PR%F the Magazine - Summer Issue 2021

Page 1

PR%F the Magazine

Volume 01. Summer 2021


Sammy Hagar & Guy Fieri pour Santo

spirits. wine. potations and libations. beverage industr y news. ISBN 9788024715148 ISBN 80-247-1514-7

9 788024 715148 >


the team

PR%F the Magazine Michael Politz Publisher

Michele Tell

Founder, Executive Director

Jennifer English Editor-At-Large

Debbie Hall


Terry Hart

Director of Competitions

Colleen Banks

Director of Business Development


Renee Korbel Quinn George F Manska Terry Hart Jerry Hammaker Mark Schettler

Contributing Photographers:

Cover photo and other photography by Phillip Faraone WickedCreative David Becker Gabe Ginsberg with Getty Images

Contact the Team at PR%F the Magazine is owned and published electronically by The Original Brand, LLC. Copyright 2019 PR%F Awards and distinctive logo are trademarks and owned by The Original Brand, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this electronic magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of PR%F the Magazine. Requests for permission should be directed to: The information contained has been provided by such individual, even organizers or organizations. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author, organization or public relation firm.

in this issue





















PR%F the Magazine


Why Sip

when you can









from the desk of Michele D. Tell



oday we welcome Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri to the cover showcasing their spirits and live-for-the-moment attitude. It was an honor to meet Sammy Hagar at Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas last month. The keynote address about tenacity and creating brands that make you feel good was his inspirational speech we all needed to hear at the heralded show, which was bustling with new brands, new gadgets, and a new refreshing attitude. It is unbelievable how quickly 2021 has flown by, considering all that is happening. Nevertheless, we are just two months shy of PR%F Awards 2021, and this is my final letter before the competition to get you all to enter your emerging new brands and established favorites into the competition. I want to thank our incredible family of partners, including Delta Sky Club®, Westgate Las Vegas, Food and Beverage Magazine, PR%F Live! with Jennifer English, and the NEAT glass. Our incredible team of judges: Delta Sky Club, Breakthru Beverage, Southern Wine & Spirits, Opulent Wine & Spirits, SPECS, CraftShack, Western Beverage, Vanderpump Cocktail Garden, Liquor World, Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, Stations Casinos, Sugar Factory, artist Michael Godard, and artist Kai Delgado—just to name a few. What’s makes our competition special and unique is that each judge is a buyer with the power to purchase your brand for their venue. They are the taste aficionados with access to what new brands are available to bring into their respective environment, The judges are beverage buyers for a casino, resort, airline, restaurant, bar, nightclub, liquor store, distributor, online distributor, retail chain, and more. Nearly 100 judges will grace our competition this year with their wisdom, experience, and desire to find the newest brand, define the trends for tomorrow, and really help push our industry into the next phase.

This year we added a dual competition platform—enter one time, and your SKU gets entered into two separate competitions. PR%F Awards-Masked! is the coveted double-blind competition where our judges with impeccable palates rate and honor your brand with accolades based upon all senses of taste, smell, color, finish, and flavor. The next day, the judges come back for The Total Package Award. Our judges asked for this last year since they wanted a chance to taste your unique brands while viewing your logo, bottle, bottle shape and size, price point, origin, and more. In fact, part of our entry process asks for the brands to give a 400-word synopsis on why the brand was created and what makes it unique. This special competition allows the judges to get to know the brands more intimately. What’s great is that each entered brand gets a chance to win two medals. We have included a whole new list of categories in the spirits arena and expanded our wine categories to include many from around the globe. We added CBD-infused spirits and drinks, expanded our non-alcoholic categories with energy drinks, infused waters, teas, garnishes, and more. PR%F Awards is a private judging competition held at Westgate Resorts in Las Vegas on September 28-29. Entries and bottles/cans are due by Sept. 1. Please visit for information and our easy entry portal.

Namaste & Cheers! Michele D. Tell Executive Director, PR%F the Magazine Founder, PR%F Awards

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Ra i

u o Y e s

! n a C r


raise your can!

Raise Your Can! RTDs explode on the market

Determined to learn more and grow the brand further, they traveled to France to different vineyards to educate themselves and learn about the process of making their own wine. “We ultimately had interest from big retailers to make the wine and met our importing partner first, Prestige Beverage Group. Their connections in France led to us meeting our current winemaking team,” explains the founders.

The pandemic might have created the demand, but Readyto-Drink (RTD) cocktails, spirits, and wine have found favor with consumers and is now one of the fastest-growing segments in the beverage industry. According to Brandessence Market Research and Consulting Private Limited, global demand for RTDs is expected to reach $1,620 million by 2027. As a result, consumers are shifting towards small packaging formats and ready-made drinks.

What makes the spritzes uniquely Yes Way Rosé is the dry, classic French rosé base accentuated with a touch of sparkle and vibrant yet equally classic natural flavors with low alcohol, sugar, and calories. The Pink Lemonade is an/featured as an effervescent rosé with a zesty freshly squeezed lemon twist. The Peach + Ginger is similarly effervescent with a juicy peach flavor and a subtle hint of ginger on the finish.

by Debbie Hall

The RTD category in the PR%F Awards has shown this explosion with the number of entries over the years. The addition of RTD products, expanding product lines, and RTD startups showcase are more than a trend. Yes Way, RosÉ

“The explosion of non-alcoholic canned sparkling beverages and soda streams definitely paved the way for canned seltzers. Both have the same refreshing quality achieved from cracking open a beer but with the added bonuses of less sugar, fewer calories, and a lower alcohol content. It also offers a way to have a single drink without opening an entire bottle of wine, and they’re really perfect for throwing in a cooler and enjoying at a picnic, pool party, rooftop soiree, or barbecue,” explains the founders. “It’s a crowded market the way rosé is, and so a product needs to stand out as unique, quality and taste incredible. We’re excited to continue innovating in the space in that way. We don’t look at what everyone else is doing and focus on what we believe is the best way to expand and what our customers will enjoy the most.” Two Chicks Cocktails

Yes Way Rosé ( brings French rosé wine, sparkling French rosé wine, and flavored (Peach + Ginger Spritz and Pink Lemonade Spritz) rose wines in a can. Founders Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir initially fell in love with French rosé wine, so they started a Rose Instagram account (loaded with hues of pink) to share their passion which naturally led transitioning into a successful wine company.

Two Chicks Cocktails ( is an emerging ready to drink cocktail brand that was founded in 2019 by Meghan Hanna and Linda Cash. The women founded, owned, and run brand produces sparkling canned cocktails that are made with real premium spirits (tequila, vodka, whiskey, and gin), fruit, and botanicals. Two Chicks is currently available in 40 states across the US, and often showcased at festivals, concerts, and events. According to Nielsen Report (March 27), the brand has grown over 500 percent. In addition, the brand recently launched two new cocktails, vodka-based Lemon Strawberry Kiss and Cranberry Tartini. The product line now features eight gluten-free, vegan-friendly RTD cocktails that have 5 percent alcohol,

When they decided to launch the wine, Blumenthal and Huganir already had built a loyal following around their beloved brand established themselves as rosé experts.

