by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Celebrating the Goat of Beer Styles

Celebrating the Goat of Beer Styles

by David Klemt

An Alpine Ibex, also known as a Steinbock, in the mountains

On Wednesday, March 20, operators and their teams have the opportunity to celebrate the “goat” of beer styles with their guests.

I’m talking about Bock Beer Day, the day we raise a glass to a several-centuries-old beer style. Just like I did with Baltic Porter Day last year, I’m going to do a bit of a deep dive into this diverse brew.

Now, please note that I say Bock is the goat, not the GOAT. I’m not claiming that Bock is the greatest beer of all time. (Although, this style does make a compelling case for the GOAT title.)

Rather, the German word bock translates to “goat” in English. And why would Germans name a beer after the hollow-horned relatives of sheep? Well, it all comes down to accents.

Beer experts and historians agree that we can trace the first brewing of Bock beer to Einbeck, a town in Germany, in the 14th century. As the story goes, people in Germany pronounced the Einbeck as ein bock, which translates to “a goat.” Hence, goat, not GOAT.

However, as I said, this style of beer does have a realistic claim to the beer throne. It’s a wide-ranging style that has many variants. Of course, Bock itself is related to another style: Lager. In particular, brewers tend to view it as a “cousin” of Amber Lager.

Over time, Bocks have evolved a bit. Once considered a “strong” Lager high in alcohol content, the style is much more varied now. A Bock can be low-ABV (I found one that’s just 3.5% ABV) to high test. It can be pale or dark, and every shade in between.

One thing Bocks do have in common, however, is a sweet, malty note on the palate.

Styles of Bock

There are several styles within this style of beer. Savvy operators will realize that positions Bock well for flights, pairings, and tastings.

In fact, Bocks are excellent for multi-course dining events. That can mean three courses (starter, main, dessert) to four or more.

Oh, and for those wondering, Bock pairs well with Asiago, Parmesan, and Cheddar cheeses.

Some styles operators and their bar teams will want to consider are:

  • Doppelbock
  • Dunkels Bock, a.k.a. Traditional Bock
  • Eisbock
  • Helles Bock, a.k.a. Maibock
  • Texas Bock
  • Triple Bock
  • Weizenbock

American Bock Beers

Kicking off the list below is Shiner Bock. When it comes to American Bock beer, this Texas brew is likely the most well known.

Interestingly, there are people deeply entrenched in the beer world that believe Texas is the epicenter of Bock beer in the US.

Of course, there are craft brewers all over the country producing Bock beers. With that in mind, I encourage operators to look into breweries in their state to learn who’s crafting this style of beer.

A word of warning: Many breweries produce Bock seasonally or in limited runs, so they can be difficult to find.

  • Shiner Bock (Shiner, Texas)
  • New Glarus Uff-da Bock (New Glarus, Wisconsin)
  • Rogue Dead Guy Ale (Newport, Oregon)
  • Genesee Spring Bock (Rochester, New York)
  • Community Beer Co. Texas-style Bock (Dallas, Texas)

Candian Bock Beers

Similarly to the US, it takes a fair bit of research to find Bock beers in Canada.

However, I think operators who put in the effort will find it rewarding. It’s smart business to find out who can supply Bocks (and other craft beers) so operators can support local brewers.

Below is a short list of brewers in BC and Ontario who produce Bock beers.

  • Howl Brewing Winterbock (Victoria, British Columbia)
  • Hoyne Brewing Co. Weizenbock (Victoria, British Columbia)
  • Vancouver Island Brewing Hermannator Ice Bock (Victoria, British Columbia)
  • Pacific Western Brewing Co. Schwarzbock (Prince George, British Columbia)
  • Blackburn Brew House General Bock (Niagara Falls, Ontario)

Image: Cédric Streit on Unsplash

Bar Nightclub Pub Brewery Menu Development Drinks Food

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Did This Beer Win Super Bowl LVIII?

Did This Beer Win Super Bowl LVIII?

by David Klemt

A pint glass overflowing with beer

Now that the Super Bowl is over, behavioral insight platform Veylinx is revealing the impact on brands that advertised during this year’s big game.

If Veylinx sounds familiar to you, you may be a regular KRG Hospitality news reader. Last month we looked at their dive into alcohol-free canned cocktails. Last year, we shared a Veylinx report with a focus on whether Super Bowl ads really work on consumers. And in 2022, Veylinx wondered if the interest in zero-proof drinks was all hype or worth leveraging.

This month, Veylinx is at it again. This time, however, they’re revealing which brands—those that advertised during Super Bowl LVIII—saw the biggest ROI. For context, a 30-second spot during the big game cost approximately $7 million this year.

That’s a ton of cash to shell out in the hopes of seeing a sales increase on- and off-premise.

Speaking of on-premise, Veylinx’s findings should be of interest to operators. The beer that Veylinx says “won” the Super Bowl will likely be top of mind among your guests who watched the game and the accompanying ads.

So, it stands to reason that they’ll either expect to find that beer on a menu. Likewise, they may be swayed to order the beer if they see it when scanning a bar’s taps, menu, or fridges.

With that in mind, operators may want to watch their sales of Michelob Ultra.

Study Methodology

For their latest report, Veylinx used similar methodology to their Elixir non-alcoholic canned cocktail study.

A mix of 50 percent men and fifty percent women participated in the study. All 1,604 participants were US residents aged 21 or older. Looking deeper into the participants, the age breakdown is as follows:

  • 21 to 27: 30 percent
  • 28 to 43: 25 percent
  • 44 to 59: 25 percent
  • 60 and older: 20 percent

Like the Elixir (a fake brand invented by Veylinx) study, participants bid on products with their own money. The auction mix consisted of products that advertised during Super Bowl LVIII and those that did not advertise during the game.

Study Results

Among all viewers of Super Bowl LVIII, brands that advertised during the game saw an average lift of 16 percent.

