dreamt about and every savvy operator has hoped for.”

Tobin Ellis

Exclusively from Perlick Contact Perlick today to learn more! • 800.558.5592

Contents How Tos


POS Know-How


Everything you need to know about POS systems.


Commit to Control


The Year of Beer


Tuning Up: Evolving the Customer Experience

Inventory management can have a profound impact on profits. HEINEKEN USA’s Emerging Brands Group focuses on diverse, on-trend labels.

Digital entertainment helps bars stand out.



From The Editor


On Tap

A letter from our Editor Ashley Bray Industry news & announcements.


Behind The Bar



52 56


In-depth analysis of beer, wine & spirits. Important dates for the month.



Featured product releases.

Renovated rooftop bar Whiskey Blue offers a new view of Atlanta.


GEM&BOLT mezcal founders.



Seasonal Cocktails: Refresh and Rejuvenate

Cocktail recipes that focus on what’s fresh and seasonal.


Top Employment Law Myths

Employment law myths surrounding overtime and minimum wage laws.

Contents photo: GERBER GROUP Cover photo: Jason Locklear of RSVP ATL

February 2019

Bar Business Magazine




February 2019

What is your favorite Mandarine Napoléon cocktail recipe?

Vol. 12

No. 2

Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004

subscription department 800-895-4389

executive offices President Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Art Sutley 212-620-7247


Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220 Contributing Writers Robin I. Frank, Lisamarie Joyce, Maura Keller, Tanya Lawrence, Andria Park


Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Aleza Leinwand


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers

Ingredients 2 oz 100% Agave tequila 1 oz Mandarine Napoléon 1 oz Fresh lime juice 1 barspoon Agave syrup Instructions Shake with ice. Double strain into a salt-rimmed rocks glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a lime peel.

Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


Ingredients 2 oz Slovenia Vodka .75 oz Mandarine Napoleon liqueur 1 sprig Rosemary .5 oz Lemon Top with Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew in The Famous Copper Old Moscow Mug Instructions Shake, strain into The Famous Copper Old Moscow Mug , top with Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, garnish with orange slice and rosemary sprig.

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales Art Sutley 212-620-7247

Bar Business Magazine (Print ISSN 1944-7531, Digital ISSN 2161-5071) (USPS#000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, and December. January, March, May, July, September, and November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St. 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified U.S. Bar Owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $45.00; Canada $90.00; foreign $189.00; foreign, air mail $289.00. 2 years US $75.00; Canada $120.00; foreign $300.00; foreign, air mail $500.00. BOTH Print & Digital Versions: 1 year US $68.00; Canada $135.00; foreign $284.00; foreign, air mail $384.00. 2 years US $113.00; Canada $180.00; foreign $450.00; foreign, air mail $650.00. Single Copies are $10.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © SimmonsBoardman Publishing Corporation 2019. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Art Sutley, Phone (212) 620-7247, or For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (US Only) 1-800-553-8878 (CANADA/INTL) 1-319-364-6167, Fax 1-319-364-4278, e-mail or write to: Bar Business Magazine, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled craftspeople with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein.


Bar Business Magazine

February 2019

Photos: Margaret Pattillo Photography

Napoléon Margarita

Shake that Mule

from the editor

From The Editor

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.

- Dalai Lama


Bar Business Magazine


nless you somehow managed to hide from all news sources over the last month and a half, chances are good you know about the 35-day shutdown that lasted from December 21-January 25. (By the time you get this issue we may even be rapidly approaching a second shutdown or in the midst of another one if both sides don’t come to an agreement on funding by February 15.) I’m not here to talk politics, but no matter what side of the political aisle you stand on (or if you straddle the middle), I think we can all agree that the way the hospitality industry stepped up for 800,000 federal employees who were furloughed or working without pay was inspiring. We often focus on ways to increase profits in these pages; after all, you got into this business to make money. But at the root of this industry is customer experience and a dedication to serving others, and it was nice to have a reminder of that as restaurants and bars around the country stepped up to offer federal workers free or reduced food and beverages. Chef José Andrés offered federal workers a free sandwich at any of his DC-based restaurants. He also led a charge through World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization made up of a group of chefs dedicated to creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty, which he founded in 2010. World Central Kitchen opened a kitchen and café in Washington, DC to serve federal employees in need. The effort spread nationwide through the campaign #ChefsForFeds.

According to a video posted on his Twitter page, Andrés said more than 150 restaurants in 20-plus states participated in the #ChefsForFeds campaign—feeding thousands of federal workers each day. After the government reopened, Andrés even kept his World Central Kitchen location open in DC an additional week so that federal workers still waiting on a paycheck would have a place to eat. Another effort in the DC-area called Pay It Furloughed—a collaborative partnership between Mess Hall, food writer Nevin Martell, 3Advance, and PR firm Quixotic—started a beer fund for federal employees. Anyone could choose to fund one or multiple beers. Then 21-plus federal workers with valid federal identification could walk into any of the five participating DC-area breweries and get a free beer. As of press time, over 1,300 beers were still available. The initiative was a win for furloughed workers as well as the breweries. Many bars around the country and especially in the DC-area also offered discounted cocktails, and some were even shutdown themed—such as the “Border Wall Banger” from the Capitol Lounge. The hospitality industry really lived up to its name over the last few weeks. Hats off to all of the restaurants, bars, and breweries that stepped up for people in need.

Ashley bray, Editor

February 2019

From ON TAP The Editor


Consumers can drink their veggies when they try this cocktail featuring bell pepper, mint, honey, lemon, and gin.

outhern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits identified five major cocktail flavor and ingredient trends heading into 2019. An expert team of national sales staff and mixologists led a tasting tour across the U.S. that visited 80 of the top mixology and restaurant bars and sampled nearly 400 cocktails, and five key trends were revealed. Toasting to Texture. Cocktails with proper texture result in drinks that feel substantial. Ice is one way to deliver the correct texture and flavor in a cocktail, in addition to providing a visual impact. For example, large blocks of ice minimize dilution and can also be branded or stamped. Medium-sized cubes continue to be used for a variety of all-purpose cocktails, and shaved or nugget ice is being used to often dilute boozy, Tikistyled cocktails. Finally, blended cocktails continue to grow in popularity. Beyond ice, texture can also be modified by using egg whites to not only add a foam presentation, but also a soft texture to a variety of citrus-forward cocktails. 6

Bar Business Magazine

Drinking Your Veggies. While consumers have long embraced healthy green juicing and smoothies, vegetable flavors such as cucumber, celery, peppers, and peas are now being used to add a new twist to familiar cocktails. Bartenders are also using spirits that have vegetal characteristics, such as Green Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, and Aquavit. It’s Good to be Bitters. No longer just to enjoy after dinner, amaro and bitters are being used more and more due to their ability to tone down and balance drinks that are too tart or sweet. Wine Lovers Rejoice. When used in cocktails, wines reduce the need to add excessive amounts of alcohol and can add a softer sweetness than syrups. These include fortified wines like ports and vermouths; subtle nutty or creamy sherries; crisp and clean red and white wines; and sparkling wines for bubbly texture. And red wine, traditionally just for sangria, is being used to create colorful, flavorful cocktails. The Bartender Barista. Coffee and tea as cocktail ingredients are being

leveraged for their smoothness, earthiness, subtle smokiness, and other flavor tones—as well as for their strong backbone, which stands up to more assertive spirits. While cold brew primarily delivers a singular flavor profile, teas from around the world offer versatility and more nuanced flavors. These range from the subtle and delicate aromas of white tea; slight bitterness of many black teas (or subtle smokiness of Lapsang souchong); roasty notes from green teas like houjicha; soft, grassy flavors in matcha tea; or the range of flavors and aromas of oolong tea. Then there’s the incredibly diverse flavors extracted from herbal and floral teas. “What we know is that consumers now expect more complex and layered flavors in cocktails,” said Brian Masilionis, a certified specialist of wine and spirits from the Society of Wine Educators, and Director of National Accounts, On-Premise, for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, who led the research effort.

February 2019

Photo: Business Wire.


Top Five Cocktail Trends of 2019


From ON TAP The Editor Running Your Bar: How to Offer Customers the Experience They Thirst For

he bar industry is a lucrative one, and according to IBISWorld, provider of business information and market research, it will generate $27 billion in revenue in 2019 with predictions of future growth. What does it take to run a bar or nightclub? Besides the obvious importance of location and liquor permits, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. Owners have to get their managerial hands dirty to master this craft. Keep Customers Coming It’s all in the details. The key to running a customer-centric business is to offer a consistent and enjoyable experience time after time. To create a well-rounded experience, you need to ensure your bar’s concept is present in everything from your cocktail program, food menu, music, and even the staff’s attire. Consumers should be able to grasp your bar’s concept immediately. Build an emotional connection. Recent research suggests that emotion has become the primary driver of delivering a great customer experience. And loyal consumers can play a significant role in boosting bottom-line profits. In fact, according to a recent report from Capgemini, “Loyalty Deciphered - How Emotions Drive Genuine Engagement,” 70% of emotionally engaged consumers are willing to spend twice as much on brands to which they are loyal. 8

Bar Business Magazine

Leverage Your Partners Build a relationship with sales reps. The quality of your service is dependent on your sales representatives. Growing a positive relationship with them can help ensure they hold up their end of the bargain. Set up clear terms and conditions with every supplier regarding payment, delivery times, quality of goods, and transportation packaging. Sharing knowledge. Because of their line of work and field experience, sales representatives can be a good source for information on current trends and future projections. They can also recommend brands, inform you on which products are most popular, and share the launch of new products. Marketing support. Sales representatives can help stock your bar with branded glassware and promotional décor, boosting your repertoire. They can also provide excellent support during in-house events by sending brand ambassadors, supplying alcohol and props, and even helping drive traffic with their loyal fan base. Training. Sales representatives can provide specialized training to your team by sending brand advocates who will tell the brand story, explain the ingredients and distillation process, and share drink recipes. Build an Engaged Team Employee satisfaction. Research suggests that the main things employees want from their job are respect and to

Digital Tools Social Media. Consumers are highly driven by social media in their day-to-day lives; especially when it comes to purchasing decisions. Online reviews and social media comments influence 88% of today’s consumers, according to Sprout Social. So, to run a successful business, you have to also manage an engaging social media account on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Two-way communication. Digital marketing provides businesses with not only a platform to share promotions and specials but also to communicate with consumers. Through reviews, tweets, and posts, you need to cultivate a relationship with consumers. Digital Marketing. This form of marketing is less expensive compared to traditional tactics, yet proves to be more efficient and effective. When creating your budget, make sure you supply ample funds to digital marketing. —Bruce Hakutizwi, U.S. and International Business Manager at Visit the website if you’re interested in running a business in this industry and discover available bars and nightclubs with potential.