“We created these cocktails with the consumer in mind. We wanted to provide a hassle-free solution to the frustration and mess that can come from trying to master a cocktail recipe at

Yes Way Rosé

raise your can!


consumer’s desire for refreshing cocktails that require minimal effort and offer better nutritional value. “The RTD market will continue to expand with people looking for quality ingredients, convenience, and taste with their cocktails,” says Safford. “Our Margarita, Vodka Soda and Gimlet cocktails fit this profile in addition to featuring low sugar and carbs that appeal to today’s seltzer consumers.”


home and making sure you have all the right ingredients. The end products are our personal and modern twist on some of the most beloved classic cocktails. Taking it one step further, we designed the cocktails with real premium spirits, all-natural fruit, and botanicals,” explains Hanna. “RTDs provide the convenience of a great-tasting cocktail that you can enjoy by a pull of a tab. Ready-to-drink cocktails provide instant satisfaction versus the guesswork and mess when it comes to making great-tasting cocktails. We anticipate that the RTD category will continue to explode. We hear this will be over an $8 billion industry, with premium spirit RTDs surpassing malt. We are happy that Two Chicks Cocktails is in the right place at the right time,” says Cash. Joia Spirit Joia Spirit ( grew from Joia Sparkling non-alcoholic drinks, an award-winning, all-natural fruit, herb, and spice craft sodas formulated by mixologist Dan Oskey (Tattersall Distilling, Minneapolis). Joia Sparkling became a go-to mixer and the product evolved into Joia Spirit craft cocktails as real spirits were added to the fresh ingredient craft sodas flavors. The cocktails provide a modern twist on timeless, classic recipes like the Cosmopolitan, Moscow Mule, and Greyhound, all of which are naturally gluten-free and vegan. “The sparkling beverage market is challenging, and we were distributing our non-alcoholic product to 25 states,” explains Joia Spirit Founder Bob Safford. “We took advantage of an opportunity we saw for canned cocktails and expanded the Joia line with canned craft cocktails, but with a sparkling twist. In 2018 the Joia Spirit brand was acquired by Prestige Beverage Group, and they have been a great partner for the growing success of the brand.” According to Safford, cocktails are enjoying a resurgence in popularity especially in the seltzer RTD, as a result of a

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Joia Spirit

“What I believe really makes Joia Spirit resonates with consumers is taste. We’ve worked tirelessly to give consumers a true cocktail in the convenience of a can using simple, real ingredients. You don’t have to have a fully stocked bar to enjoy the complex flavors and aromas found in our cocktails. As this category continues to grow and evolve, we are constantly looking at how to bring new flavors into the hands of our fans, staying true to creating well-loved cocktail varieties with a twist, and remaining transparent about the ingredients we’re putting into each creation,” says Jeannie Farley, Brand Manager for Joia Spirit at Prestige Beverage Group. The Whiskey Roller Based in London, The Whiskey Roller ( the-whiskey-roller-hard-seltzer), produced by Heroes & Heretics, is a whiskey-based hard seltzer flavored with nutmeg, hibiscus, and bay leaf low in calories. “We wanted to enter the RTD market with our refreshing whiskey-based drink for people who don’t like whiskey,” says Founder and CEO Craig Chidgey. The RTD market continues to flourish with new products and fan favorites as everyone raises their can of spirit goodness. THE WHISKEY ROLLER HAHCWS.COM/PRODUCT/THE-WHISKEY-ROLLER-HARD-SELTZER

Original Hand-Crafted Cocktails, Without the Alcohol The Wisconsin-based brand stems from the vision of husband-and-wife duo Nate and Danielle Goss who were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting their first child in the Spring of 2019. As a couple who took pleasure in socializing over cocktails, they began seeking non-alcoholic options for Danielle. In the process, they quickly realized that booze-free cocktails and ready to drink mocktails were hard to find or non-existent in stores, bars and restaurants. After doing an in-depth market analysis, conducting focus groups and consulting beverage industry experts; they found the demand for 100% booze-free options extended well beyond pregnant women. With the support of close family and friends they began formulating beverages for the KUL MOCKS brand just months before coming a family of 3. One of the first to market of its kind in the emerging no and low alcohol category, KUL MOCKS launched its craft mocktails in July of 2020. Creating KUL MOCKS wasn’t just about the beverages, it was about creating the experience of drinking a cocktail, minus the alcohol. Hand-crafted with simple ingredients and natural flavors, KUL MOCKS ready-to-drink alcohol free cocktails are flavorful and fun! Each ready-to-drink mocktail comes in the trendy 12 ounce sleek can and is infused with spirit notes that mimic the classic cocktail experience. Traditional mocktails are loaded with sugar; not KUL MOCKS! KUL MOCKS blends just a touch of real cane sugar with natural sweeteners stevia and monk fruit making them 50 calories or less without sacrificing any taste. Uniquely created with health and wellness in mind, KUL MOCKS are gluten free, non-GMO, caffeine free, contain NOTHING artificial and are 0.00% ABV. Danielle Goss CEO | Founder

The award-winning lineup comes in 3 delicious flavors: • Strawberry Mock-arita • Mock Mule • Blackberry Mock-jito Perfect for weekends on the lake, tailgates, hanging with friends and family or spending time relaxing at home, KUL MOCKS is rapidly growing its distribution across the US and positioning itself as the leading ready-to-drink craft mocktail to enjoy when looking to socialize without sacrifice.

Nate Goss Founder

All KUL MOCKS non-alcoholic craft cocktails received high scoring awards at the 2020 PR%F Awards in December. They were also recognized for their uniqueness as a Women-Owned Business! The KUL MOCKS team is excited to be entered in PR%F Awards again this Fall for the 2021 competitions. How to serve Well, that’s easy! Serve up KUL MOCKS straight from the can or feel free to fancy it up and serve over ice in something fun like a copper mug or a margarita glass. You do it your way – there are no rules! All the experience, without the alcohol Consumers are continuing to focus on health and wellness and being conscious of alcohol intake is absolutely extension of that. The KUL MOCKS brand has attracted mindful drinkers, people cutting back on booze, expectant mothers, as well as people who can’t or prefer not to drink alcohol. Taking the night off? Planning to be the designated driver? Big meeting in the AM? Got responsibilities? Want to socialize without the effects of alcohol? Whatever the occasion, there’s a MOCK for that! KUL MOCKS - the breakthrough line of non-alcoholic craft cocktails helping everyone feel a part of the social drinking experience. Want to sell KUL MOCKS? Distribution and retail inquiries please contact Want to learn more? Visit and follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook @kulmocks.

Bottlecapps’ Newest Industry Resource Grants Near-LIVE Access to Bev. Alc. Data from Across North America


ottlecapps is an industry leader in whitelabel and marketplace technology within beer, wine, and spirits, and currently works closely with industry-shaping groups at each level of the 3-tier. It is within this interaction that their newest product offering, BottleSense was born. As Suppliers, Distributors, and Retailers alike continued to stress the importance of actionable data in daily decision-making, two things became glaringly apparent to the Bottlecapps team:

1. The industry’s need for more timely data 2. An industry-wide desire for more customizable data. BottleSense consists of three separate levels of dashboards:

1. Overall platform sales and consumer insights segmented specifically for an individual Supplier or Supplier group 2. Progress and results for Supplier programmatic advertising campaigns 3. Detailed data customized for a particular Retailer. All dashboards update on a near-LIVE cadence, within 24 hours of data capture.

