Cheers - November 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 7 of 51 8 • November/December 2015 DRINK CULTURE Tony Abou-Ganim Modern Mixologist Timothy Baldwin Director of Food and Beverage The Little Nell Stephen Beaumont Beer expert/author Heather Berry Director of Beverage and Bakery Operations The Cheesecake Factory R estaurants, Inc. Sandy Block, MW Vice President of Beverage Operations Legal Sea Foods David Brown Vice President Operations Support Houlihan's Cindy Busi Director of Worldwide Beverage Hard Rock International W esley Cort Director, Restaurant & Beverage Development and Operations Norwegian Cruise Line Doug Draper Director of Adult Beverage & Bar Development HMSHost D ale DeGroff King Cocktail Matt Durbin Vice President, Beverage & Bar, Carlson Restaurants Tylor Field III Vice President, Wine & Spirits Morton's The Steakhouse John W. Fischer, M.S., CHE Professor The Culinary Institute of America Doug Frost, M.S., M.W. Consultant Beverage Alcohol Resource, Inc. Jill Helmerick Director of Beverage Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Patrick Henry President Patrick Henry Creative Promotions Inc. Daniel Hoffman Director Equipment & Beverage Specifications Global Operations Services Marriott International Inc. Doug Jackson Senior Director of Beverage Development Darden Restaurants Scott Kinsey Director of R&D and Corporate Chef Hooters of America, Inc. P atrick Kirk Director of Beverage Innovation Buffalo Wild Wings Edward M. Korry Department Chairman, Beverage and Dining Service College of Culinary Arts Johnson & Wales James Kramer Vice President Beverage Operations Landry's Restaurants Inc. Monica Tary McGill Vice President of Beverage & Training Cheeseburger in Paradise L arry McGinn Partner iMi Agency Mary Melton Director of Beverage P.F. Chang's China Bistro R obert Plotkin President BarMedia Blake Rohrabaugh Vice President, Beverage Operations and Innovation Bar Louie Restaurant Operations Fernando Salazar Vice President, Food and Beverage Wyndham Worldwide Glenn Schmitt President MarkeTeam K evin Settles President Bardenay Restaurant Stacey Smith Beverage Director Pappas Restaurants David Tetens Director of Beverage & Bar Development/ North America Division Starwood Hotels and Resorts R yan Valentine Director of Beverage Operating Partner Cameron Mitchell Restaurants S uzan Waldschmidt Director of Beverage Outback Steakhouse Editorial Advisory Board Cheers Q&A WITH TOM BULLEIT Tom Bulleit rejuvenated Bulleit bourbon in the late 1980s, basing it on a brand created by his great-great grandfather, Augustus, and initially hand-sold bottles from bar to bar. Just seven years ago, Bulleit sold 35,000 cases a year; today annual sales are up to 600,000. Parent company Diageo is constructing a $115 million, 300-acre Bulleit bourbon distilling and warehouse facility in Shelbyville, KY. We recently spoke with Bulleit about his success. CH: What is behind the rise of Bulleit bourbon? TB: It's got a great price point, a real value in terms of cost to taste. We age it especially long, and make it with low phenol alcohol. And the high rye content in our bourbon has allowed us to partner up with bartenders and mixologists, who love the taste. They say it's one of the driest bourbons on the markets. It's wonderful when you mix something sweet with it. CH: You released a rye whiskey, which has also been successful. TB: Bartenders were telling us as far back as 2004 that we needed to make a rye. So we did just that. To be a rye, by law you need to have at least 51% rye in your mash bill. We use 95% rye. And we get it from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, which makes the best rye in America. We wanted to make a really "rye" rye, but also a drinking rye—not just for mixing. So there's a sweetness to the end of it. That comes from the barrel aging. Our rye doesn't come out for five years. It's become a cult favorite among bartenders. Bulleit is a word-of-mouth brand: The growth is really because of the bartenders—it's their brand. Our rise has coincided with the rise of mixology culture and social media, which has allowed the brand to be spread around more easily by people. CH: Tell us about the Shelbyville facility. TB: It's a considerable project, and it's going to be one of the most environmentally friendly facilities in America. I designed the water collection system, which should have no negative impact on the watershed. We draw our water from Creek Lake very slowly, so as not to affect the environment. With this facility, we should be able to produce 750,000 nine-liter cases annually. I see us continuing to grow. We might be the fastest-growing premium bourbon on the market. When I first wrote the business plan for Bulleit bourbon many, many years ago, I wrote that there was a tremen- dous opportunity for international markets. This will allow us to fully capture that. CH: You must take pride in seeing how far the brand has come. TB: It's a little disorienting. I used to be a lawyer—I left law to transition into this, to do what I always wanted to do. I bet the farm on this transition. I'll be dying with my boots on; I want to do this until I cannot. I love it, and I love the people in it.

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