February 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Olena Yakobchuk.


be armed with the tools they need for success. According to employee engagement platform Officevibe, owners who can deliver on those desires and engage their employees can generate 2.5 times more revenue. The value of each role. Realize the importance of each employee and what they bring to the table. A bouncer, for example, has a critical responsibility. One of the top lawsuits commonly filed against bars and nightclubs is overserving; that is, serving alcohol to minors or overly intoxicated individuals. A bouncer is tasked with checking ID’s at the door, identifying potentially harmful situations, and safely escorting any over-intoxicated clients out. Equip staff with training and tools. A bartender’s heavy wrist can cause a massive drain in profits. Ensure bartenders are well trained and that the bar is stocked with measurement tools. You can even install an inventory system solution to help monitor pouring trends.

The Perfect Pairing of Wine and Chocolate


hocoVine was founded by Steve Katz who wanted to bring the perfect pairing of wine and chocolate to life as a means to lower the bitter flavor of wine and add the sweet tooth of chocolate. Today, there are a variety of flavors that suit all flavor profiles, from fruity, to mild and creamy, to bitter: Original, Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Whipped Cream, and Pumpkin Spice. The original is still the most preferred flavor. ChocoVine is 14% ABV and available in 750 ml bottles. ChocoVine was the first brand on the market to combine wine with chocolate— building on the heritage of the ingredients that set the product apart. The heart logo is made of wine and chocolate to highlight the perfect match of the two products blending together. ChocoVine is a combination of French Cabernet & Dutch chocolate. An American designed the product, but it is being produced in the Netherlands where access to the key components (French Cabernet and Dutch chocolate) is most convenient. Expertise by De Kuyper is being used to make this a perfect blend.

ChocoVine plays in the wine category even though it’s often consumed chilled on ice or in a cocktail. “At V-NO, we have been successful with ChocoVine both as a standalone item and as a mixer,” says Joe Valeri, Owner of V-NO Wine Bar & Shop in Baltimore, Maryland. “It is a great way to introduce chocolate into our Adult Hot Chocolate and Adult Mocha hot cocktails. As we also specialize in dessert, we pair the Chocolate Wine with our Triple Chocolate Pie. We also have customers who specifically ask for chocolate wine and usually serve ChocoVine to these customers over ice.”

Jon Taffer is Named Chairman of the Nightclub & Bar Show

Photo (top): Margaret Pattillo Photography.


uestex’s Nightclub & Bar Media Group welcomes Jon Taffer, CEO of Taffer Dynamics, host of Paramount Network’s hit television show Bar Rescue, and entrepreneur, as the Chairman of the Nightclub & Bar Show. Taffer brings more than 30 years of industry expertise to the event. “For more than 30 years, the Nightclub & Bar Show has revolutionized the nightlife and hospitality industry across the world. We are seeing the business of the industry rapidly change, and I am excited to come on board leading up to the NCB Show’s 35th anniversary in 2020,” said Taffer. “This year’s event will kick off the 35th anniversary campaign,

which is bringing a new theme to the show—focusing on promotions and innovation. The opportunity to be part of an event that has such an impact in the industry has never been greater, and I look forward to working with the team and bringing elevated experiences to the show and attendees.” Taffer has been involved with the NCB Show for more than three decades after being one of the founding board members and President. During the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show, Taffer will be on the exhibit floor shaking hands, presenting a 45-minute “Ask Jon” session on the Main Stage, and hosting interviews with vendors, offering listeners exclusive and behind-thescenes content to the show. The Nightclub & Bar Show returns to Las Vegas March 25-27, offering the world’s largest gathering for bar, nightlife, and beverage professionals in the industry.

Let’s talk

Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV

Barrel-aged spirits and beer are at the forefront of innovation. BY Ashley Bray


Bar Business Magazine


here’s been an interesting convergence going on in the world of spirits and beer. Over the last few years, whiskeys aged in beer and wine barrels, and the inverse, beers aged in whiskey and other types of barrels, have been on the rise. “Whiskey is an exploding category, and similar to the vodka boom of the previous century, it’s natural that brands would want to play with flavors and aging methods to differentiate themselves,” says John Ralph, CEO of Intrepid Spirits, a joint venture partner with the Egan family. Guinness Brewery Ambassador Ryan

Wagner believes the catalyst for this collaboration comes from an increase in innovation. “When it comes to whiskey makers and beer makers, each is feeding the other from a creativity standpoint,” says Wagner. “The more beer, especially American craft beer, pushes the envelope further in terms of innovation, you’re seeing whiskey trying to match that same level of innovation. The cocktail world and the craft beer world are driving what consumers are looking for, and it comes down to creativity and innovation.” Let’s take a look at a few of the brands pushing the boundaries of innovation with this new aging trend.

February 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ komokvm.


Behind The Bar: Whiskey

Prior to the advent of stainless steel kegs, Guinness’ beer spent time in barrels.

Fortitude Old Fashioned

2 oz Egan’s Fortitude ¼ oz simple syrup 2 dashes chocolate bitters orange twist Stir and strain over ice-filled rocks glass. Egan’s Irish Whiskey

When making bourbon, the barrel is only used once, so they are widely available for aging.


Bar Business Magazine

Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels Released at the end of last year, Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels is the first in a line of new barrel-aged beers to come from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Baltimore, Maryland. This aged beer may be new, but its creation is steeped in history. It features a base of Dublin-brewed Antwerpen Stout (a beer that has been in Guinness’ portfolio since 1944), which is sent across the Atlantic from Dublin. It’s then brought into Guinness’ Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House on the same rail system that has brought ingredients into that distillation site since the 1930s when it was the Maryland Distilling Company—one of the first legal distilleries after the repeal of prohibition. The beer is then put into Bulleit bourbon barrels by the brewers in Baltimore and aged for eight months. “In many ways, this is beer going back to its roots,” says Wagner. “Because every beer that Guinness made for the overwhelming majority of our history spent time in barrels. And that’s true of just about every brewer in the world. Before the use of stainless steel kegs, which are obviously cleaner, easier to maintain, and last longer, if you were shipping beer anywhere in the world, you were doing so in a barrel. So I think there’s a bit of romance involved. And I think that’s part of the reason why we’re seeing beermakers especially reinventing what they can do with putting their beer in wood.” Guinness chose to partner with fellow Diageo brand Bulleit on this collaboration based on their friendship with the Bulleit team as well as the brand’s deep roots in America, which will help to strengthen Guinness’ growing U.S. presence. “Bulleit and Guinness share some common ground in a strong and sincere commitment to innovation and development,” said Bulleit Whiskey Quality Blender Eboni Major, in a press release. “We’re excited to join forces as their first partners during the beginning of this new brewing operation.” The availability of bourbon barrels also made it a no-brainer for Guinness to collaborate with Bulleit. “Number one,

it’s an amazing spirit that imparts all kinds of character, but number two, the bourbon makers need to use all brandnew barrels so there’s an availability when it comes to bourbon barrels,” says Wagner, explaining that bourbon must come from a virgin oak cask. Also factoring into Guinness’ choice were the flavors they knew the bourbon would impart to their beer. “The best part about barrel-aging any beer is that you get the chance to pull the flavors of the wood and liquid previously aged in it,” said Senior Brewer at Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House Sean Brennan, in a press release. The toffee and caramel notes from the barrels were specifically sought out to help balance the bittersweet profile of the Antwerpen Stout. “There’s a caramel, butterscotch note that is lightly present in the beer that comes out in a big way once it’s come out of the barrel. You certainly get a lot of vanilla character,” says Wagner. “It also highlights and brings to the forefront some of the dark, aged fruit characteristics in the beer.” Full-bodied notes of bittersweet chocolate are also present, and the barrel adds a layer of oaky richness and complexity to the beer. The 10% ABV beer finishes dry and clean and features a massive bourbon aroma. The Antwerpen Stout was also the perfect choice for this match-up because it has a solid malty rich backbone that stands up to the barrel and the character that the barrel imparts. While Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels is delicious enjoyed on its own, the Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House has been working on finding more ways to incorporate food and beer, and it partnered up with celebrity chef Jeff Mauro to create signature food recipes to pair with this beer (see the recipe on page 14). The Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels is available on shelves in a limited supply, but the Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House is dedicated to barrel-aging and plans to work on new launches—some of which may be released in a larger way. Plus, as part of the Diageo portfolio of brands, Guinness has access to a large supply of barrels

February 2019

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Guinness Irish Apple & Cinnamon Crumble

1/2 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup AP Flour 3/4 cup demerara sugar 1 tbsp lemon zest 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup toasted walnuts 145 grams unsalted Irish butter 2 granny smith apples, cored and diced 2 golden delicious apples, cored and diced 1 tbsp cornstarch 3 tbsp granulated sugar 1/2 tsp kosher salt 3 tbsp Guinness Barrel Aged Stout Combine flour, sugar, zest, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts into a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add walnuts and process until chunky but still fairly nutty, about three pulses. Add in butter and process until peasized chunks form. Turn out into bowl and keep very cold until ready to top. Preheat oven to 375. Toss apples, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and Guinness. Transfer to baking dish, cover with cold crumble, and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and bubbly. Let rest for at least 15 minutes. Top with a quenelle of cinnamon whipped cream. Jeff Mauro for Guinness


