The Booze Bin

Top 3 Reasons Craft Brewers Look East

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Four out of the five largest craft brewers are located west of the Mississippi. California and Colorado, in particular, are known for their incredible community of craft brewers, breweries and beer lovers. Some of the biggest names in craft brewing, however, are looking east to keep up with the wildfire growth of the craft beer industry.

Take Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing and Fort Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, for example. The second and third largest U.S. craft brewers by sales, respectively, both top brewers looked to “Beer City USA,” Asheville, North Carolina, as home to their highly anticipated east coast outposts.

First out of the gates, Sierra Nevada is finally breaking ground this fall with brewery tours and a gift shop, followed by their taproom and restaurant later this winter. After a delay from their original launch timing, New Belgium’s Asheville brewery looks to launch next spring.

Most recently, San Diego’s Stone Brewery announced three finalist cities for its east coast operations: Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia, and Columbus, Ohio. As an aside, PadillaCRT has offices in both Virginia cities, and specifically in the…

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Fall Into Beer

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Fall officially starts next week. It’s time put away the shandys, maibock and hefeweizens until next year. But what will you drink between now and dreadful winter? Fall seasonals. It’s the only way.

Here are five tasty autumn brews that will help you get ready for hibernation mode:

Hard Cider

One hard cider I’m not angry with is Angry Orchard’s Apple Ginger out of Boston. I mean can you really go wrong with the flavors of apple and ginger? Sweet, yet tart this is one hard cider worth trying. Bonus: it’s gluten free.

Lager and Ale

Made by 21st Amendment in San Francisco, He Said is a collaboration between Seattle-based Elysian Brewing. The best part: This box collection includes two cans of He Said Baltic-style Porter and two cans of He Said Belgian-style Tripel, both brewed with pumpkin and spices.

Pumpkin Ale

The great pumpkin craze is in full effect. From pumpkin flavored Oreos and lattes to vodkas and almonds – there’s no stopping pumpkin as the official flavor of all. One pumpkin product worth trying this fall is Elmsford, New York’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale. It’s hoppy, spicy and…

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How To Enjoy Craft Cider – Infographic

In our last blog post about craft cider, we shed light on the basics (Craft Cider 101). This fall, I challenge you to look over the rim of your tasting glass and experiment with artisan hard cider in cocktails and at dinner parties. For inspiration, visit one of fall’s many cider events, like Cider Week Virginia and New York.

As versatile as wine and beer, craft cider can hold its own on tasting menus and in cocktail glasses – shaken or stirred. Even better: Cider bars across the country are finally becoming a staple of America’s drink culture.

Here’s how and where to enjoy craft cider this season! Cheers.

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Download the full infographic here.  

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From Farm to Bar: Locavores Support with Sips

Over the past decade, the idea of eating local has gained a lot of momentum in the United States. There is still plenty of educating to do, but the growing support of sustainable agriculture programs, CSAs, and farmers markets all speak to the value people place on this food movement. As more and more restaurant menus site the farms from which their products are sourced, it comes as no surprise to see avid locavores carry their stance beyond food and into the beverage realm.farmers market

As both PR professionals and libation-loving individuals, there is more than one reason why you should serve local both on your plate and in your glass. Here are a few:

1. You’ll support local producers

This one may be obvious, but it’s a major element. There are over two million farms across the United States, and they are the backbone of America. As consumers, we are the influencers of their production. If we ask for local, they are going to supply local. If this small notion spreads to a national movement, the often-attacked high price point for sustainable products will fall. This, in turn, would give small farms…

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Top 3 reasons you drink what you drink

Everything has trends – whether you’re talking fashion, diet or, my favorite, drink. We have
all seen the various cocktail trends through the years: Sugary drinks in the 1980s,  Cosmos in the 1990s, Prohibition throwbacks in 2000s, classics in the 2010s.  But what dictates what’s in your glass? Here are three reasons why you’re drinking what you’re drinking…

Europe: As with fashion, Europeans are really the trendsetters in the world. Yes, America has its cool points, but we turn to our friends in Paris, London, Berlin and other chic cities to see what’s coming down the pipeline. Gin is a perfect example. Gin Bars are taking Europe by storm, especially in Spain, where it’s about the aromas and tonics (like Fever Tree). While this is a pretty simple concept, it’s revolutionary as this allows the consumer to play with his or her senses and have an experience, not just a cocktail. American mixologists know gin is where it’s at, but U.S. consumers are a bit slow to get on the bandwagon. They’ll get there eventually, so mark my written word: this time next year, everyone will be drinking gin. The caveat to this? While Europeans might be setting the…

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Drink to Your Health

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When you open the pages of any lifestyle magazine these days, you’ll likely find an article on ways to enjoy “guilt free” or “low-calorie” cocktails. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of drinking vodka sodas.

