Published Date

On Monday evening (October 7), The HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA® named Chad Lawrence of Comery Block in Calgary, Canada its Champion at the North American Finals of the bi-annual ANGOSTURA® Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC)The competition, which took place at The Eleanor in Austin, TX, saw a group of North America’s best bartenders compete for an opportunity to represent the region at the AGCC Finals. Lawrence will join The HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA on the island of Trinidad to compete against regional winners from around the world for the title of Global Brand Ambassador and a cash prize of $10,000 during the island’s 2020 Carnival celebration in February.


The other competing bartenders included Lance Bowman of Chicago, David Alan Roth of New York, Jared Schmidt of Kelowna, British Columbia and Austin’s own Jarred Craven. They were judged by Matthias Merges, Chef and proprietor of Folkart Restaurant Management, internationally renowned bartender Tom Lasher-Walker and Alex Kirles, who represented North America during the 2018 AGCC Finals.


Lawrence won the judges over with his ANGOSTURA creations, Along the Banks and Jaguar’s Breath – I’ve enclosed the Jaguar’s Breath recipe below if interested! Also enclosed are photos from the event for use in any recap coverage. 


The Jaguar’s Breath



  • 1.5 oz. Amaro di ANGOSTURA
  • .5 oz. Cherry Heering
  • .25 oz. Pedro Ximinex Sherry
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA orange bitters
  • Garnish: 3 Brandied Cherries



    >Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled and diluted.</li> <li>Strain into a chilled coupe.</li> <li>Express an orange zest over surface of drink and discard.</li> <li>Place a skewer of 3 brandied cherries on rim of coupe.</li> </ol>"
Published Date

October 16, 2019 (NEW YORK, NY)- The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMA) is proud to announce its first annual awards series. The CBMAS were developed to recognize and award the very best marketing in the brewing industry across the nation. Breweries, their agencies, designers, and marketing partners are invited to enter their top work. The 2020 CBMAS includes over 30 categories that recognize all aspects of beer marketing.


Branding in the craft beer industry is what truly brings the beer to life. Today, brewers can use strong visual identity, storytelling, word-of-mouth, and digital media to achieve never–before seen growth that has levelled the playing field between big and small beer. The packaging and overall branding of a beer is the most effective means of influencing purchase at that decision-making moment. CBMA felt the time had come to recognize the talent behind the creative nature that makes the craft beer culture so rich and unique.


The Craft Beer Marketing Awards feature categories that celebrate the very best of beer marketing and the teams, and individuals behind them. All categories are judged by an influential and respected panel of beer, marketing, and design experts from across the country. Check out the full panel of over 65 judges here. The CBMAS judging process is a robust, credible, and transparent digital scoring.  


The 2020 CBMAS consist of over 30 categories which cover all aspects of brew marketing- from labels to logos; from tap handles to tap rooms. Entry is open to anyone involved in marketing within the brewing industry.


Award categories include:

  • Best Can
  • Best Tap Handle Design
  • Best Original Video
  • Best Merchandise Design
  • Best Use of Social Media
  • Best Website Design
  • Beer Marketing Wild-Cards, like Coolest Taproom 

To see the full list of categories, click here.


CBMAS is excited to reveal its official trophy- “The Crushie”-for the series of awards, including the Platinum Crushie, the Gold Crushie, and the People’s Crushie. The CBMAS Crushie trophies were designed and manufactured by the same NYC designer awards firm that creates the prestigious Emmy Award, and MTV Moonman Statue. The Crushie award is sculptured to depict a heavily tattooed arm crushing a beer can representing how breweries are “crushing it” with their unique, and creative beer marketing and branding.

Entries are now being accepted on the CBMAS website. Early bird deadline is November 29 and the final entry period ends January 31, 2020. Breweries and their marketing teams can enter work from January 2018 through September 2019. This year’s presenting sponsor is Hillebrand.


The judging process will begin February 13, 2020 and conclude on March 20, 2020, with the award winners announced on Monday, April 20, live from The Craft Brewer’s Conference (CBC) in San Antonio, TX. There will be a small award ceremony that evening for those attending. Winners do not need to attend the conference to receive recognition. For more information and to enter, visit

Download this file (cbma crushies.png)cbma crushies.png[ ]724 kB
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WHITBY, Ontario, Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, at Durham College's W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, Smart Serve Ontario announced that an update was released on July 18, 2019 to the Smart Serve training and certification program.

“The release will make online training and testing simpler and easier for everyone looking to become certified and work, where alcohol is sold or served, in the province of Ontario,” said Mary D’Alton, Smart Serve Ontario, Board Chair. “Modern micro e-learning techniques, six different languages, gamification, mini quizzes, and new role-playing games, are just a few of the enhancements to help make the training program more accessible and convenient for all.”

A big part of the redesign was changing the online test proctoring solution to an artificial intelligence (A.I.) system that uses biometrics to validate and monitor participants during the final test.

“Durham College is very pleased to be part of the launch of Smart Serve’s new approach to delivery of its certification. This new online-based approach, rich in learning resources and activities, will better support our Culinary and Hospitality students as they pursue this important certification that will be expected of them as they graduate and progress through their careers,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, Vice-President, Durham College.

