Bar Supplies

  1. 4 Refreshing Beer Trends for Brewery, Bar, and Restaurant Owners

    4 Refreshing Beer Trends for Brewery, Bar, and Restaurant Owners

    While the summer season is quickly coming to a close, the heat hasn’t exactly died down yet.

    Did you know that beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States? With that many people drinking beer, it’s important for your restaurant to keep up with the latest industry trends. And even if you don't offer beers or alcoholic beverages now, you may want to in the future - bar and restaurant beer markup can range from 350% - 600%.

    Here are 4 beer trends to keep your customers refreshed all year long.

    1. Food and Beer Pairings

    We’ve all heard about food and wine pairings. Heck, there’s even a magazine called Food and Wine

    But what about pairing food and beer?

    Lately we’ve seen a trend with more restaurants giving recommendations on what kind of beers pair well with food.

    Looking to launch some of your own restaurant beer pairings, but not exactly the "craft beer snob" your 22-year-old nephew is? Fear not - check out this list compiled by The Hangout in Orange County below, or check out this blog post.

    2. Sours

    Personally, I'm feeling the Boston heat roll in. On days like this, the last thing I want is a heavier beer weighing me down.

    This summer, sour beers are the new beer of choice. One extremely popular type of sour is the gose. What’s a gose you ask? According to BeerAdvocate, gose is an unfiltered wheat beer flavored with coriander, salt, and often citrus flavors. Its tart and fruity flavor puts it under the category of sour beers. Compared to a more traditional beer, a sour is definitely an acquired taste - but it's one that plenty of people have been acquiring in 2017.


    Flanders red ale, lambic, and gueuze are also popular types of sours. What makes these beers unique is their Belgian history and use of different yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Although mysterious yeasts and bacteria may not sound very appealing, these beers are the perfect refreshment for a hot summer day.

    3. New Brands

    According to the Brewers Association, there was more than a 16% increase of craft breweries in the United States between 2015 and 2016. That equates to over a thousand new types of new beers to try!

    It’s now common for people to break out of their usual habits and try a new beer when they go out (adios Bud Light, make way for Trillium, Tree House, and The Alchemist).

    Having a large selection of beers to choose can help differentiate your restaurant and keep customers coming back. Try having different rotating beers on draft so customers can try something new and be excited to return and try the latest offering the 21st century masterminds of craft beer have to offer.

    4. Colorful Cans

    Yes, beer bottles are and always will be a classic way to consumer your beverages. But this year, cans are gaining more popularity.

    Using cans over bottles has multiple advantages like light protection, tighter seals, and easier transportation. We aren’t completely sure why consumers are crazed over cans all of a sudden, but it most likely has to do with the recent hipster craze of PBR.

    Regardless of the reason for this trend, consumers have become more gravitated to the bright colors and designs. As mentioned earlier, the market has been flooded with new brands of beer, so unique artwork helps companies stand out among the masses. It’s also common to see breweries make special small batches with can artwork to go along with the releases.

    So next time someone tells you “not to judge a book by it’s cover,” ditch the book.  Grab the most colorful can of beer you can find and display it prettily on your bar for customers to gaze at, give into temptation, and buy.

    If you want to check out some awesome designs, go to Oh Beautiful Beer to see their top artwork picks. 

    Conclusion: Beer Continues to Crush it in Restaurants

    Now that you know the most important trends, you can expand your beer offerings and become the go-to spot for after work drinks.

    This blog entry is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out for all your restaurant needs.
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  2. Craft Beer Continues to Boom

    Craft Beer Continues to Boom

    The last time that we sent into a bar, we were greeted with a list of beers that went on for pages and pages. This bar was an actual beer bar, but set foot into most bars and you will see that there are at least one or two selections which don’t fit the status quo.

    If you’re looking for some draft to fill your kegerator or you’re looking for bottles to fill your undercounter beer cooler, there are many distributors who are willing to meet your needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something hoptacular or something low key.

    The best part of this story is that there are more brewers making beer for you. There were 12.2 million barrels sold by craft brewers. It’s growing and growing, to the point where every bar is going to have an even wider selection.

    The US added 699 more breweries since last year, and there are 1755 more in the making. Even if you don’t like beer, you might find something which really floats your boat. Maybe more restaurants will bring beer specialists on staff.

    Think your cooler can take the surge of new beer that is hitting the market and already here? We’ll find out soon.