Some people (including myself) believe drinking cocktails made with ingredients like fresh fruit and vegetables is a healthier option over the typical sugary mixer. Lucky for us, mixologists across the nation are incorporating our recommended daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables into cocktails.

But we shouldn’t get too excited for tomorrow’s happy hour. There are differing opinions as to whether the calories from liquor and healthy juice mixers in cocktails cancel out the nutritional benefits. Although some say it it’s “detox while you retox”. Anything is good in moderation.

So, whether or not you think healthy cocktails are a growing trend, here are four insights for the next big salad cocktail:

1.       Juicetails are a thing

Juicing is often associated with drinks for weight loss and detox. Juicetails are cocktails mixed with super healthy juices and by the looks…

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Beer, Burlesque and Bocce: Enhancing the Brewery Experience

I like beer. A lot. So naturally, I have been thrilled with the onslaught of craft beer breweries in my local beer-drinking bubble within the past two years. As this is a phenomenon occurring throughout the United States, it’s hard to imagine that all of them will be able to sustain sales and customers as more and more enter the market each day. So how does a brewery ride the wave and then survive when the craze dies down? What will keep craft beer drinkers coming back time and time again? Here are a few marketing suggestions.

 Make Me Feel Special

StrangewaysIf you are going to hang with your peeps for a few hours at a brewery, you want it feel like it’s an EXPERIENCE. I’ve been to many breweries, with various types of décor, music, scenery and crowds. No matter what the scene is, there is a feeling of beer-drinking bonding with fellow brewery-goers. So make it special – a place they want to come back to repeatedly. Create a unique atmosphere; drinking beer is fun after all! Make it funky. Make it different. Make it appealing to both men…

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Marketing, Math, and a Formula for the Perfect Beer

As marketing professionals, we know that two good ideas do not always come together to create a great one. While items such as the “townie” (half tart, half brownie, a sad challenger to the Cronut), Colgate Kitchen Entrees (whet your appetite with thoughts of chalky toothpaste!), and Moscato-infused vodka (no thank you) are proof of that, there are also success stories. Through careful consideration, taste testing, and rationality, we sometimes bring two delectable products together and arrive at an even better outcome.

I am, of course, referring to bourbon-barrel-aged beer. The process basically involves aging finished beer in barrels that once held bourbon. This adds a rich oaky flavor and increases alcohol content. So, as we gear up for National Heritage Bourbon Month in September (it’s never too soon to learn your favorites!), give some of these brews a try, and enjoy the ingenious fusions of two all-time favorites – bourbon and beer. Here are some great ones to start with:

1. Goose Island Beer Co. – Bourbon Count Brand Stout

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2. Evil Twin – Imperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel…

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4 Ways to Enjoy National American Beer Month

July is National American Beer Month and what’s more American than inventing new ways to enjoy beer! These are my top four ways to enjoy one of America’s favorite beverages.

DraftServ beer machine

1. Self-serve beer stations. Yesterday at the All-Star game in my hometown of Minneapolis, Major League Baseball fans at Target Field could pour their own beer (up to 48 ounces) using machines, called DraftServ, a partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch. The machines still used attendants to ensure fans didn’t over-serve themselves.

2. Beat the heat with beer and fruit pairings. Cool down this summer by combining: juicy fruit and cold beer. Fancy a popsicle with a little hop? Quench your thirst with recipes such as: Petit Saison & Raspberry Beersicles or Frozen Beer Soaked Watermelonsicles made with one of my favorite summer seasonal brews Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment brewery.

3. Reserve your spot for a new home brew system. Synek is a crowdsourced personal beer dispenser. Similar to a keg, the Synek uses cartridges that are pressurized with CO2. The chamber of the dispenser is not pressurized, which allows you to interchange the…

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Top 7 Bummers of Summer in the PR World

Summer is hot, muggy, and in the PR world, as good as dead. At least that’s what some people think. Summer may be the time when everyone is off, yet the earth keeps spinning and clients’ emails keep coming in. Fellow PR pros, here’s what I like to call the top seven bummers of summer in “our” world… with booze… and a sense of humor.

7) Supposedly summer Fridays exist, but in reality…

6) Your computer crashes, you’re locked out of Pinterest, and IT has taken the summer off.

5) Explaining your background as a PR pro to interns whilst correcting his or her grammar. 

4) A client asks you post a release on the wire this week. On Thursday night.

3) When you have to come up with a new PR strategy for 2015 before Labor Day, and your client is out UNTIL AFTER Labor Day.

2) A client wants you pitch “The Chew,”  ”Rachael Ray” and other talk shows that just happen to be on…

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