Cheers March 2015

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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Page 48 of 59 49 March 2015 • brewers in Belgium and Germany over the years, which gets him access to allocated beers, such as Vedett Extra White. "We are the only one in U.S to have this witbier," Lane notes. On the down side of overseas sourcing, Lane points out that imports add another layer to the U.S.'s three-tier distribution system, increasing complications and costs. "Imports are a four-tier system," he points out. For Zama, "fi nding new craft beers is a bit of a process" because of the limitations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) system in Pennsylvania, says Moncavage. He and his staff often travel to beer fests in New York and Washington, D.C., to discover new quaffs. GETTING THE FIESTA STARTED Winking Lizard gets the word out mainly via social media to draw crowds for events. The tavern last fall hosted the director of Brasserie D'Achouffe to conduct a "biggest little toast" with a simulcast of the record-breaking participation from customers in all its stores. Naturally, Wolff 's holds an Oktoberfest every year. The event closes down a street in Albany with tents and beer truck to host a thousand or so partiers in a pay-as-you-go event that includes a commemorative stein. The Biergarten also positions itself as a soccer bar: "We have a month-long party in the bar during the World Cup," says Leamy. "Our Cinco de Mayo promotions are highly revolved around Mexican imports and we see a huge jump in sales that time of year," says Jackson. Signage and decor in the restaurants heavily favor imported Mexican beers. "We also create new drinks around Mexican imports if possible," says the beverage manager. The latest is the Mexican Iceberg, which features Dos Equis Amber with a fl oat of frozen Margarita. Thomas Henry Strenk is a Brooklyn-based freelancer who crafts his own homebrew and writes about all things drinkable. The Mexican Iceberg beertail: Dos Equis Amber with a fl oat of frozen Margarita. GLASS IT UP Tradition calls for many European brews to be served in unique, logoed glassware meant to coax out optimum aroma and fl avor. The glasses are also a nifty promotional gimmick. The hefty, dimpled-glass Oktoberfest mugs used to serve the German lagers "look pretty bad-ass," says Sam Leamy, general manager of Wolff's Biergarten in Schenectady, NY. Wolff's uses branded glassware provided by the distributors whenever possible. Belgians are served in proper goblets and wheat beers in weizen glasses; the latter are especially delicate and prone to breakage, says Leamy. Customers celebrating their birthday at Wolff's receive a free "glass boot" of beer. Plus, enthusiasts often bring in their own fancy German clay steins; "we fi ll those up for them," he notes. Zama Restaurant in Philadelphia serves some Hitachino beers in a special glass built like the classic pilsner vessel, says head bartender Jon Moncavage. Servers at Zama are trained to pour the beer correctly with a bit of ceremony. "When a customer spends twelve dollars for a beer, they want a little celebration with it," he adds. "The older crowd they still like the romance of imports, especially if you are pouring it into a traditional or logoed glass—that makes a big play," says John Lane, owner/vice president of operations for the Bedford Heights, OH-based "Winking Lizard Tavern. He has created a number of promotional efforts around glassware for the chain. Customers who manage to drink the 10 or so imported beers in the "Iconic Brewery Tour" during the course of the promotion earn a pewter-top mug. A similar promotion features Duvel's annual, artist-painted glass program, in which customers are awarded one of the iconic vessels. Participants receive a "passport" with info on the breweries to educate guests. "For the Duvel promo, we gave away about 1,200 glasses," Lane says.—THS Ariano restaurant in Media, PA, boasts a curated list of Italian craft beerss from notable artisanal breweries such as Le Baladin, Birra Tenute Collesi, Birra del Borgo and Birra Memabrea.

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