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  3. DIY Cold Brew

    DIY Cold Brew Cold brew is a hot new trend in the coffee world. Everywhere from your favorite local coffee shop to national chains like Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts offers it. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold sip of java, especially with spring around the corner. So isn’t cold brew just like an iced coffee? They look exactly the same. The answer is…NO! Iced coffee is hot coffee poured over a cup of ice, it takes less than a minute to make. Cold brew coffee is brewed in room temperature water overnight (at least up to eight hours), then poured over ice. Cold brew offers a smoother and richer flavor, it doesn’t get watery like iced coffee. It’s also lower in acidity too! Save time & money and start brewing at home! RECIPE: Ingredients: 1 1/3 cup ground coffee 4 cups room temperature water Pitcher or jar Mesh strainer (cheese cloth, or clean dish towel) Directions: Place coffee in pitcher and pour water over top. Stir until well combined. Seal and let it sit in fridge for at least 8 hours (overnight works best!) Pour mixture over a strainer into bowl. Rinse pitcher of leftover grounds. Strain coffee a second time back into pitcher. Enjoy! (Store in fridge, & it will last up to a week)
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  4. How to Open a Bar

    Reposted from our friends at Toast. If you need bar equipment - shop here first! So you want to open a bar? You love talking to new people, you’re a pro at mixing drinks, and you just don’t feel cut out for the 9-to-5 life. Well, a bar isn’t a hobby. It’s a business. That said, it’s important to keep this in mind, because many bars lose money at a rapid pace before going out of business entirely, leaving the bar owner in a tough financial situation. To give you the best chance of success when opening a bar, here are some things to prepare for. 1. Write Your Bar's Business Plan A failure to plan is a plan to fail. Bar ownership is a type of business where a lack of initial planning can be expensive - if not impossible - to fix. This is why it’s important to have a business plan in place. The minor details aren’t extremely important, since they’re likely to change over time. For example, don't plan on your break even point to be exactly two years from yesterday, rather 20-25 months pending on three or four key facrtors. Instead, remember that writing out a business plan can help you identify holes in your business model that can be fixed before opening and reduce your risk of failure. They also help you get your big goals in writing, like your mission statement and competitive advantage. To get started on your restaurant or bar business plan, check out this guide on how to write one. 2. Set Up Your Business Structure When starting any business or new company, one of the first choices pertains to business structure. Specifically, do you plan to be a sole-proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or a corporation? It's arguably easier to become a sole proprtietorship or a partnership, but one problem with this structure is that you’re personally liable for lawsuits and debt incurred by your bar. In other words, if something goes wrong, there are no limits to your liability, so you may need to forfeit personal assets to cover a loss should one occur. To avoid personal liability, the best option is for you to set up as an LLC or a corporation. These business structures act as an entity of their own, and take on the businesses liabilities, which limit your liability. So if someone slips and falls in your bar and wants to sue, they sue the business instead of you as an individual. The benefits of each of these are beyond the scope of this article, but you can learn more about them here. 3. Trademark Your Name and Logo While simply using a trademark grants you protection of your bar’s name or logo within a certain geographic area, it’s difficult to enforce protection without registering your trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To trademark your name and logo, I’d recommend hiring an intellectual property attorney instead of trying to go at it alone, as the trademark process is quite complicated. Before you trademark a logo, be sure to have the logo designer grant you the copyright as well, or at least the rights to use the logo for your business. 4. Get the Proper Licenses It’s important that your bar is properly licensed before you open for business to avoid legal trouble. Licenses are required in order to serve alcohol, food, and even to play music in your bar. Some of these are easy to get, others more complicated. Not acquiring the proper license is a silly mistake that can cause your bar to close down, so don’t skip this step. 5. Choose a Location Location is everything, and there are a few things to consider before choosing the right location for your bar. Your Style – Are you formal? Elegant? Casual? This can determine the type of customers you’re likely to appeal to. Demographics – Different areas of your city appeal to different demographics. If you’re looking to appeal to college students, opening near a university makes sense. If you’re looking to attract higher-class customers, set up shop in the more affluent part of town. Accessibility and Parking – If you’re attracting tourists, parking is less of an issue since they’re likely to call a cab or use Lyft or Uber. However, tourists are less likely to be repeat customers. Keep this in mind when choosing your location. Zoning Restrictions – Can you open a bar here? Rent and Utilities Costs – Will you be able to make this up in sales with the type of customers you’re going to draw in? Read More - Restaurant Real Estate: Finding Sites for Restaurant Concepts 6. Designing Your Bar Your style is everything. People go out for atmosphere and to socialize, so selecting the right music, décor, and furniture is important. When choosing these things with your bar, make sure they’re all complimentary to each other. Don’t open an Irish pub and play top-40 music - everything should be in sync. You can check out Pinterest for some unique ideas, or if you have the budget, hire an interior designer. Whatever you decide, make sure you get this right so that you can create a memorable experience for your customers to keep them coming back. 7. Accounting and Inventory Bar inventory is an important aspect of keeping track of your cost of sales, so before you open, make sure you set up a process for this, or make proper use of bar inventory software. Proper inventory tracking can help you set prices and figure out which items are most profitable in your bar. You can use this information to help bartenders make more effective drink recommendations. In addition to properly tracking inventory, you want to make sure you have a good accounting system in place. Whether you use Quickbooks or hire a bookkeeper, it’s important to keep track of how your business is doing, and where you need to make improvements. 8. Bar Marketing Bar marketing consists of two main activities – customer attraction and customer retention. Customer attraction is theoretically simple – put out an ad and watch the customers flow in. However, paid advertising can become expensive quickly unless you’re able to keep these customers coming back repeatedly. Additionally, you may want to find ways to bring people into your bar through word of mouth. Marketing is essential in the world of bars and restaurants. Don't expect to open shop and see an influx of customers! Utilize social media, encourage word of mouth marketing, and consider putting some money behind your brand.
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  5. All About Bitters for Your Bartenders


