What’s Shakin’ in the Bar & Nightlife Business: Week of September 18

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.

 

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Like teleporting, only much safer.

The Patrón Experience augmented reality app by Patrón Tequila - What's Shakin' week of September 18
Image: Patrón Spirits International

Not that we’d know – we still haven’t gotten our teleportation machine to work yet (although we’re remaining optimistic). But Patrón Tequila has rolled out a way to let you visit the Patrón Hacienda in an instant, from just about anywhere. It may not involve tearing through the space-time continuum but it does take advantage of iOS 11 and augmented reality, and that’s pretty cool. Assuming you use an iPhone and have installed the newest version of iOS, you can take part in The Patrón Experience. Doing so gives you the opportunity to learn more about Patrón Silver, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo. In turn, you can pass on what you’ve learned about each tequila to your guests, educating about what they’re drinking and engaging with them on a higher level.

 

Keep Austin weird, and thirsty.

Desert Door distiller in Texas sotol harvest - What's Shakin' week of September 18
Images: Desert Door

Consumer thirst for tequila and mezcal has created interest in other spirits produced by agave and agave-adjacent plants. One of these spirits is sotol, produced from the Desert Spoon plant. The plant was classified as an agave in the 1930s but was reclassified in the ‘90s. However, the Desert Spoon is similar to an agave in that it has a piña (heart) that’s cooked. Just like the Desert Spoon is like Blue Agave, sotol is like tequila, it’s just a bit gentler and has more floral notes.

Original Desert Door Texas Sotol and Desert Door Oak-Aged Texas Sotol ceramic bottles - What's Shakin' week of September 18
 
But unlike tequila, sotol doesn’t need to be produced in a specific region to be labeled or sold as sotol legally. Evidence suggests that Native Americans were fermenting sotol over 7,000 years ago in what is now Texas, and moonshiners have been producing sotol-based spirits in West Texas for 250 years. There are sotol producers in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila, and now a distillery is set to open in Driftwood, Texas, on October 20. Desert Door will be releasing two sotols – Original Desert Door Texas Sotol and Desert Door Oak-Aged Sotol – which will be available at the distillery and Austin, TX, bars and restaurants first. Expanded distribution will be announced later.

 

This beer is the perfect sip for Halloween.

Rogue Ales Dead 'N' Dead whiskey barrel-aged ale - What's Shakin' week of September 18
Images: Rogue Ales & Spirits

Rogue Ales & Spirits prides themselves in being the only brewery-distillery-cooperage operating in America, constant innovation, and using everything they’ve got to create new brews and booze. Their latest craft creation is the result of Dead Guy Ale aging 6 months in barrels that once contained Dead Guy Whiskey. Called Dead ‘N’ Dead, this whiskey barrel-aged ale is made with 2-Row, C15, Rogue Farms Dare, Munich and Rogue Farms Risk malts, and Perle & Sterling hops. Owing to 6 months of soaking up Dead Guy Whiskey, Dead ‘N’ Dead delivers whiskey, oak and vanilla on the nose, and caramel, malt and honey on the tongue.

 

50 for fifty.

With West Virginia, Stone Brewing secures distribution in all 50 states - What's Shakin' week of September 18
Image: Stone Brewing

The aggressive expansion plans with which Stone Brewing entered 2017 have paid off: the independent brewer has announced distribution in West Virginia. Stone finalized distribution in Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming earlier this year. As of this week, the brewer is now present in all 50 of the United States and Washington, DC. This accomplishment is no small feat for a proud independent brewer, which can now boast that it distributes beer to 35 countries and Puerto Rico. Congratulations to Stone Brewing and the Mountain State!

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