Published Date

MUNCIE, Indiana – Your favorite bartender or waitress could soon be replaced by a mechanical counterpart on a future visit to the local pub or restaurant, says a new study from Ball State University.  


In her study, “How to Build a Better Robot for Quick Service Restaurants,” recently published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Dina Marie Zemke, an associate professor of residential property management in the Miller College of Business, found that the overwhelming majority of respondents believe that there is no stopping the robotic transformation of the food service industry, including quick service restaurants (QSRs). 


“There was a high level of resignation about the inevitability of QSRs incorporating robots during our group interviews,” said Zemke, who collaborated on the study with several faculty from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “This finding is similar to the acceptability of routine societal change. Participants felt that the incorporation of robotic technology is a question of when, rather than a question of if.” 


“And, imagine telling your problems to a robot instead of a human,” she said. “It changes the dynamic of bartending dramatically when you add in mechanism with artificial intelligence and not common sense.” 


Zemke points out that robotic technology designed to perform specific physical tasks has recently emerged as an option for hospitality businesses due to decreasing robotic equipment costs. 


The price to purchase a hamburger cooking robot is about $60,000. However, many industrial service robots, such as robotic vacuums and robotic assembly arms, are leased. A commercial robotic vacuum will cost between $7,000 and $15,000 to purchase, but they are often leased at $4 to $6 per hour of operating time, less than the minimum wage of $7.25. The manufacturer or distributor is responsible for all maintenance on the device.  


Zemke noted that the majority of robots used in the hospitality industry are technologies initially developed for other industries, such as automobile and food manufacturing, which have been modified from their original functions to perform their tasks in a hospitality setting.  


Examples include the work performed by robotic vacuums, information displays, and robotic manufacturing assembly arms, which put together pizzas and cocktails.  


But, the study also found that robots are still a novelty for most people. 


“At this point, a lot of people have a positive impression of robotic technology that entices guests to visit the location at least once, although they were unsure whether the robotics would sufficiently overcome average food or service to entice them to return to the restaurant a second time,” Zemke said. “This is consistent with past examples of restaurant concepts that provided a highly unique experience but suffered from the reputation that the guest would visit once because of the ‘experience’ but would not return because the food was too expensive and/or the food quality or service provided a poor value overall.” 


Despite the impending changes, the study found that respondents have major concerns regarding the societal impact of robotics entering the realm of QSR operations, including the cleanliness and food safety of robot technology, and communication quality, especially voice recognition, from both native and nonnative English speakers.  


In the end, Zemke believes that rising labor costs will force restaurant owners to turn to robotics. 


“The genesis of this study was the ‘Fight for $15’ movement, which focused heavily on hourly service jobs, such as those in franchised quick service restaurants,” she said. “Many restaurant operators cautiously suggested that they may explore robotics as an alternative to absorbing these increased labor costs.”

Published Date

TORONTO, ON - Canadian Club is pleased to announce the release of Canadian Club 43 Year Old, Canada’s oldest aged whisky and the third edition of the Chronicles Series. Paying tribute to its legendary role during Prohibition, Canadian Club has dubbed this limited-edition expression ‘The Speakeasy.’ 

Batched and barrelled in 1977, Canadian Club 43 Year Old boasts notes of oak and leather on the nose, while delivering nutmeg and dried fruit on the palate, with a lingering mouth feel. The spirit’s subtle spice and sweetness are perfectly balanced, a true testament to the distillery’s masterful craftsmanship that has be tirelessly honed for more than 160 years.

“It is just incredible,” says Canadian Club Brand Ambassador Tish Harcus. “When I tried Canadian Club 42 Year Old, I thought we couldn’t do any better, but then I tried this – it is absolutely stunning.” 

Harkening back to its underground roots during Prohibition, Canadian Club 43 Year Old’s moniker ‘The Speakeasy’ honours the whisky brand’s role in supplying secretive speakeasies, including one such illicit watering hole in the distillery’s own basement. During this time, a notable sea captain, Bill McCoy, demanded that only Canadian Club whisky be stocked in such clandestine bars, as he knew patrons could trust the high-quality liquid. Ever since, all things authentic came to be known as ‘the real McCoy.’ 