However, those brands saw the biggest boost in demand—24 percent—among men. Gen Z followed, with demand in advertised brands growing by 11 percent. Among women, brands that advertised saw just a nine-percent boost in demand.

While Doritos Dinamita was the number-one brand among all viewers in general, and men and Gen Z in particular, Michelob Ultra is a close second. Interestingly, the beer brand was the top-performer among women in terms of demand growth.

For those wondering, no alcohol brands were among the top three performers for Gen Z.

So, operators who have noticed in uptick in Michelob Ultra sales may have Super Bowl LVIII to thank. If that’s the case, if sales of Michelob Ultra have increased in bars and restaurants since this year’s big game, it appears that yes, Super Bowl ads still work on consumers.

Image: cottonbro studio on Pexels

Bar Nightclub Pub Brewery Menu Development Drinks Food

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2023 KRG Recap: Top Bar Hacks Episodes

2023 KRG Recap: Top Bar Hacks Episodes

by David Klemt

Gold number 10 on a teal or aqua background

For your listening pleasure and convenience we’ve rounded up the top ten Bar Hacks episodes of 2023, also known as season four of the podcast.

Every year we reflect on the caliber of the guests who take time out of their busy lives to come onto the podcast. And every year we’re grateful for the honor of helping to share their stories and insights.

Below are the top ten Bar Hacks episodes of 2023. We’re presenting them in numeric order—no playing favorites here! To make it easy to enjoy these conversations, we’ve embedded the Spotify version of each episode.

And if you’re curious, these ten only just edge out the rest of this year’s episodes. We thank our loyal listeners for giving all of our guests and episodes a listen.


Episode 89 with Doug Radkey

Doug Radkey, co-founder and president of KRG Hospitality, stops by the Bar Hacks podcast. Not only is Doug the co-founder and president of KRG, he’s also the author of the book Bar Hacks and its followup Hacking the New Normal, and the creator of the Bar Hacks podcast.

During his visit, Doug and David talk about their expectations for 2023, what KRG is working on in the new year so far, the importance of technology in hospitality, and dynamic pricing versus dynamic menus. Doug also shares his thoughts on what operators can work on starting today to position themselves for success in 2023 and beyond.

Episode 90 with Mark Sansom

Mark Sansom, content director for the World’s 50 Best Bars, drops by the Bar Hacks podcast to share some big news. After years of dialing in the process and waiting out the pandemic, the World’s 50 Best Hotels will be revealed at a ceremony in September 2023! If you haven’t watched or attended a World’s 50 Best Bars ceremony, they truly take great pains to ensure they’re the Oscars of bar awards. So, we expect the World’s 50 Best Hotel awards ceremony to blow us out of the water.

This list and its accompanying specialty awards completes the hospitality and travel puzzle. Restaurants and bars, after all, are inextricably intertwined with hotels and resorts. Mark shares the details of the World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy Chairs, voting panel, and voting process in this episode. As a bonus, you’ll also get to hear host David Klemt try and fail to say “inaugural awards” without any issue!

Episode 93 with Adrián Michalčík

In September 2022, Adrián Michalčík earned the title of Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year. Colloquially, this achievement is known as the Best Bartender in the World. That’s a bold and weighty mantle but as you’ll learn during this conversation, Adrián is humble and focused on his team and guests.

Adrián is the director of mixology at the award-winning Pier 42 inside the Amerikalinjen hotel in Oslo, Norway. The bar has been recognized by the World’s 50 Best and has won Best Bar of Norway twice. In addition to taking home the title of 2022 Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Adrián has won several bartending competitions throughout the years.

He popped by the Bar Hacks podcast to chat with host David Klemt about his bartender journey. Adrián has worked in several types of bars and each helped him develop the skills that allowed him to elevate his skills behind the bar. Mentors, his endless quest for knowledge, his passion for hosting others, and his focus on empathy have informed his approach to team building, delivering top-level hospitality, and tapping into his creativity to develop Pier 42’s cocktail menus.

Adrián shares the three pillars he believes great bars are built upon, what he looks for in bar team members, transforming people from guests to friends, the importance of storytelling, and much more.

Episode 95 with Bob Peters

We know it’s been a few weeks. Between client projects and trade shows we had to take a little break. But we’re back!

And to make our absence up to you, our loyal listeners, we’re bringing you a great chat with an awesome guest. Bob Peters returns to the Bar Hacks podcast for episode 95!

Bob has big news to share, and you can hear in his voice how excited he is to share it with everyone. He’s taking on the perfect role. In fact, he calls it his dream job during this episode. Cocktails and cuisine are about to get even better in North Carolina and South Carolina…

But it doesn’t stop there! Bob also shares his approach to bar training to make sure everyone is engaged; his assessment of the Charlotte dining and drinking scene; a simple step all restaurants and bars can take today to improve operations, team engagement, and the guest experience; a very cool project he’s taking on; and more.

Episode 97 with Dragos Axinte

Dragos Axinte, the founder of Novo Fogo Organic Cachaça, returns to the Bar Hacks podcast. Axinte and Novo Fogo have been very busy since, his first appearance on the pod.

On this episode, Axinte shares the details and stories behind three important Novo Fogo initiatives and partnerships: Tree-keeper, with Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, the Un-endangered Forest, and the brand’s new Chief Alegrias Officers (ChAOs), Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, also known as SOFI TUKKER.

The two also discuss Axinte’s approach to partnerships—a philosophy that will serve operators and entrepreneurs very well—as well as distillers “discovering” amburana wood finishing. And, of course, Axinte shares product news and insights. If you’re headed to Tales of the Cocktail this year, you’re in for some incredible news. This conversation spans several topics and Axinte always imparts wisdom when he speaks in approachable and helpful ways.

Episode 99 with Michele Mariotti

Bartender Michele Mariotti leads an illustrious career. He has worked behind the bars at some of the best hotels around the world, including the Savoy in London and Mandarin Oriental in Singapore.