Bar Business Magazine

from all sorts of talented spirit makers. “There’s really no limit to what kind of barrels you can use,” says Wagner, naming wine, rum, and tequila barrels as examples. “Our brewers in Baltimore are dedicated to barrel-aging, to that process, to that extra level of creativity that’s involved there. We’re constantly looking for ways to invest in that part of the business, so I don’t think it will be long before you do see the next thing that does make it out into the world at large.” Egan’s Fortitude Egan’s Irish Whiskey pays tribute to the strength of character and resolve of its Co-Founder Henry J. Egan with its newest release, Fortitude. It also pays tribute to the innovation currently happening in the whiskey industry as this rare single malt Irish whiskey is matured exclusively in Pedro Ximénez casks. The result is a full-flavored whiskey with a strong influence of sherry. “Egan’s Irish Whiskey is a family-owned and operated brand with over 150 years of experience in the whiskey bonding trade, which has resulted in long and lasting relationships with independent distillers across Ireland,” says Ralph. “We’re fortunate that our long-standing history with these companies affords us

access to the best whiskey Ireland has to offer, and is what drives our innovation and allows us to continue to offer exceptional whiskies to the consumer.” Fortitude tips its hat at some of that history. As wine and spirit merchants, Egan’s developed an extensive trade, both domestically and for export, bottling and bonding many Irish whiskies as well as importing large quantities of sherry, port, and rum. In addition, Henry was a big fan of sherry. “Since the brand was reinvigorated in 2014, we have sought to discover and develop truly innovative single malt and single grain Irish whiskies. One of the ways we’re doing this is by experimenting with different aging methods,” says Ralph. “With the marriage of sherry and single malt Irish whiskey, Fortitude celebrates Henry’s legacy, and we’re pretty sure he would have loved it.” With all of this in mind, sherry casks were a great fit for Egan’s, which is the only Irish whiskey to be matured exclusively in Pedro Ximénez casks. “There are other whiskies out there that are finished in sherry casks, but ours spends its entire aging period [four to eight years] in them. It’s non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% alcohol,” explains Ralph. Fortitude exhibits sherry, honey, and raisin notes with a hint of marzipan on the nose. The mouth is full of complexity, brimming with influences of chocolate and mixed, dried fruits. The single malt exhibits a long finish with complex flavors that linger on the palate. “Fortitude imparts a very unique flavor in classic whiskey cocktails, such as a Manhattan, when flavors of hazelnut and chocolate come through to make an exceptional drink,” says Ralph. “We also recommend trying it in sherry cocktails.” Look for more unique expressions to come from Egan’s in the next year. “As we continue to develop the brand in the U.S., innovation will be at the forefront of what we do. We plan to announce one to two limited releases every year,” says Ralph. “While we will continue to develop new expressions, experimenting with aging techniques and different grains and malts, we will never compromise the quality or legacy associated with the Egan name.”

February 2019

Photo: Guinness.

Behind The Bar: LOW-ABV

Happenings March 2019


March 20 First Day of Spring Spring is in bloom! Turn to page 40 to check out our recommendations for your spring cocktail menu.

March 26 National Spinach Day


March 1 Women’s History Month Celebrate women’s contributions to cocktail culture this month by highlighting recipes from your female bartenders as well as women-owned brands and spirits.

March 1 National Peanut Month A bar staple. Find ways to highlight peanuts in your cocktails and bar snacks this month.


Bar Business Magazine

March 29 Smoke & Mirrors Day A day for illusions! We recommend hiding an unexpected ingredient or two in a cocktail.

February 2019

All Photos:

Consumers are becoming more health conscious—find ways to add some green into your cocktail offerings. Bonus: They’ll also be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!



March 5 Mardi Gras


Your bar may not be located in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with a sazerac, hurricane, or French 75.

march international restaurant & foodservice show of new york March 3-5, 2019 New York, NY

March 12 Girl Scouts Day Whip up a cocktail inspired by your favorite Girl Scout cookie— like a boozy Thin Mint shake or a Samoa martini.

new england food show March 3-5, 2019 Boston, MA

nightclub & bar show March 25-26, 2019 Las Vegas, NV

wswa convention & expo

14 March 24 National Cocktail Day We can argue that we celebrate this holiday every day, but highlight a classic or two on your menu anyway.

March 14 Pi Day

March 31-April 3, 2019 Orlando, FL

Today really celebrates the mathematical constant π, but we think you should celebrate by offering up slices of edible “pie.”

april northwest food show April 14-15, 2019 Portland, Oregon

May nra show

May 18-21, 2019 Chicago, Illinois

February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: POS

How To

Everything you need to know about POS systems.

POS Know-How 18

Bar Business Magazine

By Maura Keller February 2019


aving trouble keeping track of inventory? Wishing you knew which hours were the most profitable? Looking for an easier way to streamline complicated orders? Enter point-of-sale (POS) systems. These computer-enhanced software systems are making life a little bit easier for bar businesses across the nation.

Photo: Shutterstock/ Pressmaster.

Evolving Technology In recent years, POS systems have become more and more accessible to bars and restaurants in terms of both affordability and practicality. Making POS Work For You According to Joe Messina, Executive Vice President of Sales at Harbortouch, bar owners should make sure they are taking full advantage of all the functionality offered by their POS system. Many business owners only use the basic operations of their POS, but these systems offer powerful tools that can provide considerable value to the business. “Another underutilized POS feature is the customer database,” says Messina. “Most POS systems offer a customer database that can be used for direct marketing, loyalty programs, or customer appreciation initiatives. POS systems can serve as powerful business management tools when all of their functionality is utilized.” Alex Barrotti, TouchBistro CEO and Founder, says that with integrated loyalty programs, POS data can be used for marketing promotions such as birthdays, Valentine’s Day, or other holiday celebrations. “The management reports provided by a POS should cover all aspects of sales activities, inventory control, and staff assignment and productivity,” explains Barrotti. “Good bar or nightclub management become well versed in analyzing these reports to improve operations.” POS systems offer extensive reporting capabilities beyond basic sales figures. “Many of these reports can deliver valuable information to bar owners and help them make more informed business decisions,” says Messina. These reports can identify top-selling

How To: POS and poorly selling items to help guide menu changes, determine the busiest days of the week and times of the day to assist in employee scheduling, and even identify the most productive employees. The point-of-sale market continues to evolve rapidly. Software innovation, especially in the last few years, has made the lives of bar/nightclub owners much easier. If you’re using a modern solution featuring cloud software, new features are being continually pushed to users. Mark Schulze, Co-Founder at Clover and Vice President of Business Development at First Data, says bar owners need to periodically check-in to see what new features have been deployed to their system. “It’s not just about taking cash payments anymore,” says Schulze. “Adoption of mobile payments by consumers has grown, so you need to make sure you’re able to accommodate them in your point-of-sale. Also, operational improvements continue to be made making customer management, table management, and ordering much easier.” How often bar owners should upgrade their POS system depends on the age of the system and the extent of its use. “Bar owners should upgrade every three to five years or as new software is available,” says Jeff Banner, Director of Solutions Engineering at CPT Network Solutions, which specializes in POS systems for restaurants and bars. “Sometimes an update might not require the system to be replaced—just updated with the latest and greatest if possible. Some telltale signs may be the system running or operating at a much slower speed—the operating system might be just outdated.” Safeguarding Practices With the ongoing data breaches across a myriad of industries, bar owners and operators need to ensure that sensitive data like customers’ credit card information is protected. Data breaches have been in the news regularly over the past few years, and small businesses such as bars and restaurants can be hit especially hard by these breaches. To protect cardholder information and avoid costly data breaches, bar

owners should make sure they implement the “security trifecta” at their point of sale. The trifecta consists of point-to-point encryption (P2PE), tokenization, and EMV. According to Messina, P2PE technology encrypts payment data as soon as the card is swiped so that this information never enters the POS environment. Tokenization replaces card numbers with a random alphanumeric code so that the data is useless to potential hackers. And EMV technology transmits card information via an embedded microchip, providing more advanced security than traditional magnetic stripe cards. “When these technologies are combined, the security trifecta offers maximum protection against data breaches,” says Messina. Banner says that one of the most important ways to ensure data is protected is to make sure owners are using managed switches and that the PIN pads or credit card machines are using their own switch ports/VLAN. “In the past, a lot of retailers, bar owners, etc. were using unmanaged switches and the credit card machines were using the same switch port as the register, which increases the risk of exposing extremely important personal customer info like credit card numbers,” says Banner. The common practice of opening a tab by holding a customer’s credit card behind the counter is fraught with risk as well. You never know what can happen by holding that physical card in a busy bar environment. “Modern point-of-sale solutions allow you to pre-authorize credit cards and give it back to the customer,” says

Pro Tip Many owners only use the basic operations of their POS, but these systems offer powerful tools that can provide considerable value to the bar. February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: POS

POS systems have advanced capabilities that enable them to serve as the bar’s operational backbone, improving both general operations and management functions.

Schulze. “You’re still able to keep track of orders and get paid at the end of the day, without the risk of keeping your customer’s credit card out in the open.” Eric Elwell, CEO at 2TouchPOS, says it’s important for bar owners to monitor magstripe readers and USB ports of their hardware. Don’t make it easy to stick a thumb drive in one of your machines and catch some malware. Only use your POS for POS activities, which means no surfing the web or reading emails. “Make sure there are no skimmers on your mag readers,” says Elwell. “Modernize your payment equipment and expand capabilities as well as security. Also don’t let your guard down on security. Change codes, use badges, invest in bio readers, and don’t take your eyes off voids and comps.” Mistakes To Avoid The most common mistake that many bar owners make with their POS system is simply not utilizing all of the powerful features available to them. “POS systems have advanced capabilities that enable them to serve as the bar’s operational backbone, improving both general operations and management functions,” says Messina. Bars that look at POS systems as only a way to handle transactions are missing a big opportunity to improve their overall business operations through efficiency gains, reporting capabilities, enhanced customer experience, and more. 20

Bar Business Magazine

“Don’t be scared to implement new technology at your bar,” says Messina. “Many newer POS systems offer thirdparty integrations and add-on equipment that can further increase the system’s functionality and the benefits to your business. This includes integrations like online ordering, online reservations, and loyalty programs, as well as the addition of mobile terminals for tableside ordering or payment.” Barrotti sees the most common mistakes bars make with their POS systems as bar owners not implementing the proper security measures, not tailoring the reports for their unique operation, and not comparing the information provided in the reports to analyze where the operation can be improved or may be leaking money. “They are leaving so much on the table if they are treating the POS as just a cash register,” says Barrotti. “A POS can provide far more actionable insights on what can be done to run a more profitable and successful operation, such as determining the most popular drinks, the busiest time of day, which staff are the most productive, and what menu modifications are in most demand.” Many modern systems also feature integrations with payroll systems, accounting, etc. so bar owners should consider enabling those integrations. As Schulze explains, those integrations will streamline a bar’s workflow, allowing business owners to serve more customers

during the day and close out faster to get home to their family and friends. “We have seen businesses transformed with something as simple as a time management application integrated with their POS,” says Schulze. “One bar owner was not confident that his employees were opening and closing on time. With the addition of a time and attendance management application, he was armed with a better understanding of the operation of his business. In fact, his POS would text message him notifying him when staff showed up late or not at all. That simple change gave him the peace of mind he needed to leave town for a long weekend with family. He said it was his first vacation in 10 years.” On the Horizon Messina sees two big trends that are going to impact bars and restaurants in 2019 as it relates to POS systems. The first is the shift to order-at-the-table and pay-at-the-table solutions. “We are finally at the point where this technology is coming down in cost so that it’s more affordable for small- to mid-sized restaurants and bars,” says Messina. “This is the way the rest of the world handles payments in a table-service environment and it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. catches up.” The second trend is the increasing use of online ordering and delivery applications. “These third-party solutions will continue to represent a larger part of restaurants’ overall revenue as more consumers turn to the convenience of these apps,” says Messina. Some of the biggest innovations Schulze sees in 2019 also relate to smartphones and how they can make customer interaction more meaningful. From attracting customers, to placing their drink orders, to offering a slick checkout experience, Schulze predicts this process will be entirely managed on smartphones. “Already people are using their smartphones to order ahead. This will continue to become more and more mainstream,” says Schulze. “There will be a lot of learning, but we expect all aspects of the merchant and customer experience to see massive improvements over the next number of years.”

