Published Date

MEXICO CITY, August 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Kaitlyn Stewart has been crowned the world's best bartender at the climax of the global cocktail competition WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2017 in Mexico City.

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Over the past week, Kaitlyn has seen off challenges which tested every single skill that makes a bartender truly great. She battled it out in the Lucha Libre ring, going head-to-head with her opponents to create her best classic cocktail. She survived the fire of the Heat of the Moment challenge as she showed how to break boundaries in cocktail making by incorporating the best of culinary techniques. And as global environmental awareness rises, she took on the Mex ECO challenge to show how bartenders can look for new ways to create the ultimate green cocktail.

Guests at the WORLD CLASS competition witnessed the pinnacle of bartending creations, the setting of new trends, and the parameters of cocktail making pushed further than ever before. Whilst all the WORLD CLASS Finalists were outstanding, Kaitlyn truly stood out as the best of the best, able to master the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio to create ground-breaking results.

The WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition is the biggest in the world with over 10,000 bartenders from 57 countries having entered it. After winning their regional competitions, 55 gathered together in Mexico City on Sunday 20th August to compete. On Wednesday evening, after going to head-to-head with their competitors in the Lucha Libre ring, an elite four made it through to the final round, designed to test them on their knowledge, creativity and mastery of the classics and signature serves.

Kaitlyn is set for a year of adventure - she will have the chance to travel the world as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, making bespoke drinks in far-flung locations and judging competitions. She will also join a roll call of the industry's finest, becoming the ninth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Kaitlyn Stewart, the 2017 WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year, said: "I'm so incredibly amazed and shocked to have been named the world's best bartender. It's been a grueling week, taking on the toughest challenges against some of most skilled bartenders I've ever met. Participating in the Finals was amazing enough but to finish the week as winner… I'm so delighted! Cocktails are on the up now more than ever and to be at the forefront of that, pushing forward the idea of using better ingredients and better recipes to create even better cocktails is something I'm really passionate about and I've loved every moment of this experience."

Johanna Dalley, Global WORLD CLASS Director, said: "This is a special week in the bartender calendar and it didn't disappoint - we have truly been blown away. Cocktail culture is booming and these WORLD CLASS Finalists are the people who are leading the way, helping the industry grow from strength to strength. At WORLD CLASS we are on a mission to inspire people to drink better and shape the future of drinking, whether at home or in the bar. The WORLD CLASS Finals are an incredible way of bringing us one step closer to that and we couldn't do it without the incredible bartending talent that we've seen on display this week who continually inspire and entertain."

Diageo Reserve's Global Cocktalian and WORLD CLASS Judge, Lauren Mote, also had the following to say: "Wow. Wow. Wow. What an incredible week! As judges we've seen everything, from six foot high flames to ingredients brought together in ways I've never seen before."

Speaking about the competition winner, Lauren said: "Every finalist was incredible but for me Kaitlyn really stood out. Her Lucha Libre performance was exceptional, the way she handled the Heat of the Moment round blew me away. And by the time it came to the final challenge, we wanted to find someone bursting with skill, knowledge and charisma, with unbelievable creativity and an incredible mastery of the classic and signature serves. Kaitlyn well and truly delivered. It was a phenomenal thing to witness and be a part of."

Earlier in the competition, WORLD CLASS revealed four trends expected to change cocktail culture in the next year. Speaking about the trends, Lauren said: "The aim of WORLD CLASS is not just to find the best bartenders in the world. We also want to inspire cocktail fans around the world to drink better - we want more 'armchair mixologists' to have the courage to explore what's possible and create their own signature serves in the kitchen. Next year we expect just that - more people experimenting with cocktails at home. We also expect sustainability to become a driving force behind cocktail creation, be that in the ingredients used or the methods applied. Signature Serves will feature more and more as bar strive to create unique drinks experiences for cocktail tourists. And lastly, we think enlightened mixologists will adopt ingredients and cutting edge techniques from a transformed gastronomy culture, pushing the parameters of cocktail making as we know it. It's going to be an exciting year!"

World Class will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Berlin, one of the world's most dynamic cultural hotspots. "Berlin is famous for its diverse nightlife and vibrant bar culture - a perfect place to host our 2018 World Class finals. The streets are lined with a cutting-edge bars, all pushing the boundaries of cocktail culture and helping people get more from their drinks.  Not just that, the style of the city and its creative and diverse cultural make-up, means that it will be a spectacular experience for everyone," commented Johanna Dalley, World Class Director.

WORLD CLASS is on a mission to inspire people to drink better and shape the future of drinking, whether at home or in the bar. If you have been inspired to drink better, visit or the WORLD CLASS Facebook community, where you can find delicious new recipes from our finalists, how-to videos and et the low-down on the latest trends.

Winner's Biography: Kaitlyn Stewart (Place of work: Royal Dinette) 

Kaitlyn has grown up in the hospitality industry, with both of her parents having careers that gave her exposure and ignited a passion for it from a young age. She knows that dedication and hard work can lead to great things. Kaitlyn is inspired by the music she listens to, the food she enjoys and also the customers she interacts with at her bar. Her dream is to continue learning her craft, explore more of the world and eventually open up her own spot!