As of 2020, Michele has held the title head of bars at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. In this role, he heads the programs at 11 F&B venues on the property, overseeing dozens of bar professionals.

On this episode, Michele and Bar Hacks podcast host David Klemt talk about mentorship, interviewing potential bartenders, menu development, using a flavor map when assigning new cocktail builds to bar team members, finding inspiration, interesting hotel guests, bespoke glassware, investing in platforms and programs that boost staff retention, and more.

Episode 101 with Ryan Chetiyawardana a.k.a. Mr. Lyan

Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr. Lyan, is one of the bar world’s true visionaries. He opened his first bar, White Lyan, in 2013 and the venue immediately achieved its intended purpose. Beyond being an award-winning bar and one of London’s best places to grab a drink, White Lyan started a much-needed conversation about sustainability in the industry.

Dandelyan, Lyaness, Super Lyan, Cub, and Silver Lyan would follow shortly after, making an even bigger splash not only in London but also Amsterdam and Washington, DC. All Mr. Lyan venues, while showcasing incredible innovation, accomplish something just as important: each bar is a place people to want to spend their time and money, and where professionals want to work.

During this fantastic conversation, Ryan shares insights into the menu programming processes at each venue; discusses seasonality; provides a look into hiring and engaging each team; the reissue of his book and his foray into the RTD cocktail space; and much more. Cheers!

Episode 102 with Jordan Bushell

Thank you for being patient during our summer hiatus. We’re back with a great conversation with an awesome guest.

Global Hennessy brand ambassador Jordan Bushell returns to the Bar Hacks podcast. While Jordan may know people with more Cognac knowledge, we don’t know anyone who knows more about this spirit category. More importantly, he’s as generous with his time as he is knowledgeable about Cognac. If you have a question about the spirit of Hennessy you can reach out to him and he’ll answer you.

On this episode of Bar Hacks, Jordan talks about special Hennessy releases, initiatives, collaborations, and what sets the maison apart from others in the Cognac region of France. He also talks about how operators can introduce guests to Cognac and Hennessy, including paying attention how they price their menus. Cheers!

Episode 104 with Simone Caporale

Simone Caporale, an internationally renowned bartender and operator, swings by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk spirits, branding, the guest experience, and operations.

Noticing a gap in the industry and seeing a way to lend his expertise to help grow spirits brands, Simone and Luca Missagli founded Cocktail Concierge, a brand-building agency focusing on craft spirits brands. One of the most recent brands Cocktail Concierge has helped introduce to the world is Amaro Santoni.

Of course, Simone is also one of forces behind SIPS Drinkery House, number three on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and the World’s Best Bar according to Tales of the Cocktail. Simone shares his thoughts on what he thinks makes SIPS so successful, why he views service as a privilege, three tips operators can implement today to plant the seeds for long-term success, and more!

Episode 107 with Anne Becerra

When it comes to curating a beer program, creating a complementary cocktail program, and delivering an incredible beer program, we can’t think of anyone better than Anne Becerra. And lucky for us, she stopped by the Bar Hacks podcast!

Anne is the first female Certified Cicerone in New York City and has been working in beer for more than a decade. More importantly, however, she’s as passionate as she is educated about beer. Anne’s also passionate about hospitality, which comes across in this conversation. Truly, she loves hospitality, the beverage world, and how the two pair to make people feel amazing.

On this episode Anne talks introducing guests to beer; serving beer aficionados, beer neophytes, and the beer wary; how to make guests feel comfortable in a beer-centric concept; what she’s excited about in the beer world; tips for operators who want to succeed with a beer-forward venue; and much, much more. Cheers!

Image: Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels

KRG Hospitality. Bar Consultant. Nightclub. Lounge. Mixology. Cocktails.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

by David Klemt

Vintage tabletop hockey game toy

Now nobody can accuse me of showing any NHL teams favoritism. Go Knights Go!

As one should expect, Canadian hockey fans are preparing for the 2023-2024 NHL season opener, and those preparations include on-premise visits.

On Tuesday, October 10, three teams will face off to start the regular season.

First, the Nashville Predators take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Finally, after raising their brand-new, first-ever Stanley Cup championship banner, which they won just six seasons after their founding, the fastest an expansion team has accomplished this feat, the Vegas Golden Knights will welcome the Seattle Kraken to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

According to on-premise data from CGA by NIQ, Canadian hockey fans are planning to celebrate the start of the season at bars and restaurants. That means operators have less than two weeks to finalize plans to attract these guests to their venues.

In particular, operators in four provinces need to ensure their NHL opening week plans and promotions are good to go. Per CGA’s data, consumers in Québec are showing the greatest interest in watching this season’s opening games in bars and restaurants. Following and driving on-premise interest are British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Of course, operators throughout the provinces who serve sports fans should be ready to welcome hockey fans.

For our Canadian readers, the Montréal Candiens will take on Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, October 11. On that same day, the Ottawa Senators face the Carolina Hurricanes; the Edmonton Oilers face off against the Vancouver Canucks; and the Winnipeg Jets will battle the Calgary Flames.

Click here for the full opening week schedule.

Why Does this Matter?

I may catch some flack for this but technically, any bar with televisions events can be a sports bar.

Yes, I understand that’s a very simplistic view. And yes, of course that comes with the caveat that sports should be authentic to a given concept. Also, showing sports should take into account the expectations of bar or restaurant’s guests.

In other words, most bars and restaurants can benefit from sports but they’d likely be a hindrance to some high-end cocktail bars and fine-dining concepts.

With that out of the way, operators who want to establish themselves as the go-to spot for sporting events need to nail opening week. That means having all of their ducks in a row.

Do they have the proper business TV packages in place? Will promotions and programming appeal to the target audience? Are the screens and audio system high quality for the best viewing experience? Does the menu offer sports fans what they want for great value? Is the team pulling out all the spots to make viewing fun?