“A consumer’s digital presence is such a valuable commodity in today’s retail space. This presence comprises of unique consumer behaviors and traits across their entire online journey. BottleSense harnesses this intel and unlocks its potential to keep a brand or store in sync with each customer’s experience – as their shopping habits evolve, so can the business’. With BottleSense, we take the guessing game out of knowing what your customers are thinking and give you the power to think for them.” Mitch Patel Bottlecapps’ Chief Information Officer

“We are so very excited to release BottleSense to the market. These dashboards provide insights into consumer behavior with data slices never before seen in the bev-alcohol space.” Anirudh Reddy Bottlecapps’ Chief Technology Officer With BottleSense, companies can customize their views, learn about industry benchmarks, check in on their competition, and so much MORE. So, what are you waiting for - subscribe and gain access to the answers you’ve been looking for, right now!








spirited inspiration

Spirited Inspiration Chill Summer Cocktails

Summer flowers and fresh citrus set the stage for a delicious adventure. This month I sipped my favorite margarita, a flowery tea, fruit juice with seltzer and a sinful cocktail dessert. Take on your environment and create your own tasty sensation. Cheers!

Renée K. Quinn

HIBISCUS MARGARITA A Hibiscus Spiced Margarita is an exotically tropical tequila cocktail made with a blend of fresh lemon and lime juices, a house-made hibiscus syrup and fresno pepper infused agave nectar. A chilled glass is filled with pebble ice, shaken, then topped with crushed ice and an edible flower. This cool refreshing sip is balanced with a delightful peppery finish from the juicy red fresno pepper. The perfect cocktail for a South Florida summery day or night. Created by Ervin Machado

HIBISCUS ICED TEA Tropical floral notes steeped with tea create a bold iced cooler perfect for a spring afternoon. Created by Magnolia Caffee & Green Light Gallery

SPARKLING HIBISCUS SPRITZER Add your favorite sparkling water to fruit juices for a refreshing spring sipper. Created by Bootleg Greg Cocktail Company.

spirited inspiration


ELEVATE YOUR EXPERIENCE Artisanal handmade Ice Spheres are the perfect addition to a martini or a gin and tonic! Our spheres have gold leaf, citrus and floral elements.

THE CHILL FACTOR Ice. The key component to craft cocktails. It will make or break your experience. I was introduced to Mixology Ice, and the bar has been raised. A balanced cocktail often comes down to ice. Whenever we talk about ice and chilling, it is important to note that there is no chilling without dilution. With ice being at least half of our cocktail, shouldn’t we pay attention to what is put in our glass? Here is a simple guide to selecting the right ice. • Cube: used for mixing, shaking, stirring and drinks on the rocks. The larger surface area makes a cube melt slowly and causes less dilution.

Negroni and Manhattan cocktails. I’m hooked. Carlos Leal and his Mixology Ice Team work around the clock servicing highend hotels, bars, and private clients with a need for clear ice. Worth every penny.

• Ball: a spherical chunk of ice commonly used for serving Whiskey and Bourbon. Molds are available to create this unique cocktail accessory. • Cracked: smaller than cubes, cracked ice melts faster and adds more water to your cocktail. Two-thirds to one cup of cracked ice is perfect for one frozen concoction.

My favorite, the it element to any cocktail or sparking drink, are the crystal clear Champagne Spheres. I use these in my

PR%F the Magazine

Renée Korbel Quinn Spirited South Florida @SpiritedSFL #getspiritedsouthflorida


marketing your brand


Winning Goals Share the accomplishment of being selected to receive the PR%F Awards By Debbie Hall

Ask any parent about trophies and awards, and they will either show a bedroom (or two) filled with childhood accomplishments or these special mementos packed away. But what about awards for brands? Recognition, especially by peers and experts in the industry, adds value, profit possibilities, and panache. For winners of the PR%F Awards, many opportunities are presented to share in the success and growth of the brand. PR%F Awards does not charge licensing fees for uses of all graphics and logos and encourages all winners to use all of these tools. Winners can buy bottle hangers, stickers and more merchandise to help promote winning medals at printing/proofawards. First, if a brand participates in a trade show with a booth, it is important to proudly display the awards in booth signage and trade show pamphlets. It is also beneficial to hang or wrap the PR%F Award medal on the bottle or can for eye-catching photos to share on social media and email blasts. “We are a small brand, and winning awards helps us. We love to brag about them and help us reach more people,” says Jill Lawton, National

Sales Director for Tequila Kostiv. “Especially during Covid-19, when I was sending out emails, especially to people who had not tried our tequila, I would showcase the awards it won.” Secondly, encourage the brand staff to showcase the brand’s victory and spread the news by posting on social media. It is critical to thank them for their work in helping the brand achieve the medal or award and make time for staff buyin and recognition promotes a sense of pride and gratitude for work well done which helps promote a positive work environment. If possible, make time for the staff to go live on social media in an effort to share exciting information or new product presentations with staff and vendors with clients,

marketing your brand


fans, and followers. Going live on social media for highly promoted product launches, presentations or celebrations with staff is a powerful, authentic

tool for building brand credibility and visibility with clients, vendors, and fans. Be sure to post on LinkedIn to include professional connections, adding the awards into the Accomplishments section under Honors and Awards. Next, make sure to email a press release to publicize success at the PR%F Awards, especially on Twitter, the source for many news feeds. By taking the time to personally reach out to writers and reporters who cover the food and beverage industry, this will increase the probability that press releases will be forwarded to their readers. Successful PR%F medalist brand press releases which get circulated at a larger scale usually include information about the behind the scenes story on a brand, or how the brand impacts the industry. If the brand has been able to further its profits as a result of the PR%F Awards medals or received distribution or shelf space because of its PR%F Awards exposure to buyers and distributors, make sure to mention that as well. Finally, the PR&F Awards encourages brands to use the free licensing logo to showcase on the brand’s homepage, which will last beyond the initial announcement of the award. By including the brand’s news on the website, adding it to footers on marketing materials and email signatures, and including it in presentations to vendors, prospects, and customers, the winning brand is sure to achieve maximum exposure and draw potential clients and high volume buyers.

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Publicizing the winning of the PR%F Awards is not bragging but a celebration of a proud accomplishment. Using today’s avenues of social media, online and offline advertising, podcast interviews, and updated website content sharing the brand or product will help going to the top of the beverage industry.

The original world-class, credible, double-blind tasting competition with buyers from across the US rating spirits, wines, and beverages in a 100-point rating system. PLUS - The Total Package Competition!


the science of spirits

DRINKING TRADITIONS FAIL AS SCIENCE UNCOVERS THE TRUTH Spirits’ evaluation methods are inadequate for sensory progress

exhales through the nostrils, 92% of experienced evaluators cannot correctly identify 3 of 4 samples (bourbon, scotch, cognac, rum) in black (to eliminate visual clues) tulips. Tulips’ tiny rims force highly concentrated, nose-numbing ethanol (95+%) into the nostrils resulting in rapid ethanol anesthesia. High olfactory ethanol levels destroy the sense of smell and contaminate evaluation objectivity. Tumblers are far superior to tulips due to lower ethanol concentration.


