Brew and Booze News

The Thirsty Thursday Times for March 26, 2015

Below are a “few” (scroll down to “see what I did here”) interesting press releases that recently landed in our inbox…

Manhattan Cocktail Classic 01

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Announces Downtown Move with Opening Night Gala at Cipriani Wall Street and Industry Invitational at the Newly Opened Pier A Harbor House, May 16-19, 2015

New Team Takes the Reins of the Four-Day Festival to Amplify Its Offerings and Engage the Wider Hospitality Sector and Beyond

NEW YORK, March 18, 2015—The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC), New York’s legendary multi-day celebration of cocktails and culture, today announces its move downtown with new festival venues as it prepares to celebrate its sixth anniversary. The much-anticipated opening night Gala will be held at the iconic Cipriani Wall Street on Saturday, May 16, 2015 and the trade-oriented, Industry Invitational will take place Monday, May 18 in the newly opened Pier A Harbor House overlooking New York Harbor in Battery Park. Tickets will go on sale soon at

The MCC also announces its evolution into a full scale production company with plans to host a variety of cocktail events in New York and around the country. Led by Michael Blatter, a veteran event producer and one of the foremost and respected authorities on consumer marketing, he has produced thousands of events and brings decades of spirits and hospitality industry experience. Blatter is backed by a team of seasoned cocktail veterans, spirits industry experts and event professionals who are committed to building on the festival’s integrity and enriching the experience for both consumers, as well as partners within and beyond the wider hospitality sector.

“It is exhilarating and humbling to take the reins of the city’s most anticipated drinks festival and relocating downtown, where New York’s history and future are coming together,” says Blatter. “We salute the festival’s founder, Lesley Duval, for her years of creativity and hard work that created this inimitable brand and we’re committed to making this and future editions the best ones ever. With the cocktail renaissance now well ingrained in popular culture, we envision expanding the festival to other U.S. cities and, ultimately, key cities abroad.”

“It is very exciting and inspiring to see this infusion of new blood and new ideas into the MCC,” says Dale DeGroff, “King Cocktail,” the legendary mixologist and MCC advisory board member. “I’m confident to say that the team brings the talent, expertise and passion to take the festival to new heights.”

New Venue for the Opening Night Gala: Cipriani Wall Street
On Saturday, May 16, 2015, the much anticipated opening night Gala will take place at Cipriani Wall Street, located at 55 Wall St. The stunning Greek Revival masterpiece with its façade embellished by 12 towering ionic granite pillars will be transformed into New York’s most glamorous and exciting cocktail party for thousands of revelers. Built between 1836 and 1842, it originally housed the Merchants Exchange, the U.S. Customs House and National City Bank. Its Grand Ballroom is opulently designed and crowned by a vast dome. The building’s terraces overlooking Wall Street, its bi-level restaurant and library will also be devoted to the Gala. And for the first time ever, the Cipriani Club, a secret subterranean level complete with a barber shop, billiards room and screening room, will be open to gala attendees as part of the festive evening.

New Venue for the Industry Invitational: Pier A Harbor House
On Monday, May 18, 2015, the Industry Invitational, the high-powered trade conference that runs in parallel with the festival, will take place at the newly-opened Pier A Harbor House, a landmarked 1880s-vintage structure located at the tip of Battery Park that juts 300 feet into New York Harbor and offers sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty and the Financial District. The 28,000-square-foot structure has been carefully restored by HPH, the hospitality group behind The Dead Rabbit, Harry’s Cafe and Steak, Bacchanal and other downtown destinations. This year, the Invitational’s improved programming, which is geared specifically towards hospitality industry professionals, will consist of advanced TED-style talks, tastings, panels, networking opportunities and more.

High-Spirited Events Over Four Days
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic will once again serve up a plethora of individually ticketed events across the four days of festivities: parties, pairings, dinners, dances, workshops, lectures, tiki-tours and bar crawls. These events take place all across New York City. Most of these events and activities are conceptualized and organized independently by brands, both large and small, as well as craft bartenders and cocktail luminaries. Ticket prices vary by event, but typically range from $25 to $295.