Smart Serve continues to invest in research and development of meaningful and relevant educational and training updates.

“I am delighted that Smart Serve continues to play a leadership role as we move forward with the modernization of Ontario’s alcohol sector. While the government continues to expand opportunities for choice for consumers and businesses, our first priority remains the safe and responsible sale and service of alcohol beverages,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

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TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - With a new generation of savvier Canadian consumers, the bar and foodservice industry are taking note of the growing trend to opt for quality over quantity. Currently, the leading disruptor in the spirits space is American whiskey.


Younger consumers have shifted away from purchasing based on volume/price point and are buying with more sophisticated palettes. Recent sales and import statistics are showing a heavy lean towards bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and the rapidly rising newcomer, the American single malt.

In 2018 alone, according to USITC Trade Dataweb, Canada brought in $50M USD worth of American whiskey imports, making it the 7th highest export market. Canada was also the #1 export market for U.S. spirits overall ($234M) in the same year, a 16.6% increase from 2017 ($200M). 

Jonathan Neill, head bartender at Ritz Bar, The Ritz-Carlton (Toronto), explains the rising trend. "Cocktail and spirit trends have changed significantly during my time in the hospitality industry. American whiskey has surpassed Scotch in popularity at my bar. Despite emerging competition from other slow-sipper spirits, demand for bourbon and American whiskeys has not slowed down and continues to grow."

American single malt whiskey is embraced by connoisseurs for its elevated and distinct taste. The process involves 100% malted barley (with diverse types grown across the U.S.) distilled in a wide varietal of oak barrels.

With the heightened willingness to pay a higher price point for well-crafted products, the dramatic shift to American whiskeys shows consumers favour mixing sophisticated cocktails with flavours that complement the base spirit, not cover them up.

"Given the versatility of American spirits and the rise in popularity of cocktail bars both locally and globally, there's greater demand for unique and high calibre creations beyond the classics. With more selection and accessibility to American whiskey, Canadians are more willing to try new things in cocktail recipes," says Neill.

Notably, Toronto's own home city-loving performer and Raptors ambassador Aubrey "Drake" Graham launched his own American whiskey brand, Virginia Black, which broke first-day sales records in Ontario at 1,779 bottles.

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Vancouver, B.C. (October 8, 2019): 'Tis the season for tipples! Warm up this winter with Ampersand Distilling Co.'s Nocino!, a limited-edition liqueur that will effortlessly spice up your holiday soirée. In addition to bringing back the popular product for a third season of merrymaking, the Cowichan Valley distillery is closing out the year with two awards earned at SIP Northwest's 2019 Best of the Northwest Competition, a toast to five successful years of business.


Every bar cart needs Nocino!, Ampersand's silky spirit crafted with green walnuts harvested in summer, sweetened with local honey, and infused with cinnamon and allspice. Beloved by consumers and industry alike, the celebrated sipper won a gold medal at the 2019 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition, and was the only product to receive a double gold award in the non-fruit liqueur category at SIP Northwest's 2019 Best of the Northwest Competition. Snag your own bottle of Nocino! (or gift it to a friend!) at select locations starting November 16, 2019, including:

  • Legacy Liquor Store (Vancouver, B.C.)
  • Vessel (Victora, B.C.)
  • Cascadia Liquor (Victoria / Courtenay, B.C.)
  • Beverly Corners (Duncan, B.C.)

Spirit lovers can also find Nocino! at this year's Fall for Local Holiday Market on November 16-17 at the Pipe Shop in North Vancouver, as well as at the Duncan's Farmers' Market. 

Eager for inspiration? Captivate the crowd at your next gathering with this simple and festive recipe:

To round out your liquor cabinet this season, make sure to pick up Ampersand's other signature sips - some of which also earned kudos at SIP Northwest's 2019 Best of the Northwest. In addition to Nocino!'s double gold win, the Ampersand team scooped up the only silver medal awarded in the vodka category for Per Se Vodka, a simple yet elegant blend of 100% B.C.-grown wheat and spring water sourced from Ampersand's five-acre farm. The annual competition - which received a record number of submissions this year - shines a spotlight on the best wine, beer, spirits and cider in the Northwest; all winners are featured in SIP Northwest's November issue. To taste what all the buzz is about for yourself, pick up a bottle of Per Se Vodka at select private liquor stores across B.C. (don't forget to try the distillery's flagship Ampersand Gin, too!) Locate the spirit nearest you using the handy map featured on Ampersand's website here

Ampersand has been raising toasts all year long, most recently in September to celebrate a milestone five years of business. To commemorate the occasion, the family-owned, small-batch distillery unveiled two new products slated for development in 2020: an exquisite herb-infused Amaro, and a sweet vermouth crafted in partnership with Rathjen Cellars. More details on these must-have spirits are coming soon, but in the meantime you can sample the distillery's current product lineup by visiting the tasting room (by appointment); visiting the Duncan Farmer's market (every Saturday); or browsing


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