“Canadian Club is a leader in the whisky industry, always has been,” says Senior Brand Manager Deepti Gurkar. “We were evolving the brand and building a Canadian Club portfolio long before the rye whisky renaissance even started.  As a result, we get to offer consumers a showstopping, beautiful whisky, the Canadian Club 43 Year Old. It’s spectacular. It is the epitome of the Canadian Club brand and its dedication to perfection.”

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: Toasted oak with hints of brown sugar and rich leather

Palate: Nutmeg spiciness balanced with a subtle sweetness and a touch of dried fruit; complex but smooth and satisfying 

Finish: A warm and lingering sweet oak finish

Canadian Club 43 Year Old is set to hit shelves across Canada this autumn in very limited quantities. At a suggested retail price of $319.99 / 750 ml, with an ABV of 45%, this highly collectible marque will be coveted by whisky enthusiasts ahead of the holiday season.

Published Date

Fairfax, Vt. (October 27, 2020) – Known nationally for its flavorful line of infused, barrel-aged, and smoked maple syrups, Vermont-based producerRunamok Maple announced this week that it has expanded into the cocktail space, unveiling a new collection of maple cocktail syrups and bitters. The line of cocktail mixers will feature four different syrups - Maple Old Fashioned, Maple Tonic, Smoked Old Fashioned, and Maple Ginger Mule - along with three different kinds of bitters - Floral Maple, Aromatic Maple, and Orange Maple.

“At Runamok Maple, we have been creating cocktails using our infused and smoked maple syrups since we started production,” said Laura Sorkin, co-founder of Runamok Maple. “Through our experimentation over the years, we have come to realize that our maple-based creations are, to this day, some of our favorite cocktails. With the launch of our new cocktail syrups and bitters, we want our customers to experience those same flavors that we have been sharing with our family and friends.”

Most cocktails feature a touch of sugar, which most commonly comes in the form of simple syrup, but the process can be tedious, particularly for the home bartender, and the taste of the granulated sugar dissolved in water is sweet but plain. Runamok Maple’s new cocktail syrups feature the rich, robust, and nuanced flavors of organic Vermont maple syrup, along with additional flavor notes from high-quality ingredients such as ginger and orange. The cocktail syrups, which are priced at $16.95 per 250 mL bottle, also have the added bonus of already being in syrup form, eliminating the extra step of dissolving sugar.

Made with 100% pure Vermont maple syrup, the Maple Old Fashioned cocktail syrup is an infusion blend of real herbs and spices, without any refined sugar. The syrup features a slight bite from Runamok Maple’s very own bitters, along with the subtle essence of orange and cherry, making it the perfect all-encompassing mixer to add to your favorite bourbon or whiskey. Similarly, the Smoked Old Fashioned cocktail syrup is packed with all of the classic Old Fashioned flavors - only this time Runamok Maple uses its Smoked with Pecan Wood maple syrup to add a unique flavor dimension. Maple syrup and whiskey are the perfect pairing, with each offering complex flavor profiles that bring out the best in the other. The added element of smoke creates the perfect drink to enjoy near a fire on a crisp fall evening. 

In addition to the Old Fashioned, Runamok Maple drew inspiration from two more classic cocktails, the Gin & Tonic and the Moscow Mule, for its other cocktail syrups. The Maple Tonic combines Runamok Maple’s signature organic maple syrup with the addition of quinine extract, lemon, and lime, giving the mixer a bright, refreshing taste that will have cocktail drinkers quickly forgetting about traditional tonic water. Mixing the Maple Tonic cocktail syrup with gin and seltzer water makes for an easy and delicious summer cocktail. Like the others, the Maple Ginger Mule cocktail syrup features 100% pure Vermont maple syrup as its base. Runamok Maple then infuses fresh ginger and lime into the cocktail syrup to give it a crisp, zesty flavor profile and a cleaner overall taste than mixers that use artificial flavors. 

On the back side of each cocktail syrup bottle, customers will find a suggested cocktail recipe to use with each syrup, including the Amber Old Fashioned (using Maple Old Fashioned), Tapper’s Tonic (using Maple Tonic), Leather & Velvet (using Smoked Old Fashioned) and Green Mountain Mule (using Maple Ginger Mule). 