For more information on WORLD CLASS and the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition contact: Global Press Office (UK), Smarts Communicate, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., T: +44(0)2890-395-500; Mexico specific Press Office: Daniela Cortes, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , M: +52-1-55-4010-5602

Published Date

WINNIPEG, Aug. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - SkipTheDishes is excited to announce that GPS-tracked liquor delivery is now available in Winnipeg, alongside 400+ restaurant delivery choices. Headquartered in the Exchange, SkipTheDishes is leveraging its delivery technology and app to deliver beer, fine wines, and spirits to Winnipeggers. De Luca Fine Wines, Fort Garry Brewing Company, Ellement Fine Wines and Spirits, among others, are all participating in the pilot program. 

"With over a million meals delivered in Winnipeg, it made perfect sense to add liquor stores to our network," says Andrew Chau, SkipTheDishes Co-Founder. "Winnipeggers have been asking to get a bottle of wine or beer with their takeout, and now you can get both delivered within the SkipTheDishes app. Whether you're having a get-together with friends or a couple's night in, SkipTheDishes liquor delivery has you covered."

To order, customers must download the SkipTheDishes app for iOS or Android or go to the website and input their address to get a list of liquor stores that deliver to them.  Once the order is placed, customers are able to track their courier on a map while the delivery is in progress.  There are no minimum order requirements, and payment is made directly on the app or website. Customers must be of age to order and provide ID at the time of delivery.

"We're super excited to finally offer our wide variety of beer for delivery," says Orest Horechko, General Manager of Fort Garry Brewing Company. "With ales, lagers, and cider on the delivery menu, there's something for everyone – especially when it comes to pairing it with the great restaurant meals on SkipTheDishes."

With multiple liquor store partners on the SkipTheDishes network, Winnipeg liquor delivery is currently available from 11AM to 9PM every day, and the delivery fee starts at $3.49.  Pilot beer and wine stores include Kenaston Wine Market, La Boutique Del Vino, Calabria Market & Wine Store, Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company, Half Pints Brewing Company, Torque Brewing, Pembina Hotel, and more.  A nationwide roll-out of liquor delivery to other Canadian and US markets is planned for the coming months. 

Published Date

MODESTO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) announced today that it has purchased Germain-Robin, California's first luxury brandy.




In 1981, Ansley J. Coale Jr. had a chance encounter along Highway 101 in Northern California with Hubert Germain-Robin of the Jules Robin family, Cognac producers since 1782. Hubert's desire at that time was to create a small distillery using traditional craft-method distillation techniques. In 1982, he and Ansley established Germain-Robin. The two men began making brandies from premium California wine grapes. By the late 1990s, when Germain-Robin's cellar had matured, their brandies gained attention as some of the world's finest spirits recognized for their elegant, complex and distinct taste.


Ansley Coale and Hubert Germain-Robin were pioneers in the creation of critically-acclaimed world class California brandies, as well as innovatively blending Cognac traditions and techniques with California winemaking and premium grape varieties.


Gallo's acquisition includes the Germain-Robin brand, the inventory of aged and aging brandies and all finished goods. These unique and irreplaceable aged inventories include brandy lots that are over 30 years old, crafted from a broad range of traditional Cognac and Armagnac grape varieties, as well as non-traditional varietals such as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.


"It is a privilege to be entrusted with the stewardship of Germain-Robin's California brandy legacy," said Ernest J. Gallo, General Manager of Gallo's Spirits Business. "We are fortunate to have Ansley Coale and Joseph Corley, Hubert's apprentice and current Germain-Robin distiller and cellarmaster, remain involved as part of the acquisition.  We are pleased to continue delivering remarkable and unique California brandies that will appeal to whiskey and bourbon drinkers and other connoisseurs of brown spirits around the world."                      


"For decades, Germain-Robin has struggled to place brandy distilled from California wine where it belongs: a category, long overlooked, in fact worthy of inclusion at all levels among the world's finest spirits," said founder Ansley Coale. "We hope — indeed intend — that our unique knowledge and capabilities, supported and augmented by, and carefully integrated into, Gallo's deep experience and powerful resources in both production and marketing, will help bring brandy from California wine the recognition it so richly deserves."


International Wine Associates served as the exclusive financial advisor for Germain-Robin.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Published Date

August 15, 2017

Published Date

Take Back the Well:
Marten Brewing Co.

Vernon takes back the well as Marten Brewing Co.. joins on as one of our first hometown partners!

"MBC is a craft beer, N2 coffee and kombucha manufacturer, so we understand and respect the dedication and skill required in perfecting craft beverages.

"Taking back the well with fine small batch craft spirits is a luxury and exactly conveys our culture." - Pearl Marten, Director Proprietor.

Daine Boring (MBC Sales Rep), Tyler Dyck (Okanagan Spirits CEO) and  Melissa Yano (MBC Head of Front House Management) celebrate the launch.

In putting Farm-to-Flask locally produced world-class spirits ahead of the big multinationals, Marten Brewing Co. has shown that they are at the forefront of farm-to-table in everything they do! Our family at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery salutes you for choosing us as your signature brand for premium craft BC spirits. 

With the excitement of our launch we are looking to feature our 'Take Back the Well' businesses as they make the change to support local and hope that you choose to support them as we do. 

To read more about Marten Brewing Co. please click on the link. 



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