Cheers January/February 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Attendees at the Understanding Beer Flavor seminar, part of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas' Beer Steward Program. bartenders and staff on beer ingredients, brewing process, taste profiles, proper pour and beer and food pairings. "P4B is all about re-igniting the passion for beer, and doing it in a way that bartenders and bar owners can enhance the quality of the on-premise experience: By serving beer in the way its brewer intended," Libonate says. More hands-on beer training programs are being offered, says Karl Ockert, technical director of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) professional brewing education as well as the Beer Steward program. "We train distributors and wholesalers who are just trying to keep up with all the new beers coming in house, so they can sell them knowledgeably to bar operators," he says. "Several breweries, such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., have hired us to train their sales force, and we've also worked with chain operations," Ockert says. One of these is Winking Lizard Tavern, a 14-unit chain headquartered in Bedford Heights, OH. Winking Lizard Tavern offers a proprietary "beer geek" program for staff education, training about 500 staffers each year. The best "geeks" get to take the MBAA Beer Steward program as both reward and incentive. Successful graduates are eligible for rewards such as travel to breweries in Belgium. "The 14 Winking Lizard Taverns are the original concept and built around a loyalty to brand building," says John Lane, vice president of operations for the chain. "We have been a brand Ambassadeur for [Belgian brewery] Orval for five years in a row and are the first ones to be named Cum Laude Brand Ambassadeur outside of Europe." The Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar is a hybrid concept in Bedford Heights, where guests can choose from 650 beers to go or served on-premise, Lane says. Winks Bar and Grille is a local concept, with 18 of the 33 tap handles from Ohio breweries and the rest from surrounding states. 26 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 Mixing it up with beer drinks Beer cocktails offer a bridge for training and tasting. A cofounder of the blog Beermixology. com, Ashley Routson also directs social media for the Bison Brewery of Berkeley, CA. She expands appreciation for beer through collaborations with bartenders on beer cocktails and blends. "I've worked with Nat Harry, mixologist at the Revival Bar + Kitchen, who makes a lot of her own tinctures, bitters and syrups," says Routson. "For the Mad Botanist cocktail, I made hibiscus syrup, tart and a beautiful red color to match the Bison Saison de Wench ale brewed with hibiscus, roses, lemongrass and pink pepper corns." The recipe was a creation for a Mad Hatter promotion at the bar and restaurant, which features a farm-to-table menu, and average drink prices of $9 to $12. Other beer-enhanced cocktails at Revival include the Great Pumpkin, made with Diplomatico anejo rum, candied pumpkin syrup, Anchor Brewing Co. porter Mad Botanist and nutmeg foam ($11).

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