February 2019

from our partner

Common Misconceptions About POS Systems


inding the right point-of-sale (POS) system for your bar or nightclub has become an increasingly difficult job. And it’s not for lack of options. You have to keep up with technology advancements, worry that a newer POS system may end up becoming a bigger disappointment than the system it just replaced, and you can’t simply trust any of the information you find online either. Take time to educate yourself and avoid falling victim to carefully laid traps meant to lead you into choosing the wrong POS system. Don’t Be Fooled If you’ve started looking at options by typing “best POS system” into a search engine along with words like “bar” or “nightclub,” then you’ll find two things: POS companies that pay for advertisements to direct your attention to their product, and websites that claim to know which POS systems are the best. The “best POS systems” for bars and nightclubs found on these sites along with similar paid-for advertisements on social media are nothing more than lead generation tools for their paid-for-partner POS systems. The sites or advertisements will masquerade as trusted sources of information that provide a false appearance of impartiality. But these are not actually the best bar or nightclub POS systems; these are perhaps the best marketed POS systems. Hardware is Built for Purpose If you’re a high-volume, fast-paced establishment, a traditional, wired POS station with a resistive-touchscreen is the only option that won’t slow you down. Resistive-touchscreens offer easier navigation for a smoother, uninterrupted workflow because the screen responds to pressure from any object that makes contact with the screen and moisture has no effect on the screen’s performance. Tablet-based systems work best for venues with lower traffic and less volume. However, tablets use glass, capacitivetouchscreens, which won’t register nonhuman, non-warm skin touch and are

easily affected by moisture. Unless your staff considers their time best spent misfiring orders due to wet screens they constantly have to wipe down, then you’ll want to steer clear of a tabletbased system. Tablets are best kept as options for mobility to complement resistive-touchscreen POS systems. A Modern POS System You want to choose a POS system that has a hybrid cloud and local server. Your back office tasks should be cloud-based so that an owner or manager can access and operate the business from anywhere, but you want your on-site POS stations on a local server to avoid unwanted latency, instability, and slowness. Local-server only is old technology that lacks remote access while cloudserver only is modern technology that introduces new issues like lag and instability. Be wary of older POS systems that are Frankensteining their local-server to support limited cloud technology. Be equally as wary of cloud-server only POS systems that tout they are safe with offline mode in case the internet goes down. They don’t warn you about the slowness that appears because of your internet speed or because the cloud server lags when communicating remotely with multiple POS stations onsite. The Feature Chase The demand for POS systems to do more than just POS has led many POS solutions providers to deliver on an everexpanding checklist of features. These do not perform to industry standard and are too complex for the POS developers to give adequate focus to get right. POS suppliers are good at just that—creating a point-of-sale system and its core functionalities. As a result, these built-in, add-on features end up being lackluster or don’t work at all. They are only there for marketing purposes and will disappoint your expectations. Look for POS companies who partner with third parties to offer capabilities like inventory. These third-party companies are experts in these spaces, leading to more robust and multifaceted features.

In addition, pay attention to the things that aren’t always pushed in marketing materials—functionalities that anticipate your behavior and your needs and require only a little direction for a whole lot of functionality. Find systems specific to the bar industry that are hypersensitive to your pain points and set up their systems to solve or eliminate. Look for features like oneclick tab search, optimized workflows for bars and nightclubs, and solutions specific to your problems, which allow you to get more work done faster, in fewer clicks, and with fewer headaches. Before Signing on the Dotted Line Many POS suppliers’ primary goal is to lock you up in burdensome, expensive contracts, and this is especially true if the POS hardware is sold by a bank or is offered as “free.” In reality, low-cost POS options bury hidden fees and involve lengthy contracts where you’ll end up paying more over the length of the contract than you would if you had bought the system outright. The same can be said for credit card processing contracts. Don’t be fooled by the promise of dirt-cheap processing fees upfront. Read the fine print before signing any contract as it can be difficult and extremely costly to get out. And be wary of any contracts with terms over two years—these types of agreements can be the most expensive. If the POS provider is confident they have the best system, then they should be comfortable offering month-to-month terms and no penalty terminations. Ask POS suppliers for a list of real customers you can talk to, and make sure those customers have a business size and model similar to yours. It’s helpful to speak with someone running a business like yours and who has used multiple POS systems, as they have a frame of reference for comparison. Look in the comments section of review and technology sites focusing on POS systems—you’ll be getting mostly unbiased feedback from real users. If you’re a high-volume bar looking to break through the BS, contact SmartTab POS by visiting to learn more, or contact us directly at info@ or (888) 612-1309. February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To

How To: inventory control

Commit to Control Inventory management can have a profound impact on profits.


f you’re still doing your inventory management manually—or worse, not at all—2019 should be the year you make the resolution to change things. Need a reason to commit? There are a few. A Commitment to Control For one, better controlling your liquor inventory leads to increased profits. “Currently, the industry averages about 20-25% shrinkage, so there is a lot of

Pro Tip Inventory control can increase your profits, create better product consistency, and keep staff honest and accountable.


Bar Business Magazine

room to move the needle,” says Brian Edwards, CEO of WeighUp, a new liquor-tracking system that is the brainchild of point-of-sale systems leader Everything But The Food. Inventory control has such a profound impact on profits because it gives owners better insight into issues like waste or theft. “Proper inventory methods deeply impact Prime Costs [the combined cost of your food and labor expenses] by identifying sources of waste, over-portioning, or theft,” explains Alex Kohan, COO of Sculpture Hospitality, a pioneer in the hospitality inventory business featuring brands Bevinco and BevChek. “Implementing a perpetual inventory program allows for intelligent par assignment to eliminate ‘dying’ stock and free up cash flow.” Inventory management can also help to keep employees honest. “It’s really about accountability,” says Kohan. “With so many moving parts involved with operating bars and restaurants,

management relies on accountability. Daily tasks are verified with checklists, consistency is maintained with recipes, and money owed is tracked by cash-out reports. Taking proper inventory goes beyond placing your orders—it’s holding staff accountable for the product they use.” In addition, better accountability leads to greater consistency with the use of your product. “You don’t have bartenders overpouring as much whenever they think they’re going to get bigger tips,” says Edwards. “Also, you don’t have bartenders shorting customer A so they can overpour on customer B.” Kohan says it’s important that a bar keeps up with whatever inventory management program they establish so that the sense of accountability becomes a part of the bar’s culture. “Inventory isn’t only about numbers—it is a cultural shift,” he says. “When you hold staff accountable with higher frequency,

February 2019


By Ashley Bray

How To: inventory control you elevate standards and define a culture of fiscal responsibility.” Even with a greater culture of accountability, Edwards cautions that it’s important to stay vigilant. “It’s one thing to have your bartender help with doing the inventory, but it’s another to have them in charge of it or doing it themselves,” he says. “It’s good to have multiple eyes on any inventory process. Outsourcing too much of it to the bartender or bar manager leaves potential room for embezzlement, stealing, and so on.”

Two Solutions Luckily, there have been many solutions that have come to market over the last few years aimed at making

inventory control easier and more efficient for restaurants and bars. Here are just two examples. WeighUp is a brand-new system for tracking liquor inventory, and it comes from a team that’s no stranger to bar and restaurants. “I’ve owned and operated a point-of-sale dealership for bars and restaurants since 2011,” says Edwards. “And I’ve been working around restaurants and bars since well before then. So I’ve been very aware of the problem.” In fact, Edwards got the idea for the system after one of his POS clients complained of issues with stealing and inventory control. Edwards took the idea to his tech team—fast forward three years, and WeighUp will fully launch its system this summer after beta testing is complete. WeighUp works by constantly measuring bottles of liquor. Each liquor bottle has its own sensor, similar to a coaster, that the bottle sits on. WeighUp offers different sizes to accommodate a variety of bottles. The sensors constantly weigh the bottles and send that data up to WeighUp’s cloud system where it meets up with transaction data from the customer’s POS system. This cloud system is “where all the magic happens,” according to Edwards. “By capturing each liquor pour in realtime and reconciling pours with the establishment’s point-of-sale data, we’re

Photos (this page): Sculpture Hospitality.

Do Your Research Once your bar decides to commit to an inventory management program, it’s important to do your research on what program will work best for your particular establishment. “You will get out of inventory what you put into it,” says Kohan. “With each bar operating uniquely, inventory management is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Seek out experience, integrations, and transparency to save you the most time and money.” And don’t get discouraged if past methods haven’t worked well; it may just be that your bar hasn’t found the right method. “If you don’t have the right tools in place, you can spend too much time on it and lose focus in other areas. That’s one reason why some people are more hands-off than

they should be because they look at handling inventory as very arduous and time consuming. And it can be if you don’t have the right tools or you’re not doing it the right way,” says Edwards. “Find a happy medium and what works for your available time and your business.” Also, make sure the data you’re basing your reports and inventory management on is correct. “Part of it comes down to the integrity of the data that you get from your point-of-sale system and what those reports look like. For example, depending on how your POS reports look, if you are upcharging for Patrón in a margarita, then you may just have a 50-cent premium button in your POS system. That’s at least going to charge the customer more than the regular margarita by adding that 50-cent addon, but is that necessarily the right dollar amount to be charging?” asks Edwards. “Also, on the inventory reports that you get from your POS system, that’s not going to have the correct pour count for Patrón because you didn’t hit the Patrón button—all you hit was the premium upgrade button for 50 cents.”