    TGIF! As part of our Friday Cocktail series, we are taking a look at bitters. Bitters are, simply, a liquid extraction of various elements, such as barks, spices, and fruit peels. "Bitters are like the spice rack of the cocktail world," says Ira Koplowitz of Bittercube. They can be used to tone down the sweetness of simple syrups, juices and sweet liqueurs, as well as adding depth, aroma, and flavor to a variety of cocktails. A touch of bitters is the perfect way to finish off a Manhattan, and chocolate bitters can be used to create a chocolate manhattan. Orange peel bitters can add a slightly fruity and complex element to bourbon cocktails. Classic barrel bitters contain smokey elements which can create an extra element of whiskey type flavors.

    But don't stop at brown liquor - bitters play well with virtually every alcohol in your liquor cabinet. Gin is another classic pairing. Use Gin, Lillet Blanc, and touch of violet bitters to create a light and classic cocktail - garnish with a Luxardo cherry for an old school and sophisticated twist. A classic Bloody Mary for brunch can be punched up with a touch of barrel bitters and Worcestershire Sauce. Make a champagne cocktail using a sugar cube soaked in bitters for the base on top of bubbly for a lighter, lower alcohol bitter cocktail. Chocolate and spicy bitters are also a great finish for a classic margarita recipe, and smoky Mezcal will benefit greatly from bitters also.

    Sourcing bitters for your bar is also fun, but consider making your own. If you have a decent mixologist on your staff, he or she can easily whip up house creations which will save you money and give you clout for your own 'house made' recipes. Bitters made in house can also be customized to the exact recipes and bar menu that you've created also. Get creative with this and up your cocktail game - sophisticated palates will thank you!

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  6. Shaken or stirred? A quick guide to how to mix your favorite cocktails.

    shaken not stirred

    TGIF! As part of our weekly cocktail series, we bring you some handy tips on mixed drink prep. James Bond famously asked for a martini, 'shaken, not stirred,' but - we hate to report: 007 was incorrect.

    A classic martini contains dry elements which do not need to be shaken to be combined. In fact, a shaken martini (or manhattan) may end up with ice chips as it's a very delicate mix of similarly weighted liquors which requires only a couple brisk stirs and a strain in order to mix effectively.

    So what's the point of a shaken cocktail? Anything with heavier elements, such as fruit (or a flip egg white cocktail) requires a vigorous shaking in order to combine the elements in the drink properly. So shake up your daiquiri, your margarita, your cosmo, or any other cocktail which has thick, heavy ingredients which will require vigorous movement in order to meld them properly.

    Delicately stir your full liquor cocktails - particularly those with gin or whiskey, as it is said that shaking can 'bruise' the liquor. Below is a recipe for a classic stirred and a classic shaken cocktail to get you started. Happy bartending!


    1.5 oz sweet vermouth | 1.5 oz Campari | 1.5 oz gin | Orange twist to garnish

    Combine all ingredients, minus the garnish over ice in a cocktail shaker, stir several times, strain into a chilled highball, garnish and serve.

    Mai Tai

    1 oz light rum | 1 oz dark rum | 1 oz fresh lime juice | .5 oz Orange Curacao | .5 oz Orgeat syrup | .25 oz simple syrup | mint sprig garnish

    Pour all ingredients, except for the garnish, into a large cocktail shaker filled with two cups of crushed ice. Shake vigorously to combine, pour without straining into a highball glass, garnish and serve.

