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Pernod Ricard Wraps Spring BarSmarts Bartender Education Sessions

July 27, 2009


Purchase, N.Y., (July 22, 2009) – Pernod Ricard USA, a leading producer, importer and marketer of prized spirits and wine brands in the United States, recently wrapped the spring sessions of its first-of-its-kind and highly touted BarSmarts ADVANCED bartender training and education program that ran in four key markets: Boston, Austin, Atlanta and Chicago.

BarSmarts Live Lecture by Dave Wondrich, Andy Seymour and Dale DeGroffBarSmarts ADVANCED, which targets bartender protégés who are committed to the profession of bartending, was delivered to an invitation only audience in the above noted markets through an exclusive BarSmarts ADVANCED kit that includes a complete set of  DVDs, workbook, and set of professional bar tools (where legal).  All work was completed by the bartenders prior to signing up for the BarSmarts LIVE day – a full day program of written and practical education, tasting, mixology, and testing. The day was hosted by the esteemed BAR, LLC partners who include renowned mixologists and spirits experts: Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Doug Frost, F. Paul Pacult, Andy Seymour and David Wondrich. (At left, the Boston LIVE lecture featuring Wondrich, Seymour and DeGroff.)

“The BarSmarts program has met and surpassed our expectations,” note Suzanne Freedman, Director of On Premise for Pernod Ricard USA. “We launched last fall in New York and San Francisco to rave reviews and picked up the momentum as we hit Boston, Austin, Atlanta and Chicago this spring. This is truly is a groundbreaking, hands-on program that is helping set a new standard of excellence within the bartending profession. In fact, BarSmarts recently received great mention in the Wall Street Journal’s story “Nice Work if You Can Mix It” dedicated to the future of bartender education and the profession as a whole.” Freedman added, “The folks who participated in the program to date are dedicated aspiring professionals who we trust will have a tremendous impact on the profession as they pursue their careers.”

Steve Olsen giving BarSmarts cocktail exam

In each market, a full scholarship to the BAR five day intensive education program was awarded to the top scorers.  The cost of this program is $3,500 program. The top performers, by market, were:
•    Boston:   Scott Marshall from Drink
•    Austin:    Rhiannon Enlil from Cure in New Orleans
•    Atlanta:   Eric Simpson from Drinkshop
•    Chicago: Charles Joly from Three Headed Productions

Pernod Ricard USA’s on-premise team is in the process now of launching Wave Three of the BarSmarts ADVANCED program that will be deployed this fall in the following cities:  
•    San Francisco:   October 13, 2009
•    Los Angeles:  October 15, 2009
•    New York City:  November 3, 2009
•    Las Vegas:  December 9, 2009

In addition, the company is preparing for the August 1st launch of BarSmarts WIRED, the second level of the program that targets a broader range of bartending professions with the opportunity to participate through a web-based education and certification program offered exclusively through password-protected entrance to the BarSmarts WIRED site. 

“At Pernod Ricard USA, it is our mission to develop a stronger presence in the on-premise channel by helping our on-premise partners improve their bar service and better serve their patrons,” added Freedman. “BarSmarts is one of the many powerful tools we have in our arsenal to accomplish this goal. We are looking forward to reaching an even broader audience with the next wave of BarSmarts ADVANCED and the premiere of BarSmarts WIRED.”


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