Launched alongside the cocktail syrups is Runamok Maple’s collection of cocktail bitters. Made in the traditional way with all-natural herbs and root extracts infused in alcohol, Runamok Maple delivers its version in a maple base. Despite being maple-based, the bitters pack a punch, like traditional bitters, and just a few drops can take a cocktail to the next level. Each 100 mL bottle of bitters is priced at $11.95.

With notes of cardamom and ginger, the Floral Maple bitters combine botanical complexity and subtle aromas with a smooth maple base. The addition of rose, citrus, and clove makes these bitters perfect for any gin or vodka cocktail. Built on a warm base of maple, cinnamon, clove, and allspice, the Aromatic Maple bitters meld perfectly with the flavors of darker spirits, like bourbon and whiskey, and even feature subtle tasting notes of sarsaparilla and vanilla bean. Lastly, the Orange Maple bitters are perfect for brightening up any cocktail - whether fruity or neat. The citrus aromas, layered on top of a subtle maple base, make it a wonderful addition to cocktails made with vodka, gin, and even bourbon.

Runamok Maple’s full collection of products - including specialty maple syrups like Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Cardamom-Infused, Cinnamon + Vanilla-Infused, and Pecan Wood-Smoked - are available on The products can also be found on the brand’s Amazon page, as well as at specialty food shops across the country.

Published Date

(New York, NY)- The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMA’s) announced its 2021 Awards Program is expanding and will accept entries from around the world in beer, hard seltzer, and cider. Entries are open from October 1, 2020 and will be accepted through January 29, 2021.


The CBMA’s was founded last year and features over 30 categories that celebrate the very best of beer marketing and the teams, and individuals behind them. Breweries, their agencies, artists and marketing partners are invited to enter their top work. 


The 2021 CBMAs consist of over 30 categories that cover all aspects of brew marketing – from labels to logos and tap handles to taprooms.


Most notably, new this year are two special categories to reflect recent events: a Pandemic Marketing Category which looks at original marketing done during the Covid-19 outbreak, and the Human Rights Category celebrating those who support the fight for equality for all through different forms of marketing and design.


Some of the other award categories include:

  • Best Can Design
  • Best Tap Handle Design 
  • Best Original Video 
  • Best Merchandise Design 
  • Best Use of Social Media 
  • Best Website Design 

All categories are judged by an influential and respected panel of over 150 beer, marketing, and design experts. The CBMAS judging process is a robust, credible, and transparent digital scoring system. To see the full list of categories, click here.

Entries will be divided up into five regions across the globe: 

  • The Americas
  • UK
  • Europe
  • APAC – Asia & Pacific (including Australia & New Zealand)
  • MENA, Africa & Beyond 

Platinum and Gold Crushies will be awarded in each region. A newly designed Global Crushie will be awarded to those who opt-in to be judged at a global level in addition to a regional entry. 

Entry Timeline


• ENTRY PERIOD: NOV 8, 2020-JANUARY 29, 2021 

• JUDGING: FEB 8-MARCH 6, 2021  

• WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Week of March 29, 2021 @ CBC event (TBD) and live stream

Entries are now open to anyone involved in marketing within the brewing industry (including cider and hard seltzer) across the world. For additional information,

Published Date

VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 26, 2020 /CNW/ - Multi-brand beverage start-up MOD Beverage Inc. has acquired assets from the now-defunct TBA Beverage (formerly known as Craft Collective Beerworks and Factory Brewing). These assets include beer brands Spectrum Beer, Haus Lager, Phantom Beer and the Canadian operations of Seattle-based Odin Brewing, as well as the brewing facility at 1575 Vernon Drive, Vancouver, B.C.

While MOD will retain the brewing, operations and sales staff from TBA Beverage, MOD is a new business, locally owned and operated, with a new ownership and management structure. Founders Alex Milne and Paul Mroczek will serve as CEO and President, respectively, and ownership will be retained wholly by them.

"We see MOD as a way to merge the large-scale distribution model of a Diageo or a MolsonCoors with the quality and imagination of the craft breweries that we love," Mroczek says. "We're really all about getting great brands and great products to as many Canadians as possible – beer, wine, cider, you name it."

Rounding out MOD's portfolio are Mighty Hard Coconut Water, Parade Hard Seltzer, Getaway Hard Cider and Boujee Canned Wine.


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