Bar Business Magazine

February 2019

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How To: inventory control

WeighUp’s system uses bottle sensors.

giving operators access to information they’ve never had before by telling them how accurate each drink is made,” he says. Users can access the resulting data and reports via a website portal or mobile app to get information on pour scores, which bartenders had better or worse scores, which bottles are running low, etc. WeighUp is a system as a service with an upfront set-up fee and a monthly fee after that. The system can integrate with virtually any restaurant or bar POS

system. Interested bar owners can join the waitlist on WeighUp’s website ( to be contacted when the system launches. Sculpture Hospitality has over 30 years in the business and detects and resolves challenges in all phases of inventory: counting, controlling, ordering, and inventory analytics, using data to help operators make better management decisions faster. For liquor management, Sculpture Hospitality ( offers Bevinco, a bar inventory service featuring quick, on-site audits performed by the company’s professional staff to inventory stock, assist with ordering, prevent loss, and provide actionable data. Bevinco also comes in a mobile app format and allows users to scan, count, and weigh open bottles and kegs. Sculpture Hospitality also offers BevChek, a real-time, Web-based draft beer control system that provides restaurant and bar owners with detailed

data comparing sales from their POS terminals relative to real-time pours captured through BevChek’s advanced flow metering technology. The resulting data is delivered in a concise format, accessible anytime from anywhere via an Internet connection. “We are not your typical inventory control company—we have a solution to fit every type and size of bar from our full custom-tailored, in-house solution to our mobile apps,” says Kohan. “As the pioneers in our space, we put our entire focus on helping restaurant and bar operators detect and resolve opportunities in their inventory management program. “We’ve seen the trends come and go, but what hasn’t changed is the necessity for inventory control. We are a franchised organization so our experts are not just doing their job—it’s their life’s passion to help restaurant owners/ operators increase their profits and free up their time to focus on the fun stuff— their guests and staff.”

Photo: WeighUp.


Bar Business Magazine

February 2019


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How To: BEER

How To The Year of Beer

HEINEKEN USA’s Emerging Brands Group focuses on diverse, on-trend labels.


ith a global portfolio of over two-hundredand-fifty beer brands, HEINEKEN, the world’s most international brewer, operates at present in more than 70 countries worldwide. In the U.S., HEINEKEN USA (HUSA), the leading importer of premium beers, has piloted the nation’s upscale beer market not only through the success of their global

Pro Tip HUSA will bring its Emerging Brands Group to life in bars and restaurants through a localized sales approach, sampling and trial, digital and social outreach, and culturally influenced POS. 28

Bar Business Magazine

flagship lager, but also with burgeoning core brands and innovative portfolio inclusions, as well. Now, in a mission to further cultivate the best and most-recognized international beer brands here in the States, HUSA has established the Emerging Brands Group. This newly restructured portfolio offers an array of diverse, on-trend, and relevant labels— including Amstel Light, Red Stripe, Tiger, Newcastle Brown Ale, Strongbow Hard Ciders, Birra Moretti, Murphy’s Stout, Prestige, and Cerveja Sagres—to high-potential markets and varietyseeking consumers alike. Citing trends in brand fidelity, regional availability, and even communal influence, Jessica Robinson, Vice President of Marketing of HUSA’s Emerging Brands, states, “Today, more than ever, consumers choose products that appeal to specific occasions, taste preferences of the day, or the desire to try something new. Our broad portfolio

of authentic brands allows us to provide unique solutions to meet ever-changing consumer needs. For each of our distinct brands, we will take a localized approach in how we sell them and how we bring them to life in bars and restaurants through sampling and trial, digital and social outreach, and culturally influenced POS.” To increase account traffic and drive incremental import beer sales in 2019, HUSA will provide increased localized marketing and promotional support, targeted sales strategies, geo-specific data analysis, and amplified on-site representation. In addition, the team will focus on educating consumers through the exploration of these brands’ intriguing histories, novel packaging, interactive marketing, and exciting new campaigns alike for core brands, including: Amstel Light, “The Beer Drinker’s Light™ Beer,” at 3.5% ABV and 18 IBU, is delicately hopped and lightly

February 2019


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How To: BEER carbonated with a smooth, crisp finish. Amstel Light is lower in both alchohol content and calories, making it ideal for active individuals who crave the benefits of cutting calories without sacrificing flavor. In 2019, HUSA will bring a renewed focus to this iconic light lager through digital outreach, sampling, and on-premise activations spotlighting the active consumer’s passion points, such as golf, skiing, and tennis. Newcastle Brown Ale, at 4.7% ABV, is the gold standard of brown ale since it was first introduced to the world in 1927. In 2019, HUSA will be relaunching Newcastle Brown Ale through a collaborative partnership with sister company Lagunitas Brewing Company, one of the fastest growing domestic craft brewers. The result is a fine-tuned Newcastle Brown Ale brewed with Centennial and Chinook hops for a delicious hoppy twist and a smooth malty finish updated to craft drinkers’ tastes. Red Stripe, 4.7% ABV, the beer that embodies the big spirit of the little island of Jamaica, has set the standard for Jamaican-brewed lager since first being introduced in 1928. Red Stripe’s distinct full-bodied and smooth taste and beloved, stubby bottle have been winning favor with American consumers since the brand arrived on U.S. shores in 1985. In the coming year, HUSA will expand Red Stripe’s appeal by tapping into Caribbean cultural passions through sponsored festival events,


Bar Business Magazine

sampling, and grass roots activation. The embodiment of good vibes and positive energy, Red Stripe will be taken to all-new national heights and made accessible to all: no passport needed. Tiger Beer, at 5.0% ABV, has won in excess of forty international beer awards and accolades. Tiger Beer, imported to the U.S., is brewed entirely by the sun and made with only the finest ingredients resulting in a unique, intensely refreshing, and full-bodied Asian lager.

To taste is to believe, which drives on-premise sales.

In 2019, HUSA will be “uncaging” Tiger’s culture through innovative digital engagement, increased sampling activations, and creative collaborations with artists, technologists, chefs, designers, entrepreneurs, etc. that will introduce more on-premise consumers to the great taste of Tiger Beer. Strongbow Hard Ciders, HEINEKEN’S flagship cider brand, is the world’s number-one selling hard

cider brand, representing a viable solution for non-beer drinkers who prefer crisp refreshment. Strongbow offers five gluten-free flavors in the U.S. including, crisp 4.5% ABV Gold Apple and dry 5.0% ABV Strongbow Original Dry. In 2019, Strongbow will be the first to market with an innovative 100 Cal Slim Can Variety Pack, tapping into the booming canned wine, cocktails, and seltzer craze and providing consumers with an attractive, portioncontrolled, and mobile solution for social gatherings and recreation. Strongbow will introduce the slim cans in a multi-pack format featuring three varieties—Original Dry, Rosé Apple, and Dry Pear—that offer crisp, light, and dry refreshment. “Our Emerging Brands portfolio has a diverse range of credentials that fit a wide variety of beer drinking occasions,” says Robinson. “Our plan is to work with our distributors and on-premise partners to deliver these brands with straightforward messaging and turnkey solutions. By doing so, we will help drive account traffic and incremental import beer sales. Getting consumers to try our beers and ciders is the first and most important step to adoption and loyalty. “This year, we are significantly increasing our investment in sampling and education activations on-premise,” continues Robinson. “We believe to taste is to believe, and to believe above all is to have a significant impact on driving on-premise sales.”

February 2019

For more information, visit TNTBURGERS.COM.

Tuning Up

How To: Tuning Up


Evolving the Customer Experience Digital entertainment options help bars stand out. rom jukeboxes to TVs to karaoke stations and photobooth machines, the bar scene just hasn’t been complete without some form of stimuli to hold the attention of a patron, and trends reflect that this desire is only growing stronger. You may have read about gaming 32

Bar Business Magazine

entertainment in our July issue (“Get in on the Game”) where we touched upon the millennial mindset of valuing experiences over purchases. Evidently, creativity is key when finding a way to stand out as a nightlife establishment where both can be accomplished. The result? A “newer is better” digital approach or the “ode to

nostalgia” route. Mike Shortino, Owner of Entertainment to Go, skillfully combines the best of both worlds. “In this digital age of social media, more and more people are looking for good old-fashioned human interaction and some venues are going as far as declaring themselves as ‘phone-free

February 2019

Photo: AMI.


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How To: Tuning Up zones,’” says Shortino. As a DJ in the entertainment industry for over 35 years, Shortino is no stranger to the bar and restaurant scene. After being approached in the ’90s to host bingo at a local bar, he took the opportunity to change the game, literally and figuratively. “My first thought was, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me, bingo?’ Not wanting to disappoint, I did what I was asked, hating every minute of it,” he starts. “As a disc jockey, it didn’t take long for me to make the conversion from calling bingo numbers to creating a bingo game that featured music instead of numbers.” His newfound success with this fun fusion led to further categories of music bingo spanning every decade of popular music, each song edited to the very best 30-second singalong portion. Xtreme Bingo was born. Each Xtreme Bingo show typically consists of two or three different music categories each lasting between 45 minutes to an hour. With close to 100 unique music bingo categories to choose from including: One Hit Wonders, Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Modern Pop, Golden Oldies, Retro 70’s, Awesome 80’s, 90’s Hip Hop, Motown Hits, Hair Bands, Party Mix Series, Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, TV & Movie Theme Song and Today’s Hottest Hits–-the music bingo brand is clearly effective for increasing late night sales and good old-fashioned fun. A monthly subscription price of $99.95 provides unlimited access to Xtreme Bingo’s bingo cards and music podcasts online, custom-designed posters, digital assets, and ongoing consulting and training. Shortino also reveals another product in the works for Entertainment to Go that may strike a chord with sports bars and the avid sports buffs who frequent them: Sports Blitz. “Sports Blitz is the first of its kind ‘live’ sports trivia tournament featuring the most popular sports, athletes, game events, records, and stats,” explains Shortino. A Sports Blitz tournament consists of 11 weekly sports trivia contests (two preseason games, eight weeks of competition, and one championship event). Patrons form teams of players and meet each week to compete in their trivia competition, which features nine rounds of multiple choice and true or false sports trivia questions. Participating teams compete for prizes, bragging rights, and an invitation to play in the bar’s championship event in week 11. Bars receive 11 weeks of trivia show content, game format, hosting instructions, custom posters, and digital assets for $295. So how do these options increase profits? “Both Xtreme Bingo and Sports Blitz trivia engage bar customers in a fun, interactive competition that is both challenging and entertaining,” answers Shortino. “As customers experience the fun and camaraderie derived from social gaming, the word begins to spread and soon those same customers return with more of their friends.” Combined with simple, low-cost, and user-friendly execution, these new DIY entertainment concepts may provide shrewd operators a distinct advantage in boosting late night

