What’s Shakin’ in the Bar & Nightlife Business: Week of June 26

Black and white photo of bartender with cocktail shaker
What's shakin'? Image: ArthurHidden / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Bar, nightclub and restaurant operators, managers, bartenders and other staff members have a lot to keep tabs on. From every day operations tasks to new product releases to spirit, beer, wine, cocktail and food trends, keeping on top of bar and nightlife news each week can be a project in and of itself.

That’s where we come in. To make things that much easier for you we’ve put together a detailed rundown of what happened this week that you should know. You need to know what international products are finally being distributed throughout America, what innovations are being made in glassware and bar and kitchen products, what and when music streaming services are featuring a new album, and so much more. In life, knowledge is power. In this business, knowledge is dollars.

 

Very Special art in a bottle.

Hennessy 2017 Very Special Limited Edition bottle designed by artist JonOne - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Hennessy

Hennessy, the best-selling Cognac in the world, has announced the designer of their 2017 Very Special Limited Edition bottle, which will launch across the US in July of this year and be available in roughly 50 countries across the globe. JonOne, the street artist who became an art world phenomenon, designed the custom bottle, the seventh in Hennessy’s ongoing series of collaborations with world renowned artists. JonOne’s bottle design captures his spirit while also paying homage to Hennessy’s storied legacy.

 

Because independence matters.

Brewers Association small and independent beer brewer seal - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Brewers Association

Do you and your guests strive to support independent beer producers? Have you become exhausted or otherwise fed up with trying to keep tabs on the status of breweries? Non-profit trade group Brewers Association has come up with a simple and effective a solution: a seal. If you see the seal on a beer you and your guests can rest assured that it’s from a producer that fits the Brewers Association craft brewer definition and has a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice. The seal can be used by any of the 5,300-plus independent, small American craft brewers that meet the aforementioned criteria #IndependenceMatters

 

They accomplished this in just 8 months.

Sycamore Brewing completes $2.5 million brewery and cannery in Charlotte, North Carolina - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Sycamore Brewing

Sycamore Brewing, located in the North End neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, has finished construction on their new $2.5 million production and cannery facility. In addition to that fantastic news, Sycamore has also released brand-new cans that were brewed in their new home. The rest of us will have to wait for the brewer to cross state lines as they’ve announced that they plan to focus on North Carolina for now, but we’re willing to be patient. Those of you lucky enough to get your hands on cans of Sycamore Brewing beers will be able to raise a Fourth of July toast with Southern Girl Blonde, Countryside IPA, High Tide Wheat, or Sun Grown Fresh Craft Lager.

 

Occasionally, you can have it both ways.

The Depot Craft Brewery and Distillery in Reno, NV - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: The Depot Brewery and Distillery

There are thousands of craft distilleries and craft breweries in the America. There are not, however, thousands of combined craft breweries and distilleries. The first such facility in the state of Nevada – The Depot Craft Brewery and Distillery – has opened in Reno. (You thought we were going to say it opened in Las Vegas, didn’t you?) The Depot features a mill, forged copper and steel still, custom brewhouse, open-style fermenters, and a barrel room. Six signature spirits are produced by The Depot, including a whiskey, gin and bourbon that won awards at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The Depot is a unique facility, using grains from Nevada farms and utilizing traditional brewing techniques that are all but lost in today’s modern brewing era. This is an ambitious project and we can’t wait to visit!

 

What’s your four-year plan?

drink: A Four Year Survival Guide cocktail book by Amanda Orr and Laurie Gibson - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Image source: Amazon

Those whose four-year survival plan includes alcohol can finally procure a handy survival guide. Aptly titled drink: A Four Year Survival Guide, this cocktail book includes 50 classic cocktail recipes that will get you through Trump’s first (and possibly only) term as POTUS. Authors Amanda Orr and Laurie Gibson updated the classic cocktail names, meaning you can serve up drinks like the White Russian Puppet and Don’t Drain the US Mint Julep. Available through Amazon and independent bookstores nationwide, drink, published by MaGu Publishing, is excellent cocktail menu inspiration. Makes a great conversation starter, too.

 

A rare taste of the PNW.

Westland Distillery Native Oak Series Garryana 2|1 whiskey - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Westland Distillery

American whiskey lovers, be on the lookout for Westland Distillery’s latest special edition: Garryana 2|1. This is the second edition of Westland’s Native Oak Series, a whiskey matured in a rare white oak species found only in the Pacific Northwest called Garry Oak. Unlike the first edition of Garryana, there is no peated component in version 2|1, meaning the liquid is a bit more subtle. Expect aromas of nutmeg, clove, honeycomb, mocha and smoke, along with dried tropical fruits and candied ginger. Flavors characteristic of Garry Oak – BBW smoke, molasses, espresso and citrus – are revealed on the palate and make it clear why this release is so special. Tracking Garry Oak down is no small feat, so don’t miss out on tasting this release! Available nationwide in limited quantities.

 

Till we wheat again…

Till American Wheat Vodka expands distribution to Minnesota and adds bottle sizes - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Till American Wheat Vodka

If you operate or tend bar in the Midwest you’ve likely tasted Till American Wheat Vodka. This American vodka is produced using the highest quality Kansas wheat and is available in Kansas (of course), Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana. And now those of you in the Land of 10,000 Lakes will have the opportunity to stock and serve Till Vodka. The company is expanding distribution to Minnesota and adding 1.75-liter and 50ml bottles to their current lineup of 750ml and 1-liter sizes. Be sure to visit their website to learn more and check out recipes, like the refreshing Till Watermelon Sparkler.

 

We hope he doesn’t throw a bottle into the crowd…

Luc Belaire names celebrity DJ Steve Aoki official global brand ambassador for launch of Luc Belaire Gold sparkling wine - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Luc Belaire

Cake is one thing, but throwing a bottle of bubbly might hurt. Grammy-nominated superstar DJ Steve Aoki has been tapped by Luc Belaire – the fastest growing premium French sparkling wine brand in the world – to act as their official brand ambassador for the launch of Luc Belaire Gold. This new cuvée features a blend of handpicked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France, a dosage consisting of organic sugarcane, and a crystal-clear bottle. Steve Aoki joins celebrity Luc Belaire’s impressive roster of brand ambassadors, which includes DJ Khaled and Rick Ross. We’re looking forward to popping open a bottle or two of liquid Gold!

 

Where you’re encouraged to Miss Behave.

The Miss Behave Gameshow finds a home at Bally's Las Vegas - What's Shakin' week of June 26
Attribution/Copyrights: Dan Goven

A raucous, immersive and immensely entertaining game show has found a home at Bally’s Las Vegas. If you have plans to visit Vegas (say, for instance, during the dates of March 26 through 28 for the 2018 Nightclub & Bar Show) you need to check out The Miss Behave Gameshow. We had the opportunity to check it out and participate not long ago and were genuinely impressed with every second of the evening.

This is not just another Vegas stage show, one in which an entertainer performs for an audience that applauds politely in between nostalgic musical numbers. Instead, The Miss Behave Gameshow is irreverent and turns the audience into the performers, taking jabs at politics, pop culture, the show itself, the audience, and our obsession with our phones. Miss Behave's trusty sidekick is hilarious, and you've never seen a stage set up like this, nor have you been separated as an audience the way you will be upon stepping into the theater for this game show. The show has no rules…except for the rules it has. We don’t want to give too much away, so we’ll leave you to figure out what we mean about the rules. The Miss Behave Gameshow opens July 7.