10th Annual American Distilling Institute’s Craft Spirits Conference

10th Annual American Distilling Institute’s Craft Spirits Conference

I had the great honor of speaking at the 10th Craft Spirits Conference put on by the American Distilling Institute this week.  ADI’s mission is to

The American Distilling Institute’s mission is to disseminate essential information regarding the art and science of distilling.

American Distilling Institute
I must say, the energy at this conference was palpable.  There are so many exciting things happening in craft spirits.  The growth in craft spirits is a continuation and natural extension of what we have seen first in the winery space and later in the craft beer space.  Today’s consumers more than ever before are interested in trying new hand crafted, unique expressions of wine, beer and spirits.  ADI tracks the new distilleries across the US.  Check this map out:
Directory of Craft Distillers from ADI
Truly amazing.  One of the challenges a craft spirits brand owner has is route to market.  You can do everything right in terms of setting up production, coming up with a great liquid, branding and packaging, but if you cannot get your brand into distribution, into retail and ultimately in front of the consumer, it is all for naught.

I participated on a panel of industry experts from distribution and retail and moderated by Craig Wolf, my friend and the CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America WSWA.  Craig did a great job of bring together knowledgable people to give insights into this route to market challenge for young brands.  Our panel included contributions from

Gary Keimach of Martingnetti in New England

David Jabour of Twin Liquors in Texas

Sam Rubenstein of Horizon Beverage in New England

Scott McKee of RNDC in Florida

Ken Fredrickson of Tenzing Wine & Spirits in Illinois

Here are my remarks on how a young craft brand can think about the challenge of route to market with some simple things to focus on for success.

 

Thanks to Bill Owens and Penn Jensen of ADI for leading the charge for craft distilling!  It is a great movement that will only continue to thrive.

Craft Spirits Conference 2013 Craft Spirits Conference 2013  Craft Spirits Conference 2013  Craft Spirits Conference 2013

SOBE Wine & Food Festival 2012

SOBE Wine & Food Festival 2012

Well, we had an amazing week in South Beach Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival by Food Network.  This event has grown to a must attend gathering for anyone who loves wine, food and SOBE.  SOBEWFF was held February 23-26, 2012.  This year Paddington Brands became a major Silver sponsor with our Tequila 3 Amigos, Agoston Wines and we had the pleasure of pre-introducing the new Miami Cocktail Company owned by friends of mine Ross and Simon.  (Here is the sponsor page)

 

 

 

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University(FIU), the festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $14 million for the School.

 

Our corner display in the Grand Tasting tent looked fantastic and was one of the highlights of the whole event.  We poured Tequila 3 Amigos Blanco, Reposado, Anjeo and Organic Blanco as well as our 3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margaritas which we have dubbed “Fire & Ice”.  Agoston wines both Tempernillo Cabernet and Granacha Syrah.  Miami Cocktails pre-introduced themselves with two of their flavors to fawning crowds.  We saw so many friends and met so many new people it is hard to capture here.

 

 

 

 

 

One of many cool things we participated in was Michael’s Genunie Food & Drink “Farm to Table” brunch sponsored by Whole Foods. This was an amazing organic brunch by Michael Schwartz of MGFD a James Beard Award winning chef and friend.  3 Amigos Tequila was the beverage of choice and we again served our 3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margaritas.  MGFD mixologist Ryan created what is now one of our favorite drinks with 3 Amigos

 

Cocktail Recipes:

 

“Fire & Ice”  3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margarita

Cut 1 Hawaiian “Gold” Pineapple into chunks (No Core) and blend with 1/2 Cup of Agave Nectar and 2 fresh Serrano Chiles (with the seeds and membranes removed) together in a blender.  Once the “Base” has a puree consistency and is flowing smoothly turn off the blender and place in a container.

  • 1.5 Ounces                 3 Amigos Blanco Tequila
  • 4 Ounces                     Margarita Mix
  • 1 TBSP                        Piña-Serrano Puree
  • 1 Scoop                       Ice

If you would like a little more sweetness you can add Superfine Bar Sugar to the rim of the glass.