By George F Manska, CR&D, Arsilica, Inc.


pirits’ evaluation methods and procedures evolved directly from the 1960s scotch whisky marketing drive supplemented by a few borrowed from wine critics; all derived using traditional tulip-style tasting glasses. Early on, eager to adopt an iconic symbol, industry VIPs, brand ambassadors, distillers, writers, critics, and whisky drinkers never seriously considered other vessel shapes. Complacency with traditional tulips will continue for most social drinkers. However, embracing sensory, chemistry, and physical sciences provides opportunities to raise the industry quality bar and provide much-improved guidance to distributors and consumers who have a critical reliance on accurate evaluations to disseminate prolific purchasing choices. Since 2002 the corporate mission of Arsilica, Inc. has been to provide truth in sensory evaluation. The future of the spirits industry ultimately rests with consumer flavor perceptions and our research continues to define the technology necessary to deliver true flavor profiles to consumers. Three major discoveries reveal the pitfalls of blind acceptance of tradition:


Concentrated ethanol destroys sense of smell:

Anesthetic ethanol quickly numbs olfactory receptors, preventing identification of character aromas. After three 3-second ethanol inhale/

Ethanol anesthesia was first identified in tulips decades ago by scotch whisky blenders. Choosing tulip glasses, they dilute to 20-23% ABV (1 oz water to 1 oz spirit) – thus avoiding nose-numbing yet radically altering aroma profile. Many brand ambassadors invoke the fallacy of adding a few drops of water to “open up” a spirit, but the opposite occurs, as water reduces ethanol pungency but also shuts down all aromas. Other methods acclimate the nose to pungency but fail to improve anesthesia onset from tulips, including breathing through mouth and nose simultaneously, and wafting. Nothing short of diverting ethanol will mitigate ethanol anesthesia.


The “mind-trick” of experiential memory:

Ethanol anesthesia occurs without warning or awareness. The earliest sign: The evaluator asks, “What do I smell?” or “It’s familiar but I can’t identify,” or worse, “I can’t smell anything,” then ponders, “what should I smell?” A catalog of past tastings

the science of spirits (experiential memory) quickly arises to supply the “familiar aromas” checklist. The anesthetized evaluator mentally reviews the list and prompted, completes the evaluation. However, results are unwittingly based on personal past experiences, not the evaluation sample. Distributors and consumers who depend on accurate evaluations for purchasing are misled because nose-numbing ethanol effects were ignored. The result is unfair to distillers, distributors, and consumers.


Gender equity is key:

By peer pressure or decree most male-dominated social drinking clubs have institutionalized the iconic tulip glass. Our extensive testing and hundreds of interviews reveal that one-on-one, 87% of males prefer wide-rim glass aroma profiles to tulips, yet publicly a disproportionately high percentage (90+%) choose tulips - peer pressure in its highest form. Females (98%) prefer wide-rim aroma profiles and exhibit animated, vocal reactions to high ethanol. Biologically, women have 43% more olfactory receptors than males, and augmented by maternal instinct are driven to vigilance and caution when ingesting unfamiliar, unpleasant, disagreeable, or pungent substances to protect the body that nurtures the child. A common vocal reason for avoiding club membership is the pressure to accept sharp, pungent aroma characteristic of the club tulip. Thus, dedicated, well-meaning social drinking fraternities inadvertently discourage female participation and their superior olfactory capabilities, diversity, and gender equity. Many women in the spirits industry have adapted their tasting methodology for tulips to avoid ortho-nasal contact with ethanol rather than force gender equity issues. Those who have no aversion to ethanol are few. Science eventually wins, solving problems created by tradition and myth while simultaneously carving out room for progress and knowledge. Spirits industry professionals have both responsibility and opportunity to raise the quality bar, promote gender equity and inclusion, provide meaningful distributor training, teach truth through applied science. Building spirits sensory methodology around a vessel which inhibits sensory by concentrating ethanol

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was a fatal mistake, and the well-entrenched tulip glass can no longer be considered the diagnostic tool of choice as applying science to replace tradition with truth is a far nobler and relevant objective. References: Science — Neat Glass ( https://www.theneatglass. com/neatscience-technology-evaporation Beverages | Free Full-Text | Technical Report—Applying Physics and Sensory Sciences to Spirits Nosing Vessel Design to Improve Evaluation Diagnostics and Drinking Enjoyment ( | Free Full-Text | Technical Report—Applying Physics and Sensory Sciences to Spirits Nosing Vessel Design to Improve Evaluation Diagnostics and Drinking Enjoyment (

George F Manska Chief of Research and Development, Arsilica, Inc., engineer, inventor of the NEAT glass, and sensory science researcher. Mission: Replace misinformation with scientific truth through consumer education. Contact Information: Phone: 702.332.7305

Email: Business mailing address:

452 Silverado Ranch Blvd, Ste #222, Las Vegas, NV, 89183.

SōRSE Technology Enters Brewing Industry with New Product Offering Made in Partnership with Yakima Chief Hops • SōRSE Technology enters the brewing industry with Yakima Chief Hemp, a sub-entity of Yakima Chief Hops. • New Water-Soluble CBD Distillate by Yakima Chief Hemp Powered by SōRSE is available for purchase.


ōRSE Technology, the leading water-soluble emulsion provider for infused CPG brands, in partnership with Yakima Chief Hops, the leading 100% grower-owned hop supplier, announces its newest product offering for brewers, WaterSoluble CBD Distillate.

their hemp with the same quality best practices and consistency as their hops, due in part to the similarities between hops and hemp plants. Using its patent-pending technology, SōRSE Technology has converted the distillate into a water-soluble 3% emulsion for seamless integration into functional beverages for the growing Beyond Beer sector.

solution directly into the brewing process. The CBD solution offers accurate dosing, a refreshing and enjoyable taste—and it’s available at scale. Water-Soluble CBD Distillate is available for product evaluation and purchase through Yakima Chief Hemp.

As the Beyond Beer category grows and hemp continues to gain interest, Yakima Chief Hemp’s Water-Soluble SōRSE and Yakima Chief Hemp are CBD Distillate is classified as broad now able to bring hemp from their spectrum and contains an array of fields to brewers in a format that makes building out a scalable beverage portfolio quick and easy. About Yakima Chief Hemp Contact Yakima Chief Hemp today at to order your water-soluble CBD distillate. For early adopters interested in learning more about SōRSE brewery product lines, contact SōRSE for pre-release offerings before more products launch at the Craft Brewers Conference in September. About SōRSE Technology

Follow SōRSE to stay up to date with product announcements and event minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and details at essential oils, which contributes to the product’s superior flavor profile. The new product offering allows With more than six generations of brewers to expand their product commercial farming knowledge, the line with CBD-ehanced beverages Yakima Chief Hemp growers cultivate utilizing a one-step, “drop and go”

NEW BAR STRENGTH SILVER CACHAÇA, DESIGNED FOR THE TRADE INDUSTRY The First-Ever Carbon-Neutral Distilled Spirit From True Origin to Final Destination Novo Fogo Cachaça, an environmentallyminded, award-winning Brazilian cachaça handcrafted in small batches at the company’s carbon-negative, zerowaste distillery, introduces a new, highproof silver cachaça in a 1-liter bottle format designed for the bar community. Through Novo Fogo’s offsets provider partner, Native, the company’s carbon offset purchases financially support a project that provides water filters for 2,000 coffee-growing families in Honduras, eliminating their need to cut and burn trees for boiling water. Novo Fogo contributes $3 per case of all of all its bottle sales to the brand’s UnEndangered Forest project, a program that works to remove 36 species of native Brazilian trees from the threatened list. Each bottle is made from recycled glass and the neck wrap is repurposed from plastic collected from the streets of São Paulo, Brazil. The higher-proof expression presents at 43% ABV in the bottle, after resting in chemically-inert stainless steel tanks for one year. The resulting effect of intensified tropical fruit flavors takes the leading role in a broad range of cocktails, from sours to tiki drinks and twists on classics.