Regarding the menu, CGA by NIQ has a couple of valuable insights. First, beer is the top beverage alcohol category among those planning to celebrate NHL opening week on-premise. Second, among those who plan to consume spirits, tequila is the top pick. Sounds like offering beer and tequila shot pairings could perform well.

However, operators should certainly take into account their own data. What F&B items are selling the best? Which items performed the best this same time last year?

Between 15 and 16 million Canadians follow hockey. That’s a vast pool of potential customers to convert to loyal guests. The importance of becoming their sports home base, their third spot, cannot be overstated.

This coming opening week, lay the groundwork to become the go-to place for hockey fans, fantasy sports competitors, and sports bettors.

Image: cottonbro studio via Pexels

KRG Hospitality. Gaming. Entertainment. Consultant. Food Service. Bowling Alley. Golf. Simulator. Arcades. Eatertainment.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Cheers to the 2023 World Beer Cup Winners

Cheers to the 2023 World Beer Cup Winners

by David Klemt

Flight of beers offering different styles

Raise a glass or hoist a stein in celebration of the 2023 World Beer Cup winners, a collection of some of the most incredible brews on the planet.

Since 1996, the World Beer Cup has established itself as “the Olympics of Beer” and is hosted by the Brewers Association. This year, 272 judges from 26 countries ranked submissions from 2,376 brewers across 103 categories. A staggering 10,213 beers were entered in the 2023 World Beer Cup.

On average, 99 beers are submitted for each category. Of note, no category is guaranteed to have three medalists. In theory, the judges assessing a given category may award only a silver or bronze medal, determining that there is no outstanding entrant deserving of gold.

While the average per category is 99 entrants, some styles have hundreds. The first five categories below boasted the most entrants in 2023.

For our coverage of the 2022 World Beer Cup winners, click here.

American-style India Pale Ale

412 entrants

  • Gold: Head Hunter (Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon; North Olmsted, Ohio, USA)
  • Silver: Applied Science (Sunriver Brewing Co.; Sunriver, Oregon, USA)
  • Bronze: Old West (Craft Coast Beer & Tacos; Oceanside, California, USA)

Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale

374 entrants

  • Gold: Wherever You Go (Green Cheek Beer Co.; Costa Mesa, California, USA)
  • Silver: Nectaronus Prime (Moksa Brewing Co.; Rocklin, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Nelson Hazy IPA (Prison Pals Brewing Co.; Doral, Florida, USA)

German-style Pilsener

233 entrants

  • Gold: Pils (Von Ebert Brewing, Pearl District; Portland, Oregon, USA)
  • Silver: Dollar Pils Y’all (Holler Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Bronze: Bibo (Creature Comforts Brewing Co., Southern Mills; Athens, Georgia, USA)

International Light Lager

220 entrants

  • Gold: Anne Bonny (Le Corsaire – Microbrasserie Pirate; Lévis, Québec, Canada)
  • Silver: 3Speed (Amsterdam Brewing Co.; Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Bronze: Ultra Secret Enigma (Liability Brewing Co.; Greenville, South Carolina, USA)

Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Stout

202 entrants

  • Gold: Big Mistake (11 Below Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Silver: BA Sexual Chocolate (Foothills Brewing; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA)
  • Bronze: Vladislav (Diebolt Brewing Co., Denver, Colorado, USA)

I selected another dozen categories, which you’ll find below. These include American Wheat Beer, Non-alcohol Beer, and Pumpkin Beer.

For the full list of 2023 World Beer Cup winners, please click here. Cheers!

Session India Pale Ale

  • Gold: Wild Gravity (Bend Brewing Co.; Bend, Oregon, USA)
  • Silver: Trump Hands (Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.; Golden, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Summatime (603 Brewery; Londonberry, New Hampshire, USA)

American Wheat Beer

  • Gold: Taildragger 5G (Saddle Mountain Brewing Co.; Goodyear, Arizona, USA)
  • Silver: Meister (Eppig Brewing; Vista, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Miner’s Gold (Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.; Helena, Montana, USA)

Belgian Fruit Beer

  • Gold: Central City Brewing Framboise (Central City Brewers and Distillers; Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Silver: Vieux Bois Lambic Inspired Ale w/ Cranberry & Raspberry (Bozeman Brewing Co.; Bozeman, Montana, USA)
  • Bronze: Turtle Kriek (Peticolas Brewing Co.; Dallas, Texas, USA)

Belgian-style Sour Ale

  • Gold: Vintage 2022 (New Glarus Brewing Co.; New Glarus, Wisconsin, USA)
  • Silver: Chance, Luck and Magic 2020 (Garage Project; Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Bronze: Borealis (Lamplighter Brewing Co.; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

English-style Brown Ale

  • Gold: Shhhhhh…This Is Ryan’s Award Winning Brown Ale (Green Cheek Beer Co., Costa Mesa; Costa Mesa, California, USA)
  • Silver: Black Cats (Streetside Brewery; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
  • Bronze: Brown Ale (Grid City Beer Works; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

South German-style Hefeweizen

  • Gold: Altstadt Hefe (Altstadt Brewery; Fredericksburg, Texas, USA)
  • Silver: Flying W Hefeweizen (Little Dry Creek Brewery; Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Fujizakura Kogen Beer Weizen (Fujizakura Heights Beer; Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan)

Classic Saison

  • Gold: Saaz Dryhopped Saison (33 Brewing Experiment; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Silver: Juilletistes (Bruery Terreux; Placentia, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Valor (Tooth and Nail Brewing Co.; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Pumpkin Beer

  • Gold: Pumpkin Ale (Backpocket Brewing; Coralville, Iowa, USA)
  • Silver: Pumpkinator (Saint Arnold Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Bronze: Jack O’Lantern Ale (Bond’s Brewing Co.; Laramie, Wyoming, USA)