 

 

 

 

 

The Caballero  by Ryan @MGFD

  • 2 oz Organic 3 Amigos Blanco Tequila
  • 1 Barspoon Roasted Poblano Agave
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 oz Red Bell Pepper Juice
  • Garnish w/ Cilantro & Bell Pepper slice

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Our partnership with POM Wonderful and Iron Chef Marc Forgione was a huge hit at the show.  Marc created the “POM Thyme 3 Amigos Margarita” … voted by many as best of show at the event.  Marc appeared for Food Network at the POM Wonderful stand prominently pouring 3 Amigos Tequila.  Here are a few shots.. and a copy of the recipe:

POM Wonderful- 3 Amigos Tequila -1003_miami_recipe_card

 

I know we will be back!  I hope you will join us next year!   And let me know if you try our recipes… they will be a hit with your guests!

 

 

Napa Smith Brewery – New Website Launched www.napasmithbrewery.com

Napa Smith Brewery – New Website Launched www.napasmithbrewery.com

I’m very excited that our long overdue, updated Napa Smith Brewery website, is live!  www.napasmithbrewery.com This integrates our various social media platforms Facebook , Twitter , Youtube , among others.  You can now click on any of our beers and go right to a page with a video of master brewer Don Barkley giving you the lowdown on that beer.  We also have recently introduced QR codes into our packaging (we think we are the first craft brewer to roll this out, let me know if there are others).  You scan the QR code on the 4 pack holder and it takes you right to that brand’s page and Don’s video.  Way cool!

Check it out and let me know any suggestions as we continuously work to improve it!

Kind Regards,

Smoke

Napa Smith to Launch in Sweden After Organic IPA Wins Monopoly Listing

Exciting news today for Paddington Brands and Napa Smith Brewery!  Entering the Swedish market!

Napa Smith to Launch in Sweden After Organic IPA Wins Monopoly Listing

TOMP Beer, Wine & Spirits appointed exclusive Swedish distributor for Paddington Brands portfolio.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, January 12, 2012 /PRNEWSWIRE/ — Paddington Brands and TOMP Beer, Wine & Spirits announced today that they will partner to bring Paddington’s brand portfolio to the vibrant Swedish market. TOMP will start by launching the Napa Smith craft beer portfolio and in particular the award winning Organic IPA, which will be featured in 100 Systembolaget stores from 2nd of April 2012.

J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman & CEO of Paddington Brands, said, “We have a very focused growth strategy with very few international targets – Sweden is one of these. So I am delighted to be partnering with Tommy Olsson and his team at TOMP to launch our brands there. TOMP is hugely respected and the perfect partner for us in what is a tough market to crack. I look forwards to a successful launch of Napa Smith’s beers and a long and fruitful relationship. We could not be more thrilled.”

Napa Smith brews a portfolio of award winning beers in Napa, California. Its portfolio is available in 30 states within the US with plans to be available nationally by early 2012. Sweden will be the first international market. Napa Smith is proud to number Whole Foods, Safeway, Beverages & More, Total Wine, Publix and now Sweden’s Systembolaget amongst its many retail partners.

“We first tasted Napa Smith’s beers 2 years ago and we were convinced that they would be a great addition to our portfolio. So winning the tender and setting launch dates is very exciting for us. Organic products are very important to the monopoly and the Napa Smith Organic IPA is utterly amazing,” said Tommy Olsson, Managing Director of TOMP Beer Wine & Spirits.

“Winning the recent IPA tender into Systembolaget is further testament to the genius of our Master Brewer, Don Barkley, coming as it does on the back of our huge success at the Great American Beer Festival. IPA the hottest segment of the US craft beer category, but many IPAs lack complexity and balance. This is proof that it is possible to brew a benchmark IPA that is drinkable and food friendly,” said Steve Morgan, President of Napa Smith Brewery and Winery. He continued, “In addition our beer is also certified organic, which makes this achievement even more noteworthy. I am confident that Sweden’s exciting craft brewing scene will take Napa Smith to heart.”

