And so it begins....

As of today, the Diageo Reserve program is kicking off across the country.  This new program will serve a game changer for the whole of the industry.   I am looking forward to serving as a Regional Specialist for Diageo Reserve brands, and meeting all the people that make this industry what it is today.  

I love bars and restaurants for the experience they look to give guests, and I hope capture and encapsulate those experiences for others, which could be the decor, the staff, the menu, or anything that you can walk away with to describe the experience of that establishment to others.   I will try and convey this with photos, menus, and describing the experience in hopes that you may make the same pilgrimage next time you would be in the vicinity.

I think the story is what makes life great, as all we are looking to do add to our story.  You do this with new characters and re-occuring characters in your life.   The scene changes, but there is also an on-going story, or narrative.  I am lucky mine gets to be a bit interesting on occasion.  Not that I am against sitting in a cubicle and doing the work that's in front of me.   I've done that as well, but I said if I were able to travel again, I would do a better job of documenting all the great things about this industry.  I am excited to begin to share the people that keep me saying "yes" to working in beverages, as opposed to selling anything else I could be selling......but I get to put my head on a pillow at night loving what I get to do (responsibly).

My first start centers around The Royal American (http://theroyalamerican.com) in Charleston, SC.  I was able to have drinks here as a part of my training with the Diageo Reserve team, who are one dedicated, passionate, intelligent and lovely group of people, who some I know extremely well, while others I was able to work with for the first time.  As we spent an evening together, I was able to experience this live music venue and bar, that was just one great place to hang out.   It just has a vibe to it that was positive.   Live music literally next to the bar, and the bands were GREAT.  I was able to spend some time with the owner, John Kenney, and one of his bartenders, Phil Robinson, who just happened to be there, but off that night.   One of the many bartenders I have met who love the craft, but no longer participate in imbibing.  We had a great talk of parenting and football (aka soccer), and he told me the story of the swinging lights in the bar and how John convinced him to move from Greece to help open a bar in Charleston, SC.  Who says there is not an allure for this business?  Some times in can be a combination of people, timing, and drinks that make some place special in your memory, but I walked out sober as a judge and with a new t-shirt in hand, as I want to encourage others to make this on your next stop though Charleston.  The only other pub I wanted