Chili Beer

  • Gold: Yellow Fever (Comrade Brewing Co.; Denver, Colorado, USA)
  • Silver: Kimchi Sour (Dokkaebier; Oakland, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Oaxaca Choca Mexican Chocolate Stout (New Realm Brewing Co., Charleston; Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

Smoke Beer

  • Gold: Unearthing the Orb (Resolute Brewing Co.; Centennial, Colorado, USA)
  • Silver: Smokehaus Bock (Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows; Roseland, Virginia, USA)
  • Bronze: Colossal 2 (Port City Brewing Co.; Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

Gluten-free Wheat Beer

  • Gold: Ghostfish 8th Anniversary Beer (Ghostfish Brewing Co.; Seattle, Washington, USA)
  • Silver: Seven Spice Anniversary Saison (Holidaily Brewing Co.; Golden, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Ripped Jeans and Wolf Shirts (ALT Brew; Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

Non-alcohol Beer

  • Gold: Superb-Owl (Uiltje Brewing Co.; Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands)
  • Silver: Just the Haze (Boston Beer Co., Samuel Adams Brewing Co.; Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
  • Bronze: Galactic Extra Dark (Big Drop Brewing Co.; Wilmington, Delaware, USA)

Image: Daniel Lee on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Bar 101 Techniques

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

iPourIt Releases Their 2023 Pour Report

iPourIt Releases Their 2023 Pour Report

by David Klemt

Beer pouring into glass from tap

Interactive self-serve beer experience platform iPourIt‘s latest report, the 2023 Pour Report, is now available for download and review.

iPourIt is a pioneer in the self-serve beverage space. While it may seem counter-intuitive to some, many guests have shown time and again that they enjoy using self-serve walls. For these guests, a not in any way insignificant number, iPourIt installations enhance the guest experience, increase loyalty, and boost revenue.

And while many people associate iPourIt and self-serve programs with beer, these systems can also pour wine, cocktails on tap, spirits, non-alcohol beverages, and soft drinks.


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Another benefit from iPourIt? Transparency and sharing of data. The company doesn’t limit providing valuable guest behavior insight to their clients. Rather, they make the data they collect available to anyone. Simply head to their website, fill out a few fields, and gain important beverage insights.

Anyone curious can choose between a standard report and a “pro” version. Both are free to download and peruse. People can also read our article that dives into their fourth-annual report via this link.

Below you’ll find key takeaways from their 2023 report. I strongly urge operators to download and review either report.

The Who

We agree that demographics are a metric that people and businesses often misuse. Valuegraphics can be far more effective for businesses looking to build loyalty and boost revenue.

Still, demographics can provide beneficial insights.

First, let’s look at how men and women used iPourIt systems in 2022. Men poured 20,477,288 ounces last year, whereas women poured 10,848,435 ounces. The average per pour for men was 6.4 ounces in comparison to 5.3 ounces per pour from women. On average, men spent $14.72 per visit to an iPourIt-equipped location; women spent $12.24.

Next, the generational breakdown. IPA was the number-one style poured for Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. For legal-drinking-age Generation Z drinkers, IPA came in second; their top pour style was cider. Likewise, Lager claimed second place for Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Second was IPA for Gen Z, and Lager was third. Wheat beer was third place for Boomers, fourth for Gen X and Millennials, and fifth for Gen Z. Sour came in fifth for Gen X and Millennials fourth for Gen Z; for Boomers, the style didn’t rank among the top five. Stout clinched the fifth spot for Boomers.

Finally, in terms of traffic, men of every age group poured more ounces than their female counterparts.

The What

Below, the top 10 styles of beer poured by men:

  1. Fruit beer
  2. Pale Ale
  3. Blonde
  4. Pilsner
  5. Stout
  6. Sour
  7. Wheat beer
  8. Cider
  9. Lager
  10. IPA

In descending order, the top five (download the report for the top ten) products poured by men were Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, Golden Road Brewing Mango Cart, Coors Light, and Modelo Especial.

And now the top styles of beer or category of beverage poured by women:

  1. Stout
  2. Fruit beer
  3. Blonde
  4. White wine
  5. Hard seltzer
  6. Wheat beer
  7. Sour
  8. Lager
  9. IPA
  10. Cider

Also in descending order, the top products poured by women were Michelob Ultra, Mango Cart by Golden Road Brewing, Bud Light, Ace Pineapple Cider, and Coors Light.

The Where

The 2023 Pour Report by iPourIt breaks the US down into five regions: West, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast.

Because our American head office is in Las Vegas and our hotel consultant is in Pennsylvania, we’ll look at the West and Northeast.

The top-five pours for the West in 2022 were:

  1. Bud Light
  2. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 805
  3. Golden Road Brewing Mango Cart
  4. Coors Light
  5. Modelo Especial

While the top-five pours in the Northeast were:

  1. Blue Moon Brewing Co. Belgian White
  2. Allagash Brewing Co. White
  3. Lord Hobo Brewing Co. Boom Sauce
  4. Sloop Brewing Co. Juice Bomb
  5. Stella Artois

For the curious, Bud Light and Coors Light are categorized as American-style Light Lagers, 805 is a Blonde Ale, Mango Cart is a Wheat Ale, and Modelo Especial is a Mexican-style Pilsner. Blue Moon and Allagash White are both Belgian-style wheat beers (or Witbiers), Boom Sauce is a Double IPA, Juice Bomb is a Northeastern IPA, and Stella Artois is a Lager.

For further insights, please download this year’s iPourIt report here.

Image: cottonbro studio on Pexels

KRG Hospitality Beverage Programming

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Own Your Team’s Excellence

Own Your Team’s Excellence

by David Klemt


Martinis at Bemelmans Bar inside the Carlyle hotel in New York City

If you and your team are producing an incredible food or drink item, don’t just be proud—make it your signature and own it.

As Chef Brian Duffy says during his demos and speaking engagements, people can eat and drink anywhere. Further, with just a handful of major food suppliers operating throughout North America, operators are using much of the same ingredients.