Tasting notes: Banana, lime blossoms, passion fruit, sweet red peppers, sea salt, green grass.

Design features: The bottle redesign features a smaller, circular footprint, a taller neck and a slimmer midsection that fits ideally in the well and is easier to handle throughout busy shifts.

Economic features: • 43% ABV + 1 liter volume = 22 drinks per bottle (1.5 oz. drink) • Average account cost per bottle = $24 • Cost per ounce = $0.71 • Cost per cocktail = $1.06 “We designed this product with bartenders in mind, as they value efficiency, knowledge, and leadership,” The new Silver 1-liter bottle offers the ergonomics and economics to become a bartender’s favorite, while also serving as a flagbearer of cleaner business practices in our industry.” Dragos Axinte CEO of Novo Fogo Cachaça.

For more information about Bar Strength, visit https:// bar-strength-cachaca/, and to learn more about Novo Fogo’s full line of products, visit

BAR STRENGTH Organic Silver Cachaça More volume. Higher proof. Improved ergonomics. Truly carbon neutral. Better cocktails.


a guy walks into a bar...

A Guy Walks Into a Bar... Drinking Stories

by Terry Hart, Director of Competition, PR%F Awards

Never Trust Anyone Who Won’t Drink With You.


spoke with an old friend, Chris Hutson, about his childhood memory of his grandfather who owned one of only two taverns in the tiny Iowa town of Clare, just outside of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

“So, your grandfather owned a bar in Clare, Iowa?” “Yes, Clare was founded by Irish immigrants at the turn of the last century. The surrounding farmland was made up of German immigrant farmers,” he replied. Clare was a small town of about three hundred people. It had two churches and two bars. Chris continued, “It was a roughneck, hard drinking town. The bars were side by side in this tiny town. One for the Catholics and one for the Lutherans.” Chris’s grandfather, Edward Kane, was a prominent Clare community member. He was a volunteer fireman, and a devout member of the Catholic Church: ash on his forehead the Wednesday before Easter, fish on Fridays, bingo on Saturdays. He owned the Catholic bar, Willie’s Lounge, which he apparently bought from the previous owner, Willie, and never changed the name. “Why confuse the patrons?” he reasoned.

As a boy in the late 60s Chris would hear stories about life in the small American Midwest town and the people who drank there. “It was a great party town. In the summer they would have donkey baseball. I remember one time The Harlem Globetrotters came to town. It was the B team. Meadowlark Lemon wasn’t there, but Curly played. On the fourth of July they had fireworks. Fort Dodge didn’t have fireworks so everyone from the county came to Clare. There was a big parade, which everybody in town marched in. They would have a greased pig contest…” “What’s that?” I asked. “They’d smear grease all over a pig, and the men would have a bunch of drinks and run around and try and catch the pig.” “So, everybody would drink Schlitz beer and try to catch this poor pig?” “Yes, Schlitz and Hamm’s. Those were the big beers back then.” My trivial mind kicked in, “Oh yes, Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee famous.” “My grandfather drank Hamm’s back in those days. “Hamm’s the beer refreshing... Hamm’s...” I sang. “Right. Then he switched to Old Style.”

a guy walks into a bar... “So, he got fully kreausened all the time?” I chuckled. ‘Fully Kreausened’ was the slogan on the can of Old Style Beer (some brewing process) but it was slang in my Chicago neighborhood for getting beer drunk. Chris looked at me with a raised eyebrow. “You know your slogans, huh?” he said with a sarcastic smile. I was curious about the parade. “So, everyone in town actually marched in the fourth of July Parade?” “Practically. We were speaking of Hamm’s Beer earlier. I remember one year someone dressed up in the Hamm’s Beer mascot costume. A giant black and white bear. Over seven feet tall. He scared the crap out of me!” Clare sounded like a wild place to me. Chris agreed, “Clare was a big drinking and big fighting kind of place. My grandfather was a former boxer and he carried around a picture of himself as a young boxer. My uncle says that Ed Kane was not a boxer, never was, and the picture he carried around wasn’t even him. “Ed Kane was a wink-and-a-nod kind of guy.” Chris admitted. Chris told me that his grandfather always had a bar in the basement of all the homes he owned through the years. “At holiday times I remember being in the kitchen with my grandmother, Fern, while she was preparing snacks for the guests. I would lay on the floor and listen through the heat vent. They’d be laughing and playing music and eventually arguing and fighting, knocking over furniture… and then laughing again.” Chris remembered a particularly big moment in his mother’s life.


“Grampa Kane was my mother’s father. In 1957, my mother eloped with my father.” Chris tells of the moment when his mother and father had to go to tell Ed Kane about the marriage. “My mom said that when they told Ed about their marriage, he stood up from the kitchen table and said ‘come with me’ to my father. She was nervous about what Ed would say or do.” Ed took him down to the basement bar and poured each of them an Irish whiskey. “He asked my father his intentions and what his plans for life were. A long time went by and finally they emerged from the basement. Both drunk, my Grampa declared, ‘I bless this marriage’.”

‘Never trust someone who won’t drink with you’, were Ed Kane’s words of wisdom to Chris’ parents. Today, Chris lives in Woodland Hills, California and works as a television editor. Taking a cue from his grandfather, Chris has a bar at his house. Chris loves to entertain. His back bar is loaded with a great selection of spirits. The shelves are adorned with 2 old Schlitz signs and some other interesting decorations from Ed’s old bar. The biggest difference - and his favorite - between Chris’ parties and those of his grandfather: no fights. Irish whiskey is Bushmills which is the Protestant whiskey. Jameson is the Catholic whiskey. Chris thinks if Ed knew that he would be rolling over in his grave. Terry Hart is a contributing editor for PR%F the Magazine who loves to explore personal stories of the lives and libations of the common man and woman.

Chris Hutson

PR%F the Magazine


feel like a natural wine

Feel Like a

Natural Wine

by Jerry Hammaker

You make me feel so good inside. You make me feel so alive. You make me feel like a natural… wine. Wine! Not exactly how Aretha sang it.


he social media-based ads claim “nothing added”, “low carb”, “low alcohol”, “keto friendly”, “no headaches”, “no hangovers”, “lab tested”, and “probiotic properties”. The connotation is that it is then better than other wines. Natural. Clean. Perfect. Who wouldn’t feel so good inside and so alive, after drinking this amazing libation? In “The Outlaw Josey Wales” starring Clint Eastwood, a smarmy snake oil salesman claims that he has the perfect concoction that cures your body’s various ailments. He says, “It can do most anything!” The people line up to purchase a bottle. Josey spits chewing tobacco juice on the salesman’s lapel and asks, “How is it with stains?” Soon after, we see the carpet bagger trying to clean the stain with a handkerchief soaked with the snake oil.