About Napa Smith Brewery
Napa Smith Brewery is located at the southern gateway to Napa Valley, just south of the town of Napa. Napa Valley is internationally known as a destination for those individuals who seek the best that life has to offer. Napa Smith is proud to contribute to the Napa tradition of hard work, craftsmanship, and artistry with the introduction of its unique family of beers. It creates its beers using proprietary recipes developed by Master Brewer Don Barkley – the most experienced brewer in the craft brewing industry. Come visit us at our newly opened Brewpub in Napa or on the web at www.napasmithbrewery.com.

About Paddington Brands
Paddington Brands (www.Paddingtonbrands.com) manages a portfolio of owned and agency premier import and craft beers, artisanal spirits and fine wines. Paddington owns the Napa Smith Brewery & Winery and 3 Amigos Tequila. It imports a portfolio of beers, wines and spirits including Agoston Wines (Spain), Chase Distillery (UK), Calatrasi (Italy), Gemtree Vineyards (AU), Marisco Wines (NZ). Paddington is headquartered in the Indianapolis, Ind., metro area with offices in the United Kingdom and Napa, Calif., and a sales team covering the U.S. market and select international markets.

About TOMP Beer, Wine & Spirits
TOMP is one of Sweden’s leading beer, wine and spirits importers with a portfolio that includes brands such as [yellow tail], Fish Hoek, Chang Beer and their own successful beer, Guldkallan. TOMP operates a national sales force from it base in Orebro. Seewww.tomp.se.

Dinner with The White House Chef – Walter Scheib

Dinner with The White House Chef – Walter Scheib

I had the great pleasure of having a grand dinner with with former White House executive chef, Walter Scheib.  In October a bunch of YPO/WPO members of the Food & Beverage Network and the Beer, Wine & Spirits Network (I chair) got together in Chicago for 3 days of learning and networking.  It was a fantastic event, with best of the best resources, speakers, and activities.  One highlight was our evening with Walter Scheib.

Here is a little background on Walter from his website The American Chef.

Walter Scheib
(White House Executive Chef, 1994 – 2005)

“For the last eleven years, I have had the honor of doing daily what most chefs would be lucky to do once in their life time. That honor was serving the First Family of the United States.”

– Walter Scheib, March 2005
Walter Scheib has quite a story to tell. In fact, he has two stories to tell. The first involves the rise of an American chef to the most storied position in the land. The second offers an intimate, human view of two First Families, the corridors of political power, international personalities, and the most famous building in the United States, from a unique vantage point: The kitchen.

In April 1994, after a lengthy application and screening process, Walter Scheib became the chef to America’s chief executive and the First Family. First Lady Hillary Clinton, impressed by the comprehensive spa menu Scheib had developed for the Greenbrier resort, as well as his highlighting of American cuisine, personally hired Scheib. For 11 years, he prepared everything from simple family meals to elaborate and formal State Dinners. His culinary creations dazzled and delighted White House guests including Nelson Mandela, Emperor Aikihito, Jacques Chirac, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Lady Diana Spencer, Tony Blair, Vicente Fox, and others, not to mention the thousands of congressional members, journalists, and other House visitors who got to know his food.

A highlight of Scheib’s White House achievement was his creation of a distinctly American repertoire for the nation’s First House. He continues to speak with eloquence and pride about America’s bounty today, praising the artisan cheese makers, green grocers, mushroom foragers, master bread makers, fishermen, ranchers, and farmers who have helped our national market basket evolve, and make quality cooking more accessible than ever. “America is rich in amazing produce, meats, and fish,” Scheib say

The White House Chef - YPO/WPO Menu

s. “Using just a few excellent ingredients, anyone can make a perfect meal with very little formal training.”

Chef Scheib was very personable and probably the coolest part of the our evening together was all the interesting stories from his days in the White House for both President Clinton and Bush. There were many funny ones.