sales and winning the loyalty of new customers. “Digital gaming has been present in bars for many years, and although the graphics have vastly improved, they remain mostly an individual activity—one person competing against a machine,” says Shortino. “What we strive to do is make it simple for bars to use today’s technology to engage their customers in inclusive group activities where guests can connect on a human level.” AMI Entertainment Network, a long-time player in providing digital entertainment options through modern-day jukeboxes and interactive trivia, also shows no signs of slowing down even after over 100 years in business. Their secret? Meeting the customers where they are, which is just what they’ve done with their Tap TV Trivia. “We have changed with the times and Tap TV embraces that change by engaging guests where they are with their smartphone,” says Broderick Norkus, Sales Manager of AMI Entertainment Network, LLC. “Most Americans are routinely accused of overutilizing their smartphones. In most cases, that is at the expense of people in our immediate proximity. “We have harnessed that same device but made it engaging within the environment where group participating can be a lot more fun. Not only can one person at a table get the whole group engaged, it can also keep them engaged for the next 20-minute round. Start playing in tournaments and

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How To: Tuning Up

Photo: Entertainment to Go.

Xtreme Bingo features music instead of numbers, and it offers a way to keep bar patrons engaged.

players will stick around for a few extra rounds to ensure they have given it everything they could that day to boost their rank. The longer you have guests engaged, the more likely they are to have another round or another appetizer to share. Attentive FOH staff can work to maximize that return by watching those groups and being ready for the next round before they are.” The other trick is giving customers more control to make the place enjoyable for them…with a few boundaries, of course. “A growing number of guests want to have greater influence in the music content choices that are being played within the venues they like to enjoy,” says Norkus. “Today’s younger guests grew up with access to whatever music they wanted available in their pockets whenever they wanted it. The challenge for venues today with these guests is to get them to take out the Airpods and realize that they can engage with the content at their location. The scary part for venues is the fear that one person with a dollar in their pocket could ruin the mix or flavor of the content the venue is building their brand around.” “If your vibe is hip-hop, you really don’t want to hear a Blake Shelton song. Likewise, if your venue is more hardcore country like John Pardi, you really don’t want to hear Justin Bieber. AMI has solved that problem too,” says Norkus. AMI jukeboxes contain filters that allow venues to restrict by genre, artist, album, or song by day of the week or time of day. They are even able to make exceptions to their restrictions on an album-by-album basis (in the event there’s that one album that defies the laws of genre-bashing). And music videos can even enter the mix thanks to AMI’s







February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Tuning Up

Xtreme Bingo

Sports Blitz

AMI jukeboxes

offers 100 unique music bingo categories.

is a first-of-its-kind “live” sports trivia tournament.

give bars and guests more control over music content choices.

latest wall-mounted NGX Ultra Jukebox, which boasts a wide digital display and secondary touchscreen display, enabling patrons to take song requests and play music videos at the same time. Further, the jukebox can broadcast the same content to additional TV monitors via an HDMI splitter, ideal for an all-around immersive experience, which can also incorporate customized

digital signage for your bar via the AMI Ad Manager platform. The Ad Manager platform offers over 1400 templates for venues to pick from to promote anything from food and beverages to events and fundraisers. When a tournament is created, the system automatically generates an ad to be placed into the attract loops for the Tap TV or music video content.

“Utilizing the venue’s current TVs to promote their own brand and offerings is an incredible tool for those that embrace it,” explains Norkus. “In our experience, promotions of products on the TV screen are nearly 10 times more effective than traditional print items like table tents, beer posters, or restroom posters. Can you name any venue that wouldn’t want to sell 10 times more of their most profitable items?”

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February 2019

H C R A M 9 1 0 2 , 7 25-2T7 H 26-E2NTER C R A ES M ON C






Seasonal cocktails


S e a s o n a l

C o c k t a i l s :

REFRESH Rejuvenate 40

Bar Business Magazine

February 2019

Seasonal Cocktails

Cocktail recipes that focus on what’s fresh and seasonal. Lisamarie Joyce


he transition from winter to spring is one of the most anticipated times of the year—and with good reason! The ground is coming back to life, parkas are being tucked into closets, patios are opening up, and I don’t know about you, but after the tax season, I could use a drink! Get ready for cocktails to usher in warmer weather with fresh produce, bright colors, and leafy herbs. The long, cold winter had us building our cocktails around warm, brown spirits, but springtime is the best time to think produce first, spirit second. Focus on what’s truly in season and use it to your advantage. Spring is all about using fresh, raw ingredients while they are in season. Get out your blender. Rhubarb, which is quite fibrous, can be blended with a little water, sugar, and lemon and then strained. It makes for a fantastic mixer. With bartenders getting in the kitchen, you are going to discover we will try to juice just about anything we can. Yes, even snap peas. Don’t worry, we’ll shake it with booze. April showers bring May flowers! Flowers are taking over as the finishing touch for not only their beauty, but the floral fragrance it adds to the cocktail. Folks will take pictures first and taste second, so you cannot skimp on that garnish! This is the season for big, bright, bold garnishes. It’s got to be Instagram worthy, right? Many people ask me how they can make “that cocktail” at home. Since there is an abundance of local fruits and herbs this time of year, it makes it easier to get crafty at home. I like to call these “Couch Cocktails.” They are achievable for even the most novice bartenders.

You can be steps away from a delicious cocktail with a few strawberries, lemon, sugar, and vodka! Or go to your garden and grab some cucumber, ginger, and mint and mix it with gin. Refreshing cocktails share characteristics of being cold, light, and hydrating. Topping your cocktail with sparkling water adds a delightful effervescent experience. Don’t worry, I’ve included the recipes for all of these cocktails as well. Behind the scenes of the best bars in the springtime is somewhat magical. The world around us feels rejuvenated, and your menu should celebrate its awakening. Make your grocery lists, shop local markets for fresh fruits and herbs, measure and muddle, shake and taste— it’s all part of the creation of the spring cocktail menu. Read on for my spring cocktail recipes as well as creations from my Union Kitchen & Tap colleague Jessica Beusan. Lisamarie Joyce is the Owner of LMJ Consulting LLC where she serves as a bar and hospitality consultant to her clients. You can also find her behind the bar at Union Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas, California. For more information on LMJ Consulting or to contact Lisamarie, email or follow her on Facebook & Instagram @lisamariejoyce.


Vernon 1½ oz Aged Venezuelan rum 2 oz Spiced mango (lime, pineapple, curry, cardamom) nectar ½ oz Almond syrup Fernet Branca float To make the spiced mango nectar, add fresh pineapple juice to taste, then a little fresh lime for some brightness. Then to top it all off, I added a curry tincture and cardamom extract for South East Asian flare. Add small amounts until you’re happy! For the cocktail, shake all ingredients with ice.

Eugene 2 oz Strawberry-rhubarbinfused mezcal ¼ oz Rose liqueur 3 dashes Angostura Bitters Edible pansy garnish To make the strawberry-rhubarb infusion, simply cook down fresh berries and rhubarb chunks with granulated sugar until macerated. Stir in mezcal and let sit for up to four days. Strain out solids, and violá! For the cocktail, stir all ingredients together with ice.

Genevieve 2 oz Botanical gin 2 oz Fresh snap pea/mint juice ½ oz. Lemon juice Orange blossom water to taste To make the snap pea/mint juice, juice fresh snap peas with fresh mint. For the cocktail, shake all ingredients with ice. All recipes on this page: Jessica Beusan, Beverage Director of OMG Hospitality Group, Union Kitchen & Tap, Encinitas, CA

February 2019 Bar Business Magazine


Seasonal cocktails


Tropical Mule

You can find Jessica & Lisamarie behind the bar at Union Kitchen & Tap

Tropical Mule 1½ oz Reposado Tequila ½ oz Lime juice 2 oz Ginger beer 2 slices Pineapple

Muddle together lime juice and pineapple. Add tequila and ice. Shake and pour into glass. Top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

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1½ oz Vodka ¾ oz Lemon juice ¾ oz Simple syrup 2 Whole strawberries

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Muddle together everything except vodka. Add vodka and ice. Shake and pour into glass. Top with lemon/lime soda. Garnish with strawberries and lemon wheel.


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Midwest Lemonade

Ocean Breeze 1½ oz Gin ½ oz Lemon juice ¼ oz Agave 2 Cucumber slices 2 Ginger slices 5 Mint leaves

Muddle together everything except gin. Add gin and ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with Club Soda. Garnish with a cucumber slice. All recipes on this page: Lisamarie Joyce

FRESH Produce, bright colors, & Leafy herbs

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wning and operating a successful bar or nightclub requires compliance with a myriad of employment laws. Failing to comply with these laws can result in an expensive lesson. There are many employment law myths bar and


Bar Business Magazine

nightclub owners face in the context of overtime and minimum wage laws that can lead to serious consequences if the proper protocols are not put in place. The federal overtime law applies to employers regardless of the number of employees. Moreover, employees cannot waive their right to overtime—period.

In the unlikely event that a service bartender, for example, signs a contract agreeing that he will not be paid overtime, he can still sue for the unpaid overtime. In fact, this is the most common reason why employees sue employers for unpaid overtime or minimum wage violations.

February 2019

TOP MYTHS E m p l o y me n t

L aw

Employment law myths surrounding overtime and minimum wage laws.