With that in mind, then, it’s crucial that operators and their teams innovate. Doing so ensures that hospitality professionals are staying current on consumer demands and trends; constantly seeking be educated and share information; and making sure their business stands out from others.

A commitment to standing out can also motivate a team to elevate their techniques. In turn, they can truly “own” an item. Creating something incredible—and replicating it order after order consistently—can become a brand and team’s calling card.

Does your kitchen team turn out a fantastic signature burger? Has your business become known as the place for chicken wings because of your kitchen team?

Has your bar team perfected the Margarita? Are they so good at crafting Frozen Irish Coffees that your bar is on Glendalough Distillery‘s radar?

When you identify what your team is producing at an extraordinary level, you need to make certain you loudly own it.

A Real-world Example

For a high-level example of what I’m talking about, we can look at the Carlyle in New York City.

This landmark Rosewood Hotel is known for delivering peerless service. However, a venue inside this sophisticated resort is known for a specific item.

Bemelmans Bar, an escape from the hectic streets of New York, is known for the Martinis the bar team produces. (They’re also known for their red jackets, but those aren’t for sale.)

It may be a bold statement considering the level of bars and cocktails in the city, but Bemelmans Bar (and therefore the Carlyle) owns the Martini in NYC. In fact, the bar serves a staggering 1,000 Martinis a night. More often than not, the Martinis that cross the bar or leave the service well are dirty or extra dirty. This has been the case since at least 2021.

So famous are the Bemelmans’ Martinis that the Carlyle sells an at-home kit, yours for just $395. It’s their latest promotion, though, that makes it evident Bemelmans and the Carlyle are taking ownership of the Martini.

Guests of the Carlyle can now book their Martini Retreat, a two-day experience that centers around their signature cocktail. If, perhaps, you think that $400 is a bit steep for their Martini Box, prepare for true sticker shock. The Martini Retreat experience starts at $4,895 for two guests.

However, the package is rather impressive and encapsulates the Carlyle’s ownership of the Martini. The Carlyle Martini Retreat includes:

  • a two-night stay in a Madison Room or Premier Suite;
  • a Bemelmans Bar Martini Box;
  • enrollment in the Bemelmans Master Martini Class (valued at $495), a 45-minute experience during which guests learn how the bar team crafts multiple variations of vodka and gin Martinis, and their new Madeline’s Vesper cocktail;
  • a two-course Martini lunch at Dowling’s at The Carlyle; and
  • a curated list of where to go to try other great Martinis throughout NYC, put together by Dimitrios Michalopoulos, bar manager at Bemelmans.


So, am I suggesting that operators create an experience that costs thousands of dollars? Well…I mean, if your concept can succeed with such a promotion, absolutely. If doing so would resonate with enough guests to make it feasible and become a steady (and impressive) revenue stream, go for it.

However, what I’m really attempting to drive home here is the power of becoming known for even a single signature item. And, hey—your item, in your market, may be the Martini.

Owning an item means screaming from the rooftops and hills that it’s yours. That your team’s version is the one to have; the one people in the know have to have. Taking ownership of your team’s excellence translates to becoming a destination for it, to driving repeat visits once people have experienced it.

Of course, with that ownership comes the responsibility to elevate all other elements of your business. Every other item on the menu must be produced and served at the highest level. This ensures the entire guest experience wows the guests, and the signature item is essentially a driver and the cherry on top.

It’s time to review what your team produces so well that your brand owns it. Should this introspection yield no results, it’s then time to see what other operators are known for and discover what item or items you and your team can improve upon. What’s something that works with your brand that you feel confident you and your team can own?

There’s power, money, and long-term success in something on your menu. It’s time to uncover it and take ownership.

Image: The Carlyle

KRG Hospitality. Boutique Hotels. Resorts. Properties. Consultant. Feasibility Study. Business Plan

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Ocean’s Summertime Celebrations

Ocean Casino Resort Summertime Celebrations

by David Klemt

Exterior of Ocean Casino Resort at sunset

Ocean Casino Resort is celebrating an impressive milestone all summer long through creative local business partnerships.

This summer, the resort will reach its fifth anniversary. The festivities will begin May 26, a month before Ocean’s “birthday.”

However, rather than focus solely on the resort and casino, Ocean is choosing to celebrate the community it serves as well. These fifth birthday activations and initiatives are an excellent lesson for operators across all hospitality business categories.

I’m sure operators—all hospitality professionals, really—will agree that restaurants and bars are integral elements of any community’s bedrock. Increasingly, the same can be said of hotels. In fact, large hotel groups are investing in the development of smaller imprints that are tasked with the mission of serving locals and local businesses.

When a restaurant, bar, hotel, or nightclub reaches annual milestones, it’s largely due to community support. Sure, businesses in destination cities benefit greatly from tourist visits. However, for most markets, longevity is anything but assured without local backing and buy-in.

It’s clear that the importance of local support isn’t lost on Ocean. This summer’s celebrations include several local partnerships and community initiatives to pay that support back.

Local Partnerships

Last year, the Ocean leveraged the demise of the Choco Taco. So far in 2023, Ocean has supported Philly and KC during the Big Game, and gotten creative with cocktails that raised funds for the Girl Scout Troops of Southern and Central New Jersey.

