Published Date

LOS ANGELES (June 15, 2020) El Sativo, the 2020 Tequila of the Year at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, launches this summer. Bottles will be available for purchase at Total Wine in California starting mid-June and retail stores in Illinois and New Mexico in the fall. El Sativo will debut their offerings with the award-winning Tequila Blanco, with plans to offer a reposado and anejo in 2021. Tequila Blanco will retail between $39.99 – $45.99 for a 750ml.


El Sativo’s co-creators and fourth-generation family of distillers use an innovative distillation process that captures and accentuates the agave plant’s own natural benefits.  “These terpenes, found in the agave, have a myriad of health benefits, including mood-lifting and energy-boosting attributes, which is why we transformed our distillation process in order to help maintain their properties,” states co-founder Dr. Robert Summers.


The El Sativo team is committed to improving the environment, helping to build awareness, and pushing to find remedies to help preserve the precious resources of our planet. Translated from Spanish, El Sativo means “Sown in Seeds,” as anything planted, nurtured, and grown is life. Every bottle sold gives back to ocean conservancy. The bottle is made of 100% recycled smart non-combustible glass and has an organic soluble label that is pesticide free.


El Sativo Tequila is certified USDA organic, 100% Non–GMO, Kosher and Vegan friendly.


THE PROCESS</strong></p> <p align="center"> 

“Our distillery is located in the lowlands of Amatitán, Jalisco; we’re single estate, our agaves are planted, nurtured, and harvested solely in our fields and never sourced. It was important for us to be completely organic, so our cultivation is carried out without pesticides or fungicides, and we only use organic fertilizers. The organic certification process is far more complex and time consuming than the process for common tequila.” says co-founder and singer-songwriter Jaime Whitton.

align="center" /><strong> </strong></p> <p>Using small batch stone ovens, the blue agaves are slowly steamed for 24-48 hours, using no diffusers nor autoclaves. The process pays homage to the art of tequila making by using the traditional technique. Fermenting with its own natural yeast, the team uses reverse osmosis water filtered through 135 feet of volcanic rock for a pure filtration process.</p> <p> </p> <p align="center">"strong>TASTING NOTES: EL SATIVO TEQUILA BLANCO</strong></p> <p align="center">"strong> </strong></p> <p><em>40% ABV, 750ml, NOM 1480</em></p> <p>Bouquet:  Vibrant citrus and sweet agave</p> <p>Palate:  Lift of white pepper and sweet agave with a waterfall of stone fruit savoring on the taste buds</p> <p>Finish:  Long uplift of white pepper, dried fruit, earth and sweet agave</p>""
Published Date

June 15, 2020

Phase 3

The government has announced a consultation on the next phase of reopening.  The proposal for Phase 3 includes an increase for restaurant capacity to 75%.  While this is an improvement on the current 50% restriction, it is still problematic for restaurants as it does not significantly add capacity as social distancing still has to be taken into account. Restaurant operators are encouraged to have their say and provide input about the Phase 3 plans. Feedback can be posted through the EngageMB website.


The Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program continues to underperform as landlords are resistant to participate and apply for the financial assistance. Restaurants Canada recently held a webinar on how to navigate the program and talk to your landlord.  Those who missed the webinar can watch it online: Navigating COVID-19: CECRA Program.There is also many other resources available on the Rapid Recovery webpage.

Wage Subsidy Program

There is some good news for those who are using or planning to apply for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.Minister Morneau announced a new regulation that will extend the CEWS program under the exact same conditions as they are now until July 4.

Any changes to the program will impact the July 5 – August 1 period as well as the August 2 – August 29 period.

The minister insisted that any potential change would have the purpose to increase employment and put back more Canadians in the active workforce.

Published Date

TORONTO, June 11, 2020 /CNW/ - Labatt Breweries of Canada is taking a leading role in restoring public confidence during the COVID-19 reopening stages by signing on as a founding corporate partner of the newly launched POST (People Outside Safely Together) Promise. The private sector-led initiative is designed to help Canadians confidently and safely take the first steps back into public spaces and the workplace.

"Restaurants and bars play such a meaningful role in bringing friends and family together and we know how much the industry has been impacted by COVID-19," said Kyle Norrington, President, Labatt Breweries of Canada. "We want to do everything we can to help our friends in the restaurant industry bring that occasion back into the lives of Canadians, safely. The POST Promise will help instill confidence in customers and employees as Canada begins to reopen."

The POST Promise is a declaration that businesses make through highly visible signage throughout their restaurant or bar to uphold five key steps identified to help create a safe workplace for employees and consumers: 

o start="1"> <li>Maintain physical distance.</li> <li>Wash and sanitize hands.</li> <li>Stay home if unwell and report symptoms.</li> <li>Clean and disinfect regularly.</li> <li>Practice respiratory etiquette. </li> </ol> <p>Labatt will be dedicating resources and marketing activity to work directly with Restaurants Canada to extend the POST Promise to bars and restaurants from coast to coast. </p> <p>"Restaurants Canada is proud to be a founding partner of the POST Promise initiative. The health and safety of those that restaurants serve is always mission critical and restoring consumer confidence is key to successfully welcoming the return of diners," "aid Shanna Munro, President and CEO of Restaurants Canada. "While we've been educating foodservice operators on best reopening practices that they can undertake with our Rapid Recovery Guide, the POST Promise allows establishments to visibly display their commitment to providing a safe environment for guests to enjoy dining out again."