Erik Segelbaum: Somlyay

“Natural and clean wine” are definitions not commonly used by certified sommeliers. There is no set legal definition. Even heavily industrialized grape farming and bulk wine production methods can legally be labeled and marketed as “natural” or “clean”. Erik Segelbaum is the Food & Wine Magazine 2019 Sommelier of the Year and a 2020 Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 Global Tastemaker. Erik is the Founder and Chief Vinnovation Officer of Somlyay (, a full-service hospitality agency. He provides ongoing wine education sessions at the Smithsonian Institution, as well as private and

corporate events. Surely, Erik must know what “natural” and “clean” wines are! Well, Erik says, “Wine is not a healthy food, but it has some healthy benefits, like resveratrol. How do we even know where the ‘natural’ wine is from or how the vineyards are managed? They advertise that it is sourced from unnamed ‘family run vineyards’, but there are no regulations of what makes a ‘family run vineyard’. No additives usually equal a lack of proper winemaking practices. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain! It’s not patently false advertising, but it’s directed toward the public’s fears about what they put into their body.” What about the other term… “clean wine”? Erik says, “‘Clean wine’ is as useful a term as ‘clean coal’. Nature does not naturally make wine, nature makes vinegar. Winemakers must minimally control the process to help avoid mold, bacteria, wine faults/flaws, etc. to have a stable and drinkable wine. If clean wine then goes bad, the excuse is ‘that’s just natural wine’. They’ve created a built-in excuse!”

feel like a natural wine

How do we find a quality wine that is more in line with nature? Nicol� Grippaldi is a bio-dynamic wine maker from Gagliano Castelferrato, in the province of Enna, Sicily. “Biodynamic” and “organic” are terms that are typically regulated and defined by governmental and governing bodies in the wine and farming world. Certain strict standards must be met to use these terms in marketing and on the label. Nicol� ’s vineyard management practices are completely biodynamic, following in the tradition of Leonello Anello. For the lay person, think of biodynamic as organic on non-chemical steroids! Anything used in the vineyard is necessary according to the various phenological states of the vine. All operations on the vines are completely manual and related to an astronomical lunar calendar. Only biodynamic preparations based on copper, sulfur powder, manure, medicinal herbs, and quartz are used in the vineyard. The analytical parameters of the grapes and juice are not then chemically modified in any way other than using only low doses of sulfur dioxide. Fermentation


NicolÒ Grippaldi: NicolÒ Grippaldi Biodynamic Wines available in US through Girasole Imports:

starts spontaneously, without any inoculums or various chemicals. Nicol� wants his finished wines to better reflect the uniqueness of the terroir and beauty of the vineyard. Nicol� ’s wines can be found in medium-high level wine shops and Michelin starred restaurants in Europe and will soon be imported into California by Girasole Imports LLC ( Nicol� says, “There is no natural wine, but only wine made following the laws of nature.” Whether you know the technical details about the wine you drink or you buy it because the label is cute, be aware of the man behind the curtain before you buy. Then, drink the wine that you like to drink. Sing it, Aretha!

Jerry Hammaker, Owner

Certain Aged Ventures Wine Consultant, PR%F Awards

PR%F the Magazine

Two Competitions. One Price.

MASKED The coveted double-blind tasting competition

After the double-blind tasting, judges will evaluate each brand unmasked. Judges will see and feel the bottle, can, or product, read the ingredients, hear the story, and see the overall marketing package. - The Taste - The Look - The Feel - The Story -

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UNMASKED The total package competition Private judging competition is September 21 & 22, 2021 - Las Vegas

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Sammy Hagar


Guy Fieri

Santo Santo


sammy hagar & guy fieri: santo

Tequila, Tequila, Rum, Rum, Rock, Rock, and and Cans Cans Sammy Hagar brings rock ‘n’ roll spirits By Debbie Hall Cover photo by Philip Faraone Photos courtesy of WickedCreative, David Becker and Gabe Ginsberg with Getty Images

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and spirits entrepreneur Sammy Hagar ( rocks his audience, whether performing his music or launching a successful lifestyle brand encompassing successful restaurants, bars, spirits, and retail. His lifelong passion for great food, music, and spirits into as well as continuing to be one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists, demonstrates the legacy of Hagar. During the 2021 Nightclub & Bar show (renamed Bar & Restaurant Expo) held in Las Vegas, Hagar wowed fans at during his armchair conversation and Q&A. Hagar unveiled plans for Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. (his first ready-to-drink product line), Santo Spirits (tequila and Mezquita portfolio with Guy Fieri) (, and his award-winning Beach Bar Rum ( with a partnership with Grammy Award-winner Rick Springfield, (who joined him at the convention). In addition, he shared his spirits expertise and story behind his foray into the industry nearly two decades ago with the legendary creation of Cabo Wabo Tequila. “I had so much fun building Cabo Wabo, and I learned so much from owning that brand for so long,” says Hagar during his conversation. He was very hands-on in every facet in the building of Cabo Wabo, from selecting the bottle to building the barrels. “I want to apply my knowledge to another tequila. Agave is my favorite spirit in the world,” he says. He then spoke about his longtime friendship with Emmy Award-winning chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri and how they met. “When Guy opened his first restaurant, he sold the most Cabo Wabo tequila in northern California,” explains Hagar. Fieri won a contest as a vendor to meet Hagar backstage at one of Hagar’s concerts. “I had an autographed guitar to give to him. When he walked in, we immediately became buddies.” After Hagar performed his concert, he walked backstage to see that Fieri had laid out his sushi on the guitar to be served to Hagar.

sammy hagar & guy fieri: santo

The two would party in Cabo San Lucas with great food, a lot of tequila, and the search for a taste revelation (a higher spirit). Hagar used his history of making world-renowned tequila combining his talents with Fieri’s world-famous taste buds with Juan Eduardo Nuñez, the third-generation virtuoso master distiller from the famed distillery El Viejito in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Together, they brought to life the portfolio of Santo spirits; Santo’s Tequila Blanco, a sinfully smooth old-world style tequila Blanco, and an oak-aged reposado. After Hagar sold Cabo Wabo tequila in 2017, Fieri expressed an interest in partnering with Hagar if he ever decided to produce tequila again. Hagar did offer the opportunity to partner in his rum venture, but Fieri was only interested in tequila.

PR%F the Magazine


In 2017, Hagar created Santo Mezquila, the World’s first tequila and mezcal hybrid blend. Santo Mezquila, the World’s first tequila-mezcal hybrid. In 2019, he joined forces with Fieri to expand the Santo brand with the launch of Santo Tequila Blanco, a premium old-world style tequila. After the first try with reposado, they replaced the barrels, and they took over a year to perfect the reposado’s flavor profile. Now they are aging their añejo with plans to distribute later this year, depending on its taste. We want to make the best tequila for the right price.” As his favorites, “If I asked to choose one tequila drink, I would have to say a margarita, although a mojito is a close second. I really see the evolution of tequila now.”


sammy hagar & guy fieri: santo

However, Hagar likes to make his margaritas using his white rum, saying that using agave has a bite while sugar cane makes the drink sweeter. The RTD market has exploded, and Hagar is ready to join with his Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co. line. “At first, I didn’t like the taste and didn’t want to compete. But it was brought to my attention that this market will expand with spirits, so I have worked on my product line.” The RTD line offers four different canned sparkling rum cocktails, including Tangerine Dream, Pineapple Splash, Island Pop, and Cherry Kola Chill, which is gluten-free and 5.5 percent alcohol. The product line is scheduled to debut in early fall, and Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co.’s sparkling rum cocktails will be offered during Hagar’s new residency, Sammy & Friends, at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod ( His new residency will include performances by Hagar’s Supergroup, The Circle, featuring Michael Anthony (Hagar’s