Shutterstock/ Maksim Fesenko

By Robin I. Frank

Many business owners—particularly those in the nightlife and hospitality industries—wrongly assume that if an employee works overtime without advance approval, in violation of a written policy, they do not have to pay for that overtime. This is not the case. A supervisor who knows that the employee

is working overtime is liable and must pay for that overtime. Disciplining the employee for violating the policy may be in order, but not paying is not an option. Many nightclub owners do not maintain accurate time records. In the overtime context, it is the employer’s obligation to keep and maintain accurate

Staffing time records (a work schedule does not constitute an accurate time record). For nightclubs with multiple facilities, even if under different corporate names, when employees work at different locations in a single work week, you may be required to aggregate the employee’s time worked at both locations in order to ensure that proper overtime is being paid. If the employee works 20 hours at one location and 30 at another in the same workweek, the hours must be combined such that the employee would have worked 10 overtime hours in that week. In this situation, the payroll systems for both locations should be coordinated to ensure proper compliance with the overtime laws. And the bar should never require an employee, such as a hostess or bartender, to work off the clock or reduce their hours worked to keep labor costs down. If, for example, a service bartender sues for overtime because of an especially busy or crowded time, and there are no accurate time records, the law allows the employee to merely estimate the number of hours worked. This could be as simple as the employee stating that she worked an average of “X” number of hours per week. Moreover, if she recovers even one penny in unpaid overtime, the owner more than likely will be required to pay double that amount as a penalty. The overtime law also requires the employer to pay the employee’s reasonable attorney’s fees if the employee wins. If the employer wins, in most cases, the costs cannot be recouped. The federal overtime law is an extremely unforgiving law for employers and is almost entirely skewed in favor of the employee. For example, owners or individuals who have the authority to hire, fire, and set pay rates and/or work schedules can be held liable for unpaid overtime and minimum wages, regardless of whether the restaurant is an LLC, S corp., etc. Additionally, successor companies are often substituted in after the fact. So closing down the restaurant or bankrupting it is not an effective solution. Another problem area is misclassifying employees as exempt from the overtime laws, an issue that is not uncommon February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Staffing among restaurant owners. “Classifying” employees as exempt does not guarantee that the law will see them as such. Paying an employee a salary or giving him or her the “title” of manager does not mean the employee is not entitled to overtime. Being paid a salary simply changes how to calculate the overtime rate. Likewise, only certain types of jobs are exempt from the overtime requirements.

An executive chef or service manager must be paid a minimum salary in order to be exempt; however, being paid a salary alone does not make the chef or manager exempt from the overtime law. Exemptions focus on the employee’s actual day-to-day job duties and responsibilities and not the job title. A creative employment attorney can assist in determining whether any of the

exemptions can be properly applied to different categories of employees. Finally, one of the biggest problems for bar and nightclub owners are tip credits and tip pools. First, it is imperative to post the required notices in order to properly take advantage of the tip credit. Second, if a tip pool, i.e., a mandatory redistribution of tips, is utilized, only those employees who customarily and regularly receive tips (waiters, waitresses, bussers, and service bartenders) may participate in the tip pool. A valid tip pool may not include employees who do not regularly receive tips (dishwashers, cooks, janitors). Third, the overtime rate for employees paid via a tip credit is calculated on the full minimum wage, not the lower wage payment (i.e., 1.5 times the full minimum wage, minus the tip credit). Fourth, where tips are charged on a credit card and the restaurant incurs a fee from the credit card company for each sale, it is permissible to deduct that percentage from the employee’s tip so long as this charge on the tip does not reduce the employee’s wage below the required minimum wage. You can also choose to deduct a flat percentage amount equivalent to the average credit card fees from the employees’ tips, rather than the actual percentage charged for a particular sale, so long as the total amount collected reasonably reimburses for no more than the total amounts charged by credit card companies and does not exceed the aggregate fees imposed by the credit card companies.

Robin I. Frank is a partner with Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann, P.A. one of the largest independent full-service litigation and transactional law firms in South Florida. She focuses on labor and employment law and has extensive experience both prosecuting and defending against nationwide “collective action” claims for unpaid overtime or minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. She may be reached at (561) 477-7800 or 46

Bar Business Magazine

February 2019

Bar Tour

Bar Tour


Whiskey Blue atlanta, georgia

Renovated rooftop bar offers a new view of downtown Atlanta.


Bar Business Magazine

fter a full renovation, you could say Whiskey Blue is on top of the world—or at least Atlanta. Guests enjoy a ride up to the rooftop bar in an all-glass elevator that ascends 125 feet high above the city’s skyline. Once they arrive, they can choose to gaze out over the city from two outdoor patios, which feature views of Buckhead and Lenox Square on one side and Midtown on the other. The spectacular views are certainly one of the things that has drawn guests to Whiskey Blue over the last ten years, but a focus on top-notch service has kept them coming back. “We look to stand out now based on our staff and the hospitality of our staff,” says Scott Gerber, Principal & CEO of the Gerber Group, which owns Whiskey Blue. “We really rely on our staff to be hospitable, to make you feel good, to remember your name if you come back, and make sure you have a great time.” Now guests will have another reason to come back—the bar recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation in November 2018. “We are truly excited to present a

newly renovated Whiskey Blue to the city of Atlanta,” said Gerber. “Our entire team has been working hard to ensure that every detail is perfect, and we cannot wait for those who have grown to love Whiskey Blue over the past ten years to experience the new design.” There were a few catalysts for the renovation, including inevitable wear and tear. “We’ve been around for 10 years, we’ve had a very, very successful business, and it needed a renovation anyway,” explains Gerber. Whiskey Blue was also motivated to update its venue after the hotel it is in was sold and underwent a complete renovation. The W Atlanta – Buckhead, which is owned by Woodbine Development Corporation, now features an all-new lobby, guest rooms, and ballrooms. “When they decided to renovate the entire hotel, we had an opportunity to participate, and we didn’t want to get left behind, so we did an entire gut renovation,” says Gerber. A renovation of this size requires a lot of planning, and Whiskey Blue spent nearly a year preparing for the project.

February 2019

Photos (this spread): Jason Locklear of RSVP ATL.

By Ashley Bray

Bar Tour All-new furniture was fabricated and placed in a warehouse, and any longlead items were ordered before the renovation started so that the team wasn’t waiting around for anything. To complete the renovation, Whiskey Blue had to close, so time was of the essence on this project, which took seven weeks to complete once the renovation began. During the time the bar was closed, existing staff members were compensated. “We were really fortunate that we have an incredible staff, and we were able to compensate them to take some time off over the seven weeks and still have them be able to survive,” says Gerber. “Everybody except for one person came back and is super excited to be there.” The renovation included a complete overhaul of the space, its fixtures, and the furniture. “If you were there previously, and you went back, it still looks similar in that the bar is in the same location and you have two big terraces, but everything else was completely renovated: floors, bartop, ceiling, walls, sound system, everything,” explains Gerber. The color scheme also changed from predominantly brown to more grays and blues, including sleek, gray subway tile and gray leather couches perfect for lounging. A few saddle-colored couches break up the grays and blues. The

outdoor patios offer vibrant blue sectional seating areas. The color scheme is meant to be a soothing backdrop to the beautiful space and views while offering great aesthetic appeal. “Those color tones, along with the lighting, just make people look good,” says Gerber. That’s not to say the bar doesn’t offer

We stand out based on the hospitality of our staff.

eye-catching and unique photo-op spaces. Take the Instagram-worthy 66-foot-long mural from local Atlanta artist Chris Veal (pictured below). Whiskey Blue met Chris through their general manager, who previously curated art for another W hotel. The bar was looking to embrace a local artist, and it hired him to create the colorful mural out on the terrace.

Another popular backdrop for that perfect Instagram shot is a new, intricate lighting installation at the front of the bar (pictured below, right). “One of the things that has changed today versus 10 years ago is Instagram,” says Gerber. “So I think having some of those moments where you have interesting places to take photos are always a nice thing that people enjoy.” Whiskey Blue’s cocktail menu was also a part of the renovation, and new cocktails include the Buckhead Spritz (Absolut Elyx Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, mint, sparkling wine) and the Pomegranate Sour (Maker’s Mark, lime juice, simple syrup, pomegranate molasses, orange bitters). Whiskey Blue continues to serve up classic cocktails and house favorites that highlight fresh juices and herbs—a hallmark of this rooftop bar. “We’ve always had fresh ingredients. It’s not a new trend for us. Our attitude is if you’re putting it in your body, why not put the healthiest, best stuff that you can,” says Gerber. The bar will sometimes add in new cocktails throughout the year, but typically will do a larger change-out of their menu with the seasons. Currently, the menu caters to colder weather. “In the summer, aperol spritzes are huge, but as it gets colder, people want to do

February 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Bar Tour

Principal & CEO of Gerber Group


cott Gerber heads up the hospitality industry leader, Gerber Group. Setting out to provide an innovative nightlife experience, Gerber Group opened their first property, The Whiskey at the Paramount Hotel, in 1991. Soon after, Scott took the lead in forging a partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to develop the W Hotel brand. The partnership is widely credited for changing the landscape of the nightlife industry by creating

something a little bit different. So we put something on called the Autumn Spritz [rosemary-infused Cynar, Barolo Chinato wine, club soda], which is a

BEVERAGEWARE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Never Cracks – Never Chips – Never Shatters

little bit more wintery,” says Gerber. For other wintery options, the bar also offers a Cold Brew Martini with Kahlúa, coffee demerara, cold brew coffee, and Stoli Vanil Vodka, as well as the Big in Japan cocktail (Suntory Whisky Toki, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, Solera 1841, mole bitters, bourbon-soaked cherries), a riff on a Manhattan that’s done with Japanese whiskey. Whiskey Blue also offers signature small bites in conjunction with the hotel. “Whenever we can, it’s locally sourced,” says Gerber. “And because it’s in the south, we always have our pimento cheese and toast.” Other bites include a grilled market vegetable flatbread, crispy duck tacos, angus beef sliders, and an artisan cheese

and local charcuterie board. One of the unique parts of their menu that went unchanged is the cigars section. The three different cigar selections often appeal to those with a reason to celebrate something special out on Whiskey Blue’s outdoor terraces. “We limit it to an area so it’s not bothering anybody else,” explains Gerber. Overall, the renovation has been well received by Whiskey Blue’s customers— both new and returning. “We’re really excited,” says Gerber. “So far the reaction has been very, very positive. We’re really pleased with the way things came up, and we’re hoping to do better than we did even the first 10 years and have another really strong 10 years going forward.”

Autumn Spritz Cocktail

Big in Japan Cocktail | (715) 246-7979 NC&B Booth #111 50

Bar Business Magazine

WonkyWare_Ad.indd 1

February 2019 2/1/19 12:31 PM

Photos (this page): Gerber Group.