The meal was excellent and creative.  Menu at right.  Jay Wright the EVP and COO of Constellation Wines hosted our reception with a fun tasting of some of their wines from around the world.  Constellation Wine worked with Chef on the pairings. I was not a fan of everything, but it was a great experience.  My favorite dish was the first course – Seasame crusted Halibut with Red Curried Sweet Potato Soup.  This was paired with the 2010 Nobilo “Icon” Sauvignon Blanc.  Nice.

The best part was hanging out with Chef afterwards.  He joined us at our “afterparty” that I hosted with 3 Amigos Tequila and Napa Smith Brewery.  We enjoyed a Napa Smith Organic IPA together and chatted about his current business, travels and great food.  He is a big fan of great beer and agreed with my contention that a beer dinner is easier to create than a wine dinner as beer actually can accompany more foods in a more complimentary way.  Don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but we are seeing more and more of this kind of thinking.  Its great to get confirmation from a talented chef like Watler Scheib.

Chef Scheib’s book is called “White House Chef”.  It is far more than a cook book.  It is an interesting look into life inside the White House.

White House Chef

Napa Smith Brewery Named Official Beer Of USA Water Polo

Napa Smith Brewery Named Official Beer Of USA Water Polo

12/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

Huntington Beach, Calif. – December 7, 2011– Napa Smith Brewery, producers of hand-crafted beer from the Napa Valley, have been named the Official Beer of USA Water Polo. As part of the agreement Napa Smith Beer will be featured at a variety of events including the 2011 & 2012 USA Water Polo Golf Tournaments, the 2012 Hall of Fame Dinner, and the 2012 Masters Nationals Championship. They will also serve as the title sponsor of the annual Masters Nationals Social and provide additional beer to supplement VIP areas for various events throughout the term, such as FINA level National Team competitions and private fundraising events. The agreement also allows for USA Water Polo to host potential events at Napa Smith’s Brewpub while also promoting the company through Golf Tournament tee-signs, a dedicated email campaign, and more.

“Napa Smith Brewery crafts high quality, great tasting beer right here in California. We are excited to support a local business, while providing them access to our national marketing assets,” said Jennifer Rottenberg, USA Water Polo Chief Marketing Officer.  “We look forward to working together in particular to support further growth of our Masters – adult – level water polo programs, and at the same time, to support Napa Smith in its growth in distribution and awareness.”

“While Napa Smith is a young company, our employees are very active. They play kickball and golf, darts and horseshoes; we swim from Alcatraz, bike, and play volleyball. We hike, run, surf, and play soccer. A couple of us play in rock bands. And we play water polo,” said Steve Morgan, President of Napa Smith Brewery. “So, when we found an opportunity to combine one of our passions with sponsoring the sport of water polo as a whole, we jumped at it. We are very excited to partner with USA Water Polo and support their members and National Teams as they prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in London!”

Napa Smith "Lost Dog"

About Napa Smith Brewery
Napa Smith Brewery is located at the southern gateway to Napa Valley, just south of the town of Napa. Napa Valley is internationally known as a destination for those individuals who seek the best that life has to offer. Napa Smith is proud to contribute to the Napa tradition of hard work, craftsmanship, and artistry with the introduction of its unique family of beers. It creates its beers using proprietary recipes developed by Master Brewer Don Barkley – the most experienced brewer in the craft brewing industry.

About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc. is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing our United States Olympic program as well as 20 different championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 40,000 members, USAWP is also the sanctioning authority for more than 500 Member Clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport nationwide. It fosters grass-roots expansion of the sport, providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.

Official USA Water Polo Sponsors
24 Hour Fitness, Active Media, American Pistachios, Aquahydrate, Big Fish Payroll Services, Capital One, Colorado Time, H2O Audio, Intercontinental Hotels Group, iSport, Jostens, Kaenon, KT Tape, Ludus Tours, Malibu Wellness, Mikasa, Napa Smith Brewery, Ospraie Management, PowerBar, Pro-form Mouthguards, REUSE Jeans, Sea Air Federal Credit Union, Squar Milner, SwimOutlet.com, Stemilt, TRX, TURBO, United, VIDA Organic Life Massage & Water Marque.

   

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