Have you ever thought about starting a craft spirits company? Many of us working behind the bar wonder where our careers will lead us next. Although I do believe one can have a long career in service, many people just don’t want to. Starting your own spirits brand is an alluring career move, especially since we’re so familiar with the market and the products that are available. Many bartenders have started brands or consulted with producers to create products that work better in cocktails or to bring back products that were unavailable. Absinthe, for example, didn’t start to become widely available in the US until after the laws were amended in 2007. At the time, domestic production was almost non existent.
Starting your own company and creating a new product can be an extremely rewarding career, but it also comes with a lot of hard work and challenges to overcome. My guest today is Absinthia Vermut, founder of Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits. Absinthia fell in love with the category in the late Nineties and began bootlegging absinthe at home. In 2013 she founded her company and began working towards bringing her organic absinthe brand, which is absolutely delicious and I’m not just saying that because she sponsored this episode, to market.
Absinthia had a lot to share about the challenges she faced starting her company, everything from legal nightmares getting the label approved with the TTB to marketing a still widely misunderstood product category. Check out our conversation about starting a craft spirits company in the player or wherever you get your podcasts. Also be sure to visit our homepage and check out Absinthia’s website to learn more about her story. She’s also started a new podcast about absinthe, so be sure to subscribe to that as well. Thanks so much for listening, I’ll see you next time!
Welcome back! I Hope 2020 is treating you well so far. Have you ever thought about competitive bartending? It can be an amazing way to learn new skills and move forward in your career, but it’s not without its challenges, everything from balancing training time with your daily schedule to finding support for your cause, and some you may not even expect. Competitive bartending is definitely one of the more exciting directions you can go in this industry.
My guest today is Jessi Lorraine. She has been in the industry for more than seven years at bars like Absinthe and Bon Voyage, and she’s the winner of the most recent Speed Rack competition in California. Speed Rack is an intense, all-female, high-speed bartending competition which has raised more than one million dollars to date for breast cancer research. Jessi has competed in other competitions as well, such as Bacardi Legacy, and she also manages Elda, where we recorded this interview.
Jessi had a ton of amazing insights about competitive bartending and some excellent advice for anyone interested in getting into competitions. Listen to the episode in the player or wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for more. Also be sure to check out our homepage for more great advice on some of the biggest challenges in our industry
Wow! it’s been a long and crazy year. So much has happened here at You’re 86, and here we are almost into the 20s again! Fortunately we don’t have prohibition this time around. We’ve covered a lot on the show this year and I wanted to give you my 2019 top 10 tips for bartenders.
These are my favorite bits of knowledge from all of the interviews this past year. They are things that have definitely helped me, and I hope they help you too. Listen to the episode in the player or wherever podcasts are found. Be sure to share with your friends in the industry too. Read on after the break for the list of my top 10 tips for bartenders.
2019 top 10 tips for bartenders
1 – From Episode 0: One of the easiest ways to spot a counterfeit bill is by looking for the vertical security thread. All US currency notes of denominations of $5 or higher, printed after the early 90s will have this thread. You’ll spot it easily when you hold the bill up to light. I recommend using the light of your POS screen to discreetly check out the bill.
2 – From Episode 2: Nurse Andrew Campbell advised, when you cut yourself, rinse the cut with water and apply pressure with clean gauze. If necessary, wash the area around the cut with soap and water. Putting soap, rubbing alcohol or anything else in the cut itself can actually cause more damage.
3 – From Episode 4: Beverage Director Andrew Meltzer recommended, when you have to cut someone off, plan ahead, be clear and offer alternatives. Use it as an opportunity to provide further hospitality.
This is probably the craziest time of year for all sides of our industry, and surviving that holiday stress isn’t easy. Our jobs are extra busy with company buyouts, we have to manage expectations of family and friends, we have holiday parties to host and attend, and that’s on top of all the usual end of year stress. Despite all of the bright and cheerful decorations, this can be an incredibly dark and hopeless time of year.
My guest today is Rebecca Hopkins. She’s been in the wine industry for more than 25 years, she’s currently Vice President of Communications and Partner at Folio Fine Wine Partners based in Napa, CA. In 2018, Rebecca founded and launched A Balanced Glass, which is a wonderful website providing education and resources on health and wellbeing for our industry. She recently published a couple of pieces about surviving holiday stress, and she had a lot of advice to share.
Listen to our conversation in the player or wherever podcasts are found,. Please share this with your friends and colleagues in the industry too. This is advice that can benefit everyone and it’s really important to support each other during this crazy time. Be sure to also check out our homepage for much, much more. And don’t forget to hit subscribe and stay tuned for more. I’ll see you next time!
Handling drunken holiday crowds is a challenging inevitability in our industry. Days like St. Patricks Day, Cinco de Mayo and New Year’s Eve can bring massive crowds of imbibers to your bar. Often, these are groups of people who have already been drinking elsewhere, and it can be hard to tell how much they’ve had already. This can be a dangerous challenge when you are extra busy with the high volume of customers and your awareness is lower. So how do we survive these crazy drinking holidays?
My guest today is barman Eddie Chann. He has worked in the hospitality industry for more than eight years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eddie is no stranger to big crowds of drunken revelers. In addition to all of the usual holidays, one of Eddie’s former bars, Blind Tiger in Oakland, Calif., was a popular bar crawl destination during the monthly First Friday event.
Eddie shared some great advice about how good communication, careful observation of your coworker’s movements, practiced efficiency and how simply slowing down a little bit when something bad happens can help you get through even the toughest and craziest crowds.
Check out our conversation in the player to learn about Handling drunken holiday crowds, and don’t forget to hit subscribe and check out our homepage for more. We have new conversations every week, so stay tuned. Also, if you want to get some holiday shopping out of the way, we’ve got new items in the shop. I’ll see you next time!