But enough about you . . .

I’m here to brag (belatedly) that the panel I moderated last week at the Cheers Beverage Conference 2013 went well. I meant to post this fact sooner but life intruded; nonetheless George Barton, Randy DeWitt, Mike Hanley and Kip Snider acquitted themselves well, answering every question with aplomb. Their experts after all in buying, selling and promoting beer, wine and spirits — and from my perch at the podium it looked as though attendees were hanging on every word.

Here we were last week in Dallas, trying our best to look cool. That''s me on the far left, pensively wondering how things will go. Swimmingly, as it turned out.
Here we were last week in Dallas, trying our best to look cool. That”s me on the far left, pensively wondering how things will go. Swimmingly, as it turned out. Panelists, from left, include Mike Hanley, Tavistock Restaurants; Randy DeWitt, Twin Peaks; Kip Snider, Yard House Restaurants; George Barton, beverage consultant and former Vice President, Beverage, TGI Friday’s. 

Among those words “bartender” came up again and again. Mike, a former bartender, was particularly passionate about the craft. He explained how much time he took to personally train employees and not only how to make drinks–but how to make them while, whenever possible, talking to the customer about the libation itself (history, ingredients, etc.). Of course, so doing depended on the bartenders ability to read the customer and gauge how much info, if any, to share.

George reminded everyone that TGI Friday’s heralded training program had produced some of the most notable bartenders in the U.S.