“ If I asked to choose one tequila drink, I would have to say a margarita, although a mojito is a close second. I really see the evolution of

tequila now.”

sammy hagar & guy fieri: santo

“ I want to apply

my knowledge to another tequila. Agave is my favorite spirit in the world” longtime guitar virtuoso and bandmate), Jason Bonham (Grammy award-winning drummer), and Vic Johnson with special guests. The intimate 800-capacity STRAT Theater will be designed to capture the beach vibe Hagar’s synonymous with, including elements of his famed Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, home to his epic annual birthday bash. At the expo, Hagar was joined by Rick Springfield, his partner in Beach Bar Rum. The rum range from the trio features three Puerto Rican made expressions, including Kola Spiced Rum (a basic white rum) and Red Head Macadamia Nut Rum. His flagship Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, launched in 1990 with the growth of several outlets. Hagar’s brand includes Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill restaurants, Cabo Wabo Tequila (sold in 2017), and Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. Hagar broke into the music industry with the seminal hard rock band Montrose. He has enjoyed a multiplatinum solo career, the frontman of Van Halen, Chickenfoot, and his latest group, The Circle, Hagar has amassed 25 platinum albums with sales surpassing 50 million worldwide. His rock anthems include songs “I Can’t Drive 55,” “Right Now,” and “Why Can’t This Be Love.” Hagar is also a dedicated philanthropist, and two-time New York Times best-selling author.

PR%F the Magazine



making spirit history

Making Spirit History PR%F Awards 2021 Selects Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino as Hospitality/Resort Partner By Debbie Hall


ozens of spirit & wine industry buyers with hundreds of spirits and wine brands anticipate the unmasking of the PR%F Awards 2021 with PR%F Awards-Masked, Double-Blind Tasting and PR%F Awards-Unmasked to be held privately at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Sept. 28-29. The iconic world-class destination and the home of Legendary Vegas Safe Fun, offers a unique blend of amenities and excitement. Guests enjoy favorite table games, hottest slots on the market, incredible restaurants, and endless entertainment. Sports lovers appreciate the world’s favorite Race & Sports SuperBook®, which is home to Nevada’s largest wagering system and more than 4,500 square feet of newly-updated state-of-the-art HD video screens, in a comfortable, smoke-free environment. Westgate Las Vegas provides a range of culinary adventures with eight Las Vegas restaurants, including the world-famous Benihana Village, the award-winning Edge Steakhouse, and Fresco Italiano, one of the top Italian restaurants in Las Vegas. The home of legendary performer Barry Manilow, the property features entertainment options in the International Theater and the Westgate Cabaret. Conventioneers mix and mingle in more than 225,000 square feet of meeting space.

Westgate Las Vegas has recently undergone nearly $300 million in renovations that has encompassed every square inch of the property, including the addition of 300 timeshare villas, a new suite of fine dining restaurants, a fully renovated pool deck, 2,100 remodeled Luxe and Signature Rooms and the luxurious Serenity Spa. “We are so excited to partner with the Westgate for our exciting PR%F Awards 2021 with PR%F Awards-Masked, Double-Blind Tasting and PR%F Awards-Unmasked,” says Michele D. Tell, executive director of PR%F Awards. “The Westgate is such a beautiful property with such a rich history. We are thrilled to bring the

making spirit history excellence of the PR%F Awards to one of the most incredible resorts in Las Vegas.” PR%F Award judges, all spirits and wine buyers from across the US will be sequestered for a private twoday judging competition to rate spirits, wine & beverage brands from across the globe searching for the newest trend leaders and perfect palate Century Award recipients. Opening on July 2, 1969 as the International Hotel, Barbra Streisand opened in the showroom and jazz great Peggy Lee performed in the hotel’s lounge. On July 31, 1969, following Streisand’s engagement, Elvis Presley


performed his first show culminating in a seven-year run at the hotel including 636 consecutive sold-out shows. The Elvis Presley penthouse suite has been preserved for parties and events still being held in the extravagant suite. In 1971, the hotel and casino was sold and was renamed Las Vegas Hilton, until Jan. 3, 2012 when the resort became LVH-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Westgate Resorts purchased the property on June 30, 2014. During the ceremony to reveal the new sign, Westgate CEO David Siegel spoke about visiting Las Vegas when he was young and unable to afford to stay on the Strip. As he proudly announced his company now owned the resort, the large sign was lit up. In 2016, the Westgate, the east-west street leading from the hotel to Las Vegas Boulevard was renamed as Elvis Presley Boulevard. The sophisticated and spacious accommodations at Westgate Las Vegas offer impressive amenities and a variety of room types. This includes functional guestrooms and spacious guest accommodations with stunning views of the Strip, suites with wet bars and parlors for hosting guests, Concierge Level Rooms, and Newly Remodeled Signature Rooms.

PR%F the Magazine

For more information or to book in Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, call toll free at (800) 732-7117 or visit


on shift

On Shift

By Mark Schettler


ver the past 18 months—is perhaps the understatement of that time— the only constant in restaurants and bars has been change. Some are for good like wage increases, and the not so good like—basically everything COVID related. One that was already here and is now set to accelerate is automation. As with any of the changes before us, we need to consider the implications of automation while the tide is still going out instead of just waiting for the wave to crash. There already exists technology to cook meat with total precision and indeed to cook entire meals. Even before COVID, we were used to seeing digital ordering platforms in places like airports. Now automation is encroaching on traditional FOH jobs as well, with robotic mixologists, busers, and even servers. Stills that are almost entirely computerized and programmable have been around for years. Recently, I ordered using voice recognition from a fast food window. How long have those underbar dishwashers been around now to replace barbacks? If there’s a job in an industry with profit margins like ours that can be automated, you can bet that someone has already created the technology to automate it. But of course, just because we can, does that mean we always should? If we shouldn’t but do it anyway (and let’s be realistic since that’s the most likely outcome whenever it comes to tech and Silicon Valley), then what?

The primary questions we have to consider when implementing these new technologies are: • Can the machines do the job so much better than in that given case human labor is now rendered truly obsolete; • Do we want humans doing this job or not (the job is too dangerous or otherwise unsavory); and • What are the economic and social implications of replacing that person, and is it worth it? In automation like the robotic bartenders sometimes seen, especially in places like Vegas, which is still really viewed as a novelty, humans are not at immediate risk. Without waxing too poetic, bartending is healing work where the drink aspect—the only thing robots replace—is the least important ingredient. Yes, we will likely see their proliferation in places like airports and casinos, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the customer. Still, robots can’t build a community as humans can. However, in kitchens, the same is not true. Technology already exists that can cook a steak with precision and consistency that is perhaps difficult to match. As for fast food and quick-service restaurants (QSRs), implementing automation to prepare the food is imminent. Although I really hesitate to use language here like “obsolete,” from the C Suite perspective, the harsh reality is likely that they’ll soon be throwing that exact word around quite a bit. Without getting into ethics, we need to be clear about this. Shifting to the question of whether or not we even want humans doing jobs where automation is possible when the COVID pandemic was at its worst in 2020, increased automation made a lot of sense. People could still go out to get their favorite guilty pleasure food, and the foodservice

