Last month, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic came to town and at the end of June, The Bar and Restaurant Show comes to the Javits Center in NYC. Details here.
I’d like to take a close look at these events and the impact on the business. In all candor, I haven’t always been a fan of these shows but they’re changing for the better, and it’s probably time I looked at them with an open mind.
Let’s start with The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which was on May 11th to 15th at a range of venues around the city (over 70 locations). I was traveling and unable to attend but from all accounts, Lesley Townsend and her team had the best event since the show began in 2009. Three reasons, so far as I can tell.
Readers of Booze Business may recall that I began following this startup company a month ago (see April 27 posting) with the promise that I would periodically update their journey to brand development. (Their website is here.)
Their first product is Sorel (pronounced sore-el). It’s a drink that those from the Caribbean islands have been making for centuries and serve on festive occasions. Each island, and even families, has their own concoctions. Made from a variety of spices, herbs, horticulture and neutral grain spirit (NGS), JFB has overcome barriers and produced a market-ready product with a shelf price of $26.99. (Wait until you hear what retailers are saying.)
Since I first met the owners (Jack Summers, Tim Kealey and Alan Camlet) they’ve moved from planning and laying the ground work to implementation. Not, as it turns out, without some hiccups.
After months of work on perfecting the recipe to their satisfaction, the day arrives when 330 gallons of NGS appears at their facility. The “factory” is the former site of Red Hook Winery; the blending and bottling equipment is set and ready to go. Figuring out how to unload the alcohol is only part of the problem. The alcohol itself is the real concern.
Just thought I would take a moment to alert readers – consumers as well as those in the industry – about upcoming events of interest related to the booze industry.
First and foremost, from May 13 to 17 is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic all over NYC. It starts with a Gala at the New York Public Library and there are events all over town. Anyone who has been to previous events recommends it highly. Here’s the link www.manhattancocktailclassic.com – got to warn you, most events are sold out.
In June (28 and 29), the Javits center in NYC has the Bar and Wine Show for the on premise trade. www.newyorkbarshow.com
Finally, and not directly related to spirits and wine – there is a charity event called The Lone Star Chili Cookoff on May 21. What does this have to do with the booze business? Not much except when I think of the business I often think about Texas. You know, 6th St. in Austin, Crown Royal and great times with the Southern region. Here’s the link. www.lonestarchilicookoff.org/about.php?club=NYAMC
Who says this blog doesn’t provide a public service?