Local partnerships are key to Ocean’s five-year celebration:

  • The Seed: Created Seeds of the Ocean for Ocean’s five-year anniversary.
  • Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall: Seeds of the Ocean lager will also be available at this local beer hall.
  • Rhythm & Spirits: Joining forces with Little Water Distillery to feature their gin in the Oceans 5 cocktail.
  • Little Water Distillery: Their Rusted Revolver Indigenous Gin is the star of the Oceans 5 cocktail, mentioned above. The distillery has also created the Chocolate Cake Martini, featuring Bar 32 chocolate shavings.
  • Hank Sauce: For those who prefer their celebrations spicy, Ocean and Hank Sauce have collaborated on Across the Boards. This hot sauce will accompany food items at restaurants inside Ocean.
  • Tony Boloney’s: They’ve created the High 5 pizza to celebrate Ocean’s birthday. This is another collaboration within a collaboration, as it features Seed of the Ocean lager and Across the Boards hot sauce.
  • Bar 32: What celebration is complete without something sweet? Bar 32 (a bean-to-bar chocolatier) and Ocean will be offering three commemorative chocolate bars: the Berry Pretzel Bar, Party Pretzel Bar, and Salty Peanut Butter Bar.
  • Mudgirl Studios: Ocean has commissioned several handmade, one-of-one pieces from this non-profit that will be featured not just in common areas on the property but also in some of the guest rooms.
  • Atlantic City Arts Foundation: To help celebrate its fifth birthday, Ocean has collaborated with the ACAF for a three-panel mural that will have a home at Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall.

Creative & Compelling

What I find most notable about these local partnerships is how several of them intertwine.

Not only did Ocean commission an exclusive beer, a local restaurant chain is using it for a pizza. That same restaurant chain is also using a hot sauce Ocean had created to celebrate their milestone. There are other collaborations that bring Rhythm & Spirits, Little Water Distillery, and Bar 32 together.

However, Ocean is doing more than just supporting a select group of local businesses. Mudgirl Studios employs and empowers at-risk, homeless and formerly incarcerated women. The ACAF, as one would imagine, inspires and empowers people to pursue the arts. Both support and strengthen communities throughout Atlantic City, and Ocean is giving back by supporting them.

In addition to all of that, the celebrations kick off on Memorial Day Weekend with a $300,000 sweepstakes. All in, there will be more than $5 million in promotions and giveaways in play over the course of this summer. From June 24 to July 4, Ocean is putting up one million dollars for a second sweepstakes.

Then there are Tesla giveaways, birthday fireworks, the Birthday Bar Pop-up Experience at 1927 Lounge inside Ocean Resort Casino, and Ocean’s sponsorship of the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival.

Nola's Bar & Lounge inside Ocean Casino Resort

Look for Ocean’s birthday drinks at property bars like Nola’s Bar & Lounge

Again, it would be easy for Ocean to have simply planned a celebratory weekend, week, or month, focusing solely on themselves. Instead, they’re involving several small businesses and community organizations.


Do I expect restaurant and bar operators to somehow offer $5 million in giveaways to celebrate a milestone? Or even $300,000? Perhaps a Tesla?

No, of course not.

However, I do think operators should really put thought into celebrating their annual milestones. Surviving the first 12 months is a huge achievement. Making it through the first 18 months and hitting the two-year anniversary is just as challenging.

So, operators should take four to six months to plan their celebrations. Additionally, they should view these events as a way to thank the community for supporting them. And, of course, that includes being grateful for beneficial business relationships.

When considering marking these achievements, it’s wise to include local businesses. Craft brewers and distillers, local farmers and vintners, non-profit organizations… All the better if the selected partners can collaborate with one another to make the celebration and partnerships that much more impactful.

Operators should take a page out of Ocean’s celebration handbook and look for creative, thoughtful collaborations. Doing so lifts up others and pays local support forward, in turn making the entire community stronger.

It’s perfectly acceptable for an operator to be proud and celebrate milestones. But it’s even better for operators to celebrate those who help them thrive.

Images courtesy of Ocean Casino Resort

KRG Hospitality. Boutique Hotels. Resorts. Properties. Consultant. Feasibility Study. Business Plan

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Do Super Bowl Ads Work on Consumers?

Do Super Bowl Ads Work on Consumers?

by David Klemt

Pepsi Zero Sugar bottle

One of the biggest Super Bowl ad winners is Pepsi Zero Sugar.

Brands spent hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise during Super Bowl LVII, but do their ads actually translate to demand for their products?

A week ago we shared our ten favorite beverage-focused Big Game ads. Along with those ads we shared some numbers.

One of those numbers was $7 million, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad on Fox. Other numbers? $500 million and $700 million, the range of revenue it’s estimated that Fox generated this year from Super Bowl ads.

At this point, these ads and the Halftime Show have essentially become their own entities. Some people watch the Big Game for the ads, some for the show halfway through. It stands to reason that brands are well aware of this development. So, they try to create the most impactful ad possible in the hopes of generating consumer demand.

In other words, these brands aren’t spending all this money just so they’re commercial can be deemed cool. Sure, brands want that buzz. But they also want an ROI on the millions they spend.

The big question is, then, are they seeing a return? Well, it just so happens that behavioral insight platform Veylinx has a data-driven answer to that question.

In short, the answer is yes. Of course, it’s a nuanced yes. For example, it appears Gen Z doesn’t care much about Super Bowl ads, as you’ll see below. Also, non-advertisers in the same categories as Super Bowl advertisers appear to see a benefit from the ads.

You’ll learn more from the Veylinx press release below. It’s an interesting read with valuable data for restaurant, bar, and hotel operators.

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2023 — A new study from behavioral research company Veylinx determined whether or not Super Bowl commercials boost consumer demand for the products advertised. The results show that 2023 Super Bowl advertising fueled a 6.4% increase in demand among viewers.

The overall increase in consumer demand was driven by women, who accounted for a 21% increase in demand growth. The commercials had minimal impact on men, yielding just 1% demand growth for the brands tested. Gen Z viewers were largely unimpressed by the Super Bowl ads, with demand among 18 to 25 year olds actually shrinking by 1%.

2023 Veylinx impact of Super Bowl ads on consumers chart

“It’s not really a surprise to see that Super Bowl ads improve sales, but the short term bump alone may not be enough to justify the $7 million price tag,” said Veylinx founder and CEO Anouar El Haji. 