on shift workforce could cut down on close contact or even just stay home collecting unemployment. It worked—sort of. But, unfortunately, people who had to work were (and often still are) catching COVID at alarming rates. Working in hot, close quarters, using sharp things with guests shouting about wearing a mask or the speed of their order, as a pandemic rages, certainly qualify as both dangerous and unsavory. But take COVID out of the equation, and you get back to work being good enough for quite a few people, especially when factoring in needs for things like transitional and low barrier employment. The best reasons for automation to replace human labor in our industry are cost, consistency (potentially, and sometimes at the detriment of quality), and productivity. This potentially frees up people to pursue what some consider “more fulfilling work.” However, that’s often a luxury folks seeking transitional work or in need of a quick and easy paycheck cannot afford. So what comes of the millions of workers suddenly displaced? As we’ve learned from factory closings across the Rust Belt in recent decades due to automation and outsourcing, tangible, actionable solutions are imperative. By about this point, there are those readers who are referring to Blade Runner or Terminator 2. Beyond the somewhat cartoonish narratives of insidious robots narratives, there’s the issue that in the timeline leading up to Armageddon, a little after John Connor was riding his bike in Reseda, people decided that they’d prefer robots to humans. Technology just kept delivering better and more “efficient” verisimilitudes because that’s what scientists with sketchy patrons do. We need to consider first if we want humans cooking our meals and making our drinks.

Mark Schettler Bartender General Manager Bar Tonique Executive Director Shift Change Co-Founder & Program Coordinator BRACE for COVID-19 Contact: Phone: 818-674-1394

PR%F the Magazine



nightclub & bar show

A Triumphed Return Nightclub & Bar Show (now Bar & Restaurant Expo) showcases the best. By Debbie Hall


he joy and anticipation filled the Las Vegas Convention Center when Questex’s 35th annual Nightclub & Bar Show returned and celebrated the resiliency of the restaurant, bar, and nightlife industries to Las Vegas June 28-30. The first big news is that The Nightclub & Bar Show announced that the annual convention has evolved to become the Bar & Restaurant Expo beginning March 2022.

Celebrities, guests, and chefs walked the red carpet on the Expo Floor before being officially opened with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by actress and model Jenny McCarthy and Bar & Restaurant Group Vice President Tim McLucas. Then, in true Vegas fashion, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights’ Drumbots welcomed attendees to the Food Festival Welcome Party hosted on the Expo Floor.

convention & trade show

attendees during his armchair conversation and Q&A, where he shared his spirits expertise and story behind his foray into the industry nearly two decades ago with the legendary creation of Cabo Wabo Tequila. Hagar showcased Santo Spirits, his wildly popular tequila and mezquila portfolio with Fieri, unveiled plans for Sammy’s Beach Bar Cocktail Co., and introduced his first ready-todrink product line. Hagar also spoke about his award-winning Beach Bar Rum, a partnership with Grammy Award winner Rick Springfield, who joined him at the event. Hagar shared samples of each of his spirits and took countless selfies with fans. Music remains Hagar’s passion, and during a press conference held at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod (, he announced his first Las Vegas residency at the property, which sold out in under two hours.

GRAMMY Award-winning rapper 50 Cent, on the cover of the May/June issue of PR%F the Magazine, also made an appearance at his booth where he posed for photos and spoke with attendees for his brand, Sire Spirits and Branson Cognac.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar, on this issue’s cover with Guy Fieri for Santo Spirits, wowed

Guests for the red carpet included Hagar; Springfield; Morgan Heritage members (Peter “Peetah” Morgan, Roy “Gramps” Morgan, and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan); E-40 and

wife Tracy Stevens; Nightclub & Bar Show Advisory Board Members Mia Mastroianni and David Kaplan; Chef Pete Blohme aka “Panini Pete;” celebrity chef Brian Duffy; Food & Beverage Innovation Kitchen chefs Jennifer Behm-Lazzarini, Kayla Robison, Chad Rosenthal, Kevin Des Chenes, Monti Carlo, and Matt Varga; and Co-founder of The Spirits in Motion, Phil Wills. The bar and restaurant industry conference and expo featured over 315 exhibitors, 45 workshops and conference sessions, and 8,783 registered attendees combined to include Nightclub & Bar Show and World Tea Conference + Expo. This year’s show also included an interactive F&B Innovation Center, Sports Bar, experiential NxT area, offsite mixology training, keynote, an Employment Zone, Tea Bar, Food Festival, and co-location with World Tea Conference + Expo. The F&B Innovation Center, led by celebrity chef Brian Duffy, featured live chef demos, tastings, and chef meet and greets, while the Sports Bar offered experiential and interactive sessions with esteemed mixologists and industry suppliers.

The Bar & Restaurant Expo will return March 21-23, 2022. For more information, visit ncbshowcom/evolution.

nightclub & bar show

PR%F the Magazine


live life like a bandido.

ultra premium handcrafted tequila



SO SMOOTH, It’s Criminal

TEQUILA BLANCO & TEQUILA REPOSADO 750 ml | 40% ABV | 80 Proof | NOM: 1107 Produced: El Viejito Distillery, Jalisco, Mexico BANDIDOS DRINK RESPONSIBLY.

the world’s first marine biodegradable drinking straw New WinCup Holdings, Inc. released a time-lapse video and an accompanying report showing the rapid biodegradation of its phade® straw in a controlled marine environment as the world’s first marine biodegradable drinking straw. The video and report are the result of a project conducted by Keypoint Intelligence, a product testing firm, that involved placing phade® in two unique saltwater tank environments and monitoring the biodegradation process. While petroleum-based plastic straws are estimated to take at least 200 years to biodegrade, this project showed that phade®, made with PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a substrate derived from the fermentation of canola oil, achieved complete biodegradation in just 58 days. The video & report can be viewed at: timelapse

“We all remember the viral video of a sea turtle found with a plastic straw in its nose. That image showed the world the impacts of plastic pollution, and it also marked a turning point for us at WinCup. We developed a mission to do our part and create viable sustainable products, by exploring ocean safe alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics. Our straws are such a relevant innovation towards addressing the ocean plastics issue, our hope is that the phade® brand becomes a symbol for meaningful sustainable solutions for many years to come. This time-lapse video is evidence of that, and we are excited to share it with the world.” Michael Winters - WinCup President and Chief Revenue Officer The emergence of phade® straws comes as demand increases for a viable alternative to a traditional petroleum based products. Both paper straws and vegetable-based polylactic acid (PLA) straws present performance and sustainability challenges that phade® overcomes.

“We remain focused on addressing the global plastics pollution crisis and this time-lapse video is a tremendous step in educating the world on what an alternative to petroleum-based plastic truly looks like,” said WinCup Chief Executive Officer Brad Laporte. “We feel strongly that the marketplace is a major driver in eliminating demand for petro plastics, and manufacturers have an obligation to alter business practices to contribute to the cause. We are incredibly proud of the innovation behind our product that allows for this rapid biodegradation process, and we remain committed to continuously improve the sustainable attributes of our products.” WinCup, Inc. is headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia. WinCup is a leading manufacturer of traditional and sustainable disposable cups, bowls, containers, lids, and straws. To learn more, visit and

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