About The Manhattan Cocktail Classic
Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With a plethora of events spread across four days and multiple boroughs, the MCC offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event.” It is produced by Cocktail Classic Productions LLC. The sixth anniversary of the festival will take place on May 16-19, 2015. Tickets will go on sale soon at Follow the MCC on Twitter at @cocktailclassic and “like” us on Facebook at


Arran Whisky

Kilchoman and Arran Distillery Tastings in Northern and Southern California

Hey there Boozedancing Crew!

We’ve got some great events lined up in upcoming weeks. I just thought it might be interesting for your readers and would be glad if you spread the word! TWO representatives from TWO different distilleries in Scotland will be hanging out with us. We will be welcoming James Wills from Kilchoman Distillery and Louisa Young from Arran Distillery for a get together at CA Events.

  • March 29th
    Tasting at Block Butcher in Sacramento (starts at 5:00 pm)
    Tasting with Sonoma County Single Malt Society (starts at 5:00 pm). More info here.
  • March 31st
    Tasting/seminar at PlumpJack Wines & Spirits
  • April 1st
    Tasting with The Whisky Shop SF
  • April 2nd
    Kilchoman & Arran Educational Party @ The Daily Pint/Santa Monica at 7pm-10pm.
    This is not a formal tasting, but a casual event where the goal is maximize the one-on-one time that our members get to spend with both James and Louisa. Included in the event will be a flight of 6 whiskies as well as 2 different scotch cocktails. A Kil-Roy (barrel aged Rob Roy made with Kilchoman) and an Arran Punch. Let’s loosen the collars, hang out as a club and welcome these two into sunny California. Pre registration is $20 (includes tip) or $30 at the door (doesn’t include tip).

Thanks in advance for all your help!


Sam  @ Impex Beverages


Few Spirits

 Few Spirits Launches in New Jersey and Three Other States 

Chicago-area craft distillery expands distribution into the Garden State as well as Georgia, Indiana and Connecticut

 EVANSTON, Ill., March 23, 2015—At less than five years old, Few Spirits has gained an oversized reputation in the drinks world, making an award-winning line of gins, whiskies and other craft spirits. And as the craft distillery ramps up production, it’s expanding its distribution, launching in New Jersey as well as Georgia, Indiana and Connecticut this month.

The new market launches make Few available in a total of 20 states, as well as Washington, D.C. The brand is also distributed in the UK, throughout Europe and in select locations in Australia, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. “It’s been incredible to see my dream become a reality and to watch this business grow—we’ve gone from making 100 gallons a month to 100 gallons a day,” says Paul Hletko, Few Spirits’ founder and master distiller. “And now I’m excited to get our products out there in front of a wider and wider audience.”

A true grain-to-glass producer, Few sources the grain for its spirits from within 100 miles of the distillery and does all fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling on-site. Other ingredients come from as close to Evanston as possible, right down to the Cascade hops used in Few American Gin, which are grown in Hletko’s own backyard. “If we can’t grow it ourselves, we buy it locally,” he says. “And if we can’t buy it locally, we buy it from friends.”

In New Jersey, Few will be distributed by Hunterdon Brewing Company, a wholesaler focused on craft beverages with a portfolio of some of the most sought-after beers, ciders, sakes and distilled spirits. “Quality craft whiskey is more in-demand than ever,” says Hunterdon’s spirits division manager Jeremiah Goldovitz, “and Few has boldly established themselves as a leader in the category. We’re excited to partner with them.”

Few has partnered with top distributors in the other new states as well: Georgia distribution is handled by United Distributors; Indiana distribution by Glazer’s; and Connecticut distribution by Craft Beer Guild.

These new state launches are the culmination of 18 months of work to expand production and capacity, a project that included installing three new 30-barrel fermenters and a new column still last year, as well as moving barrels and bottling to an 8,500-square-foot warehouse facility about a mile from the distillery.

About Few Spirits

Based in Evanston, Ill., a Chicago suburb that was once an international headquarters for the temperance movement, Few Spirits is a craft distillery making whiskies and gins from locally grown grains and other ingredients sourced as close to home as possible, including Cascade hops grown in master distiller Paul Hletko’s own backyard. Few Rye Whiskey was named Whisky Advocate’s Craft Whiskey of the Year in 2013, and its Bourbon Whiskey and Barrel Gin were both awarded gold medals by the Beverage Testing Institute. For more information about Few and its award­winning spirits, visit

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