Using Veylinx’s proprietary methodology—which measures actual demand rather than intent—the study tested purchase behavior during the week before the Super Bowl and again the week after. The research focused on measuring the change in consumer demand for eight brands with Super Bowl ads: Michelob Ultra, Heineken 0.0%, Hellmann’s Mayo, Downy Unstopables, Crown Royal Whisky, Frito-Lay PopCorners, Pringles and Pepsi Zero Sugar. 

Super Bowl Advertising Winners Overall

Michelob Ultra – 19% increase in demand

Pepsi Zero Sugar – 18% increase in demand

Frito-Lay PopCorners – 12% increase in demand

Heineken 0.0% – 11% increase in demand

Super Bowl Advertising Winners Among Women

Pepsi Zero Sugar – 45% increase in demand

Michelob Ultra – 40% increase in demand

Heineken 0.0% – 40% increase in demand

Crown Royal Whisky – 26% increase in demand

Veylinx, top performing brands during 2023 Super Bowl

Halo Effect for Non-Advertisers

The biggest winners were arguably brands in the same product categories as Super Bowl advertisers. Non-advertisers in those categories appeared to benefit nearly as much as the advertisers: demand grew by 4.2% percent for the study’s control group of non-advertising competitors. Corona Extra, Kraft Mayo and Lay’s STAX were the greatest beneficiaries in a control group that also included Budweiser Zero, Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations, Canadian Club Whisky, Popchips, and Coke Zero Sugar. Notably, every non-advertiser saw at least a slight increase in post-Super Bowl demand.

“The goal of our study was to look specifically at how consumer demand is affected by running a commercial during the Super Bowl,” El Haji said. “It’s possible that the non-advertisers deployed other marketing efforts to offset or take advantage of the Super Bowl advertising—or they simply benefited from increased exposure for their categories.” 

Additional Findings

Study participants also answered a series of follow-up questions about their preferences, perceptions and how they watched the Super Bowl. More than three-quarters watched at home through various platforms, the most popular being the live cable/satellite broadcast (38%), followed by YouTube TV (15%) and Hulu (10%). When asked why they watched, it’s no surprise that participants were all about the game (64%)—but the commercials were the next most popular reason for watching (39%), followed by halftime (35%), the social aspect (26%) and fear of missing out (13%). 

About the Research

Veylinx studied the behavior of 1,610 U.S. consumers pre- and post- Super Bowl LVII. Unlike typical surveys where consumers are simply asked about their purchase intent, Veylinx measures whether consumers will pay for a product through a real bidding process. Consumers reveal their true willingness to pay by placing sealed bids on products and then answering follow-up questions.

For more information about the study and the Veylinx methodology, visit

About Veylinx

Veylinx is the most realistic behavioral insights platform for confidently answering critical business questions during all stages of product innovation. To reliably predict demand, Veylinx captures insights through a Nobel Prize-winning approach in which consumers have real skin in the game. This is a major advance from traditional market research practices that rely on what consumers say they would hypothetically buy. Veylinx’s unique research methodology is trusted by the world’s largest and most innovative consumer goods companies.

Main article image: PepsiCo / Article body images: Veylinx

KRG Hospitality Bars & Lounges, 2023 icon

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Top X Super Bowl LVII Beverage Ads

Top X Super Bowl LVII Beverage Ads

by David Klemt

Vintage red television set

As everyone knows by now, the commercials that air during the Super Bowl are nearly as big a draw as the game itself and its famous Halftime Show.

But before we get into the ads, congratulations to the 2023 Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs!

Of course, we can’t help but feel a bit of a sting. With an office in the great city of Philadelphia, we were cheering on the Eagles.

However, I think Super Bowl LVII featured one of the best matchups in the championships recent history. Also, I feel confident in saying that I expect Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles to fight there way to another Super Bowl in the near future.

Super Bowl Ads

Big Game ads are famous—perhaps infamous—in part because of the cost for a 30-second commercial.

Per reporting, the price of a Super Bowl LVII ad was set at $7 million. That’s double the cost in comparison to 2012. A 30-second commercial cost $3.5 million during Super Bowl 46.

In other words, brands spend huge dollars on Big Game commercials, with the price increasing each year. After doing some digging, I found that anywhere from 70 to 100 ads will run during the Super Bowl. Assuming $7 million per ad, that’s just shy of $500 million to $700 million in ad revenue.

Companies wouldn’t spend that kind of money if they didn’t expect a healthy ROI. In fact, if you sell any of the items below you may see a sales bump.

And if you don’t sell some of the products below, you may want to consider doing so. That’s why knowing your guests, collecting data, and listening to what guests would like to see on your menu are so important.

Sure, some guests are brand loyal and don’t want to try new products. But there are plenty who are easily influenced by ads and seek out the products they see on their screens.

Bud Light: “Hold: Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy”

This would be my favorite Super Bowl ad if Crown Royal’s “Thank You, Canada” commercial didn’t exist.

The ad below is a worthy runner up.

Busch Light: “Cold + Smooth Survival Skills”

Crown Royal: “Thank You, Canada”

Personally, this is my favorite of the Super Bowl LVII beverage ads. Given that KRG Hospitality’s global headquarters is located in Toronto, Ontario, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

I have to wonder how many people’s heads exploded when Dave Grohl thanked Canada for basketball and football as North Americans know it.

Heineken 0.0: “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”

Michelob Ultra: “New Members Day”

Michelob Ultra: “Full Swing Gossip”

Miller Lite vs. Coors Lite vs. Blue Moon: “The High Stakes Beer Ad (Extended Version)”

If John Wick weren’t a loyal bourbon drinker, he’d probably appreciate this commercial the most. Of course, that would require John Wick to be a real person…

Still, excellent fight choreography, and you have to love Blue Moon’s strategy.

Pepsi Zero Sugar: “Great Acting or Great Taste feat. Ben Stiller”

Pepsi Zero Sugar: “Great Acting or Great Taste feat. Steve Martin”

There you have ’em! Which ad is your favorite?

Image: Dave Weatherall on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Beverage Programming