Artisan Wine And Beverage Trends

Artisan Wine And Beverage Trends

Your beverage program can make or break your business. A well-run program can grow profits, as well as subsidize other initiatives within your operation that may be more costly. And yet, many bar programs are still underdeveloped. What does it take to elevate your program to the next level? Foodable gathered top beverage minds to discuss what makes a bar program great.

Success in this business comes down to the value you provide for your customers. Defined by the quality you provide for the price you charge, there are many ways to provide and build upon value.

The first thing Dan Pilkey of Paul Hobbs Winery reminds operators is that a beverage program can’t be contained in a rigid box. The lines between beverage and culinary can, and should, blur. At the very base, you need to provide the basics your customers can fall back on, but you should really strive to go beyond that.

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Quick Six With...Cocktail Chief and 'Gifted Booze-Slinger,' Will Thompson

Quick Six With...Cocktail Chief and 'Gifted Booze-Slinger,' Will Thompson

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

As Miami Food Pug put it best, when you slide across the bar from Will Thompson, you get more than a transaction — you get an experience. And this mix master certainly mixes it up. After quenching the tastes of those thirsting for creative crafted cocktails at the Broken Shaker and Ball & Chain, this summer season, Thompson has shaken up the menu at The Local Craft Food & Drink for libations filled with local fruit, spices, and herbs.

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Quick Six With... James Beard-Nominated Bar Managers Eric Johnson of Bar Agricole and Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common

Quick Six With... James Beard-Nominated Bar Managers Eric Johnson of Bar Agricole and Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common

 

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

Every year, the James Beard Foundation recognizes a number of the nation's top food and beverage industry professionals with its annual award series that honors excellence in the restaurant industry.

Securing even just a James Beard award nomination is one of the most coveted honors in the food and beverage industry, and a win cements a chef or bar director's elite status for life. While the finalists for the awards have been announced, the winners in each of the categories are set to be revealed on May 2nd at the annual awards gala. 

In the meantime, we sat down with two of the James Beard Award nominees and beverage industry pros Eric Johnson, bar manager at Bar Agricole, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager at Clyde Common, to ask the duo six quick questions. 

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Expert Tips on Building a Spring-Inspired Beer List

Expert Tips on Building a Spring-Inspired Beer List

By Fred Crudder, Foodable Industry Expert

Historically, there are certainly examples of springtime beer releases. Marzen is a traditional German style of beer brewed in the fall, matured over the long winter, and released in March. Also from Germany, a Maibock is a light-bodied version of a strong lager (bock) that is released in spring. In Belgium, the refreshing and funky Sasion style is brewed with a relatively high alcohol content specifically so it can keep over the winter. These beers were consumed as the spring planting began, when people knew that fresh supplies of grain were on the way to brew more beer. These examples, however, were born out of necessity. They were not chosen because of how perfectly they fit with spring weather. 

Odd Man Out

One reason that spring beers suffer from an identity crisis has to do with who they are up against. Fall beers are hearty, sometimes spiced with cinnamon and other pie spices, or they might showcase the bounty of the year’s hop harvest. Winter beers are generally dark, strong, and complex. They are decadent and festive. When summer rolls around, the beers are light and refreshing, perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day. All of these beers are not only suited perfectly for their seasons, they are eagerly anticipated by their fans. Spring beer? Well, they seem to suffer from being not as interesting as fall and winter beers, just taking up space on the calendar until the summer beers arrive.

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Two Ways to Rejuvenate Your Beverage Program for Spring

Two Ways to Rejuvenate Your Beverage Program for Spring

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Industry Expert

Spring is an exciting season in the industry as establishments emerge from the slower, colder season and reestablish themselves in preparation for the busier days ahead. Guests react to social and calendar-driven cues, while businesses need to be more proactive. Spring offers the world a fresh start, why not embrace it and follow suit? The spring menu often offers more changes than menu changes throughout the rest of the year, and the quality and point in the growing season drives those changes. The beverage program needs to make similar changes, but often this is forgotten and save for the change of a tap handle or two, the offerings from the bar don’t change too much. 

It’s time to change. Guests are increasingly more aware of what a change in seasons brings with it, and what it means for the world of ingredients. Don’t insult the bar patron or diner seeking an alcoholic beverage by simply offering a discount on a wheat beer with citrus. Two ways to make a big splash with the beverage program this spring include looking to the past for inspiration, and using fresh produce in clever ways.

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