As a partner, Labatt will be committing to the POST Promise, spreading awareness through its communication and marketing efforts, educating employees and providing its sales team with POST Promise toolkits. 

"Labatt has been a strong supporter of the POST Promise since inception, and is doing a tremendous job helping us build awareness of this important initiative to help restore consumer confidence across the country," said Laura Hearn, President & Executive Director of The POST Promise. "We applaud Labatt and Restaurants Canada for their commitment to the POST Promise and to the health and safety of their customers and employees."

"Canadians will be looking to businesses to lead by example and help ensure the restaurant experience is as safe and enjoyable as it was before the pandemic," said Charlie Angelakos, Labatt's VP of Legal and Corporate Affairs. "Restaurants play such an important role in our communities and social lives, and by committing to follow a set of common best practices and displaying the POST Promise signage, it will help give consumers the confidence they need to bring that experience back to life."

The partnership with POST extends the support Labatt is currently providing to restaurants and Food Banks Canada through its recent donations of hand sanitizer, in addition to brand initiatives like Stella Artois' Rally for Restaurants campaign, a gift card program that provides local establishments with immediate financial relief.

For more information on how a business can make the POST Promise, visit

Published Date

June 10, 2020 -- Smoke. Coal dust. Fine leather. Dark berry fruit. Coffee grounds.

So many descriptors and personal perceptions swirl around a glass of whiskey. Published whiskey reviews include sensory and nonsensory descriptions of thousands of these distilled spirits. 

Finding meaning in and understanding these descriptors is at the heart of discriminating whiskey connoisseurs’ debates. But even for the not-so-discriminating, all of these words can be confusing for investigating the flavor and value of a bourbon that costs $130 a bottle - when a $55 similar substitute would do.

A research project by Department of Food Science and Technology researchers Jacob Lahne and Leah Hamilton and University Libraries’ data consultants Chreston Miller, and Michael Stamper received a SEAD Major Grant from The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) to create a tool that finds a common language in a data set of 6,500 published whiskey reviews of about 50 to 100 words each. 

ICAT awards SEAD grants to projects that bring together scientists, engineers, artists, and designers to tackle some of the world’s most complex challenges. Figuring out how to consistently and systematically describe whiskey could be an important and complex challenge for many, but beyond this specific food product, the deep learning tool this project creates could be used for all research that uses descriptive data.

The team is applying Natural Language Processing (NLP), a subfield of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence that involves programming computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data — whiskey descriptors.

This data science technique offers researchers opportunities to analyze more data than what was possible through the traditional time-intensive and expensive manual text analysis process. According to the project team, there have been no previous attempts to apply this sort of NLP approach for sensory-evaluation purposes. 

“We don't know anyone else who has tried to take these reviews, which are in descriptive but messy natural language, and systematically analyze them this way. One of the nice things about whiskey is its enthusiast market,” said Lahne. “People care about taste deeply. Whiskey lives or dies by sensory perception. These reviews are in metaphorical, messy, natural language. What we’re trying to get to is some shared concept about taste.”

Hamilton said they may even be able to make connections among the descriptors used, the production process, and the geographical origin of the liquor. 

“This tool will analyze free-response comments and identify which words are describing flavor and separate them from what’s not descriptive,” said Hamilton. “It will also identify which words are related and describe the same flavor. This will ultimately be helpful to consumers who may want to buy something that’s close to a high-dollar whiskey but is more affordable.”

As a computer scientist with a research interest in qualitative data, Miller is excited about what this project could mean as a proof of concept for a larger proposal.

“There is value in a tool with deep learning, a subset of machine learning,” said Miller. “Deep learning is a machine learning technique that uses the technique of Deep Neural Networks, based on how neurons in the brain function, to automatically learn features of the data which then aids in identification. By training the tool, we are able to comb through more information and make sense of it more quickly and efficiently than a human. If we throw enough data at it, the peculiarities are diluted. This is a booming area of research and one that is very exciting.”

When the team has its common language defined, they will pass the data to Stamper, information visualization and interaction designer, to create the user stories, flows, and interfaces that audiences will use to interact with, and draw insight and meaning from the data.

“We will define our target audiences and build an interface to communicate the data. We can use visualizations to see how we can dig deeper into the information,” said Stamper. “The data is so rich that the visualization types that we'll be able to incorporate can include networks, geospatial, and temporal - it's just figuring out what will work best for making the information in the data meaningful to those who are interested in seeing and interacting with it.”

Upon the completion of the year-long process, the team will raise a glass to future research that could build upon this novel approach they have begun. 

“At some point, we may get to a place where we describe flavors like we do colors; it would be standardized,” said Hamilton. “This is a great step in that direction.”

Published Date

June 9, 2020

As Manitoba carefully reopens for business, Video Lotto wants to help you prepare to serve your customers safely once the VLT network is reopened.

To help maintain social distancing after the network is up, many VLTs will remain turned off through Video Lotto’s Central System. Placing plexiglass barriers between VLTs is not an approved method for social distancing. The reconfiguration of VLT gaming areas to achieve social distancing is being reviewed.

Following the reopening, it is important that VLTs are effectively cleaned after each player’s use with the prescribed 70% alcohol-based solution.
Do not use ammonia-based products as they could damage the VLT.

Please see the VLT FAQs, cleaning and social distancing information attached.


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