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  7. Brunch Tips - How to Create the Perfect Spread

    brunch picture avert

    Pictured: brunch at Avert Brasserie

    It's Mother's Day - the perfect day for brunch. Fun, relaxed, and usually involving an adult beverage (or two!) brunch is a Sunday favorite. Here are some tips on creating the perfect spread:

    For a buffet style brunch: fresh and simple is best! A raw bar, like the one pictured above, is a really lovely touch, but make sure you have the proper ice and refresh the spread often to keep things fresh and cold. Including an assortment of jams, jellies, and spreads to go with your pastries is also a nice touch. Another buffet tip - a Bloody Mary bar is a fun and interactive talking point to anchor your brunch spread!

    For a full menu brunch: a variety of choices is best to please your guests. Choose some sweet, some savory, and some traditional lunch items (sandwiches, cheeseburgers, etc) to make sure everyone can get what they want! Eggs benedict is an easy favorite and can be dressed up with a variety of proteins from ham to duck breast. Don't forget to keep some items vegetarian/gluten free as brunch can be heavy on the carbs and bacon for those with dietary restrictions. And finally, add sides! Fun to share (and an easy upset for the servers) some small, shareable plates such as a grapefruit brûlée or fried brussels sprouts will elevate your brunch game.

    For the drinks: Mimosas are classic, but why stop there? Classic champagne cocktails can be fun and innovative. Bloody marys can be extreme when they are loaded with different ingredients. Particularly for Italian restaurants, don't forget a selection of classic, seasonal bellinis utilizing different fruit purees. Finally, offer some non-alcoholic beverage options: classic cappucinos and fresh pressed juices are easy, classic crowd pleasers.

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  8. Launch of the First Craft Beer Summit

    Launch of the First Craft Beer Summit

    One of the best ways to improve your skills is to learn from someone else. As a bartender, you’ve sometimes got your hand into the undercounter ice machine for hours a day and don’t have time to learn more about the trade and how to make the perfect drink.

    That’s how the online Craft Bartender Summit was born. The event offers online training for those who aren’t able to get away to go join a seminar. “For years we’ve heard bartenders say they want to attend educational seminars but can’t get their shifts covered or afford the cost of travel,” says the host of the summit.

    The summit, held in April, will allow bartenders to practice their skills. “The presentations and seminars will focus on skills and challenges craft bartenders encounter behind the bar, such as craft techniques, business skills, product knowledge, and careers beyond the bar.” It should be very educational for all.

    Bartenders will still have their hands in the undercounter ice machines, but they will be learning things which are valuable to increasing the bottom line in bars around the world.

    To get to the free summit and to register, take a look at Who’s planning on watching?

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  9. Beer Cafes Cause Licensure Problems

    Beer Cafes Cause Licensure Problems

    Many factors play into opening a restaurant that serves liquor to its patrons, and we're not just talking about having a working Scotsman ice machine. There is also the licensure that is required by civil authorities. In one Pennsylvania county, it’s getting harder to get a license because there are more players on the field.

    You see, there are some supermarkets out there who want to open beer cafes in their grocery stores. Patrons can come in, do a little shopping, and then have a beer or two to relax before walking around a little more. Unfortunately, there are a finite number of licenses available.

    This, means that the liquor licenses have to be auctioned off and the price is going higher and higher. When the new grocery cafes entered the game, the price of liquor licenses shot up at least $75,000. Because of that finite number and the distribution, prices are going up all around.

    What can happen, though, is that bars who are no longer using their liquor licenses can auction them off to the highest bidder. In reality, the state doesn’t care who gets the license, as long as those who are operating have one. It becomes an amazing hurdle to overcome for those who want to serve liquor and beer.

    Do you think that the number of licenses should be limited, or do you think that anyone who applies for one should receive one? Let us know in the comments.

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  10. Craft Beer Continues to Increase in Popularity

    Craft Beer Continues to Increase in Popularity

    Bars are much more than just bars these days. The craft brewery and gastropub boom has changed the face of how Americans see the humble bar, especially among young people. According to FESMagazine, the number of craft breweries has increased by 700 since mid-2014, and volume has increased by 18%.

    While craft beer is still a small subset of beer consumption thanks to the mass marketing and production of domestic beers, craft beer has seen double-digit growth for five consecutive years. Many restaurants are reaching out to local breweries to sell craft beers that cannot be found anywhere else.

    There are currently around 3,800 brewpubs in the US, and they've got staying power. 64% of them have been in business for five or more years, and another 32% have been open at least two years. Millennials seem quite drawn to beer compared to previous generations as well, especially women. Women between the ages of 21 and 30 drink more beer than women in other age groups, and 25% of beer drinkers are now women.

    Could it be time to start thinking about investing in some bar glassware for your restaurant? If you plan on tapping into the beer market, check out the full article for information about which types of beer go best in different glasses.

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