Scott Gerber

unique, innovative venues that have redefined the “hotel bar.” Today, Gerber Group owns and operates bars and restaurants under such brands as Whiskey Blue, Kingside, Mr. Purple, Taco Electrico, and The Campbell. Gerber Group continues to redefine the hospitality industry with innovative dining concepts and bars featuring renowned beverage programs accompanied by exceptional culinary talents. Scott is widely viewed as a leading entrepreneur in the hospitality industry. He has appeared on shows such as Food Network’s Food Fortunes and CBS’ Undercover Boss and has been quoted in publications like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.


Deemed as “Bar Industry’s Bible.” David Rosengarten – Television Personality and Journalist for Forbes, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Harper’s Bazaar, Departures, The Wine Spectator and Newsday

“Bar Business Magazine is full of valuable how-to information for the bar owner or operator. It should be one of your essential tools in your bar.” Jon Taffer – Renowned Hospitality Consultant and Host & Executive Producer of Bar Rescue

“Bar Business Magazine is my immediate recommendation to our Ark Restaurants bar managers and staff as the trusted premier educational resource for smart industry trends and practices.” Jeff Isaacson – VP Beverage Operations, Ark Restaurants




A New Way to Age & Flavor Spirits Barrel Char in a Jar

Barrel Char in a Jar offers the industry a way to age and flavor spirits in-house without investing in the logistics of traditional oak barrels. Designed for use in standard quart-sized mason jars, Barrel Char in a Jar provides a variety of toasted and charred wood such as sugar maple, hickory, and European Chestnut to give unique craft flavors inexpensively and conveniently to either well spirits or higher-tier products. Unlike using oak barrels, there is no need to store a large amount of product that has to age for long periods. The use of small staves allows product to be aged in quantities as small as a standard 750ml bottle or to scale up inexpensively to larger amounts when necessary. Each flavor stave can be used two to three times and can be recycled for wood smoking or grilling purposes afterwards. Prices start as low as $20.00 for a dozen staves in a single flavor or $25.00 for a variety pack of up to four flavors.

Re-Introducing the Only 4-Way Cocktail Jigger 4-Way Cocktail Jigger

Following the end of Prohibition, Albert F. Saunders designed the “Modernistic” line of premium barware for the Benedict Manufacturing Company of Syracuse, New York. Proper, standardized measuring tools were in demand by professional bartenders so each cocktail would be the same for each guest, no matter who was behind the stick. The original Benedict 4-Way Cocktail Jigger has been faithfully reproduced in polished stainless steel, constructed with a weighted center cube for balance and ergonomics, a flattened interior base to prevent excess pooling of leftover liquid, and marks to identify accurate measures of the 2, 1 1/2, 1, and 3/4 ounce bells. The limited edition 4-Way Jigger is priced at $33 and offered by HISTORY COMPANY.

A Rum You Should Know Bumbu XO

Bumbu Rum Company is pleased to announce Bumbu XO, a small-batch, ultra-premium rum aged up to 18 years in bourbon barrels and finished in white oak sherry barrels from Andalusia, Spain. Bumbu XO is distilled and aged at a 120-year-old Panamanian distillery and proudly uses only local sugarcane and pure spring water. Bumbu XO is a fullstrength, 80-proof rum, with aromas of toffee, toasted oak, and vanilla giving way to orange zest, peppery spice, and even a hint of coffee on the palate. Bumbu XO is perfect for traditional rum cocktails but is even better on its own, neat, or over a single ice cube. It is packaged in an ultraheavyweight, fragrance-quality paperless glass bottle, with a striking matte black finish, silver and white details, and a tarnished silver “X” medallion.


Bar Business Magazine

February 2019


The X Factor in Mobile draft systems XBar

A Whole New Way to Serve! Bottle Liquor Dispenser

The XBar is just that—the X-factor in portable, mobiledraft delivery systems. Geared towards the consumer, tailgating, bars, and events markets, the XBar will change how the people, and the industry, think of dispensing beverages. No matter if it’s beer, wine, or soda, the XBar is the new, easiest way to pour and serve drinks anywhere. The XBar fits in any size vehicle with it’s compact collapsed size of 24-inch-by-24-inch-by-11-inch. When in use, it stands 24-inch-by-24-inch-by-30-inch. Its dolly-style portability allows easy transport of any size kegs up to 16 gallons. Constructed of high-density polyethylene, it will support the weight of kegs with ice. It comes with a foot pump for easy set-up but CO2 dispensing options are available. The XBar is the game changer in ease of use and beverage freshness. Check out the allnew XBar—the X-Factor in mobile-draft systems!

Serve like a pro, even in your own home, with the Bottle Liquor Dispenser. You can mount your three favorite bottles of liquor and tap into them whenever you please. Expertly serve your guests a variety of cocktails with this three-bottle liquor dispenser. This three-bottle liquor dispenser is the perfect addition for home bars, parties, and special events like holidays or sporting events. Sold at Ross and Burlington.


PRODUCT; NC&B Show Booth #1658

Two New, Limited-Edition Bottled in Bond Spirits Rabble Rouser Rye Whisky & 1757 Virginia XO Brandy

Catoctin Creek Distillery is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the release of two limited-edition Bottled in Bond spirits, Rabble Rouser Rye Whisky and 1757 Virginia XO Brandy, both launching February 16. Distilled in 100-gallon batches, the 100 proof/50% ABV 1757 Virginia XO Brandy has been aging since 2010 in 53-gallon Bordeaux red-wine casks, making it both Catoctin Creek’s oldest release to date. The 50/50 blend of Seyval blanc and Chambourcin grapes used in the brandy is sourced from Tarara Vineyards in Leesburg, Virginia, only 10 minutes from the distillery. The eight-year-old XO brandy is soothing and warm, featuring rich hints of grape, raisin, date, fig, bread pudding, cherry, and stone fruit. Catoctin Creek’s four-year-old Rabble Rouser offers a rustic flavor profile of clover honey, uncured bacon, deep earthy spice, sandalwood, white peaches, nectarines, peanuts and a hint of mesquite. Although bottled at 100-proof, the 100% rye mash is distilled to a lower proof, which captures many of the extra flavors typically lost to the distillation.

February 2019

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February 2019 Bar Business Magazine


Q&A with AdrinAdrina

& Elliott Coon

Co-Founders of GEM&BOLT


EM&BOLT Mezcal uniquely distilled with damiana is a fair-trade and sustainable mezcal produced by a 4th-generation master-distiller in Oaxaca, Mexico. Founding artist-alchemist duo AdrinAdrina and Elliott Coon were raised together in a bohemian enclave in the mountains of Virginia, which valued plant knowledge and the elevating power of conscious celebration. In 2012, the duo’s long-standing artist collaboration took the shape of a speakeasy in Oakland, CA named GEM&BOLT where they served mezcal cocktails infused with Damiana. Shortly after, they migrated GEM&BOLT to Oaxaca to be at the seat of Mezcal’s origin. “We serendipitously discovered the ancient Zapotec myth of mezcal where a lightning bolt strikes the gem (or heart) of the agave plant, roasting and fermenting its sugars, creating the mystical sap now known as mezcal,” says Elliott. Partner Jody Levy (co-founder WTRMLN WTR) and President/ CEO Lisa Derman (former Stoli COO) also run the company.


Bar Business Magazine


GEM&BOLT is a clean spirit. Why is this important?

We would not be involved with anything that didn’t have super high ethos. It’s really important if you’re going to be a brand that represents mezcal in the world that you do things right. It’s a protected element of Mexico and Oaxaca. We’re also very dedicated to the concept of clean spirit across the board. One of the things that attracted us to mezcal is it’s intrinsically a clean spirit. [Mezcal is closely regulated to adhere to strict traditional methods and must be 100% agave. GEM&BOLT is made from espadín agave, fresh mountain spring water, and damiana.] It should be organic, and the people that are farming, producing, and cultivating it should be treated well, and it should be a holistically clean spirit. Every part that goes into it is part of a bigger overarching theme of clean and pure.


What led you to add in damiana?

We grew up with a lot of herbalists, so damiana was always on our radar. Everybody made tinctures and elixirs, and damiana had a cult following amongst herbalists. We call it a heart opener because it umbrellas myriad health benefits. It’s been long revered by the Aztec, the Maya, the Zapotec, many indigenous groups of Mexico, and the Oaxaca area for its healing properties. It’s elevating. And so for us, it marries really nicely with the agave because agave is naturally elevating. So you’ve got these two magical plant properties coming together in a really nice way.


How should GEM&BOLT be enjoyed?

We really like to promote that people try on GEM&BOLT for a night. Because it’s so clean and because of the addition of the damiana, it’s really an interesting experience for people to not adulterate the experience, to really experience it pure. But it does mix really well for mixologists or people who prefer cocktails. It’s not as intense on the smoke as a lot of other mezcals, which makes it more mixable as well because the smoke doesn’t tend to dominate. It makes a lot of great classic cocktails—a great mezcal

paloma, a great mezcal negroni. We also love GEM&BOLT on the rocks with a dash of bitters and a twist of orange. It’s really good with citrus in general.


Why do you think mezcal has increased in popularity?

I think it has overlapped quite clearly with the whole farm to table movement, and people being very interested and dedicated to where their food is coming from and the story behind their food. So that increasingly has translated into spirits as well and beverage across the board. It has to do with the ethos and the cleanness of the product. Mezcal conveniently falls into all of those categories by its essence—it’s naturally clean spirited, it’s naturally artisanal, it naturally tends to have a really beautiful story behind it.


Tell us about the Warrior Generation platform.

Warrior Generation started with a fundraiser for the earthquake in Mexico, but we always had the idea that we would have a platform that would propel and elevate other platforms that are already established. It’s about recognizing the power of the voices that brands like ours have and using that for good, using that to promote and support important initiatives and people who are also doing really important things that we want to help get out there to the world. We’ll be initiating many, many things moving forward.


Advice for women in the industry?

Stick with your vision but always be flexible enough to reinvent yourself everyday, which is a tricky middle ground. Also, finding the right advisors and mentors can just cut through so much that you would have had to learn a harder way.

February 2019


CHANCE Register in advance and save $25!


MARCH 4 & 5, 2019

The most dynamic wine and spirits trade event in the world’s largest market.


Jointly organized with



KEEP RUMCHATA ON THE BACK BAR AND IN THE COOLER. IF PEOPLE SEE RUMCHATA, THEY WILL BUY IT. RumChata®. Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural & Artificial Flavors, 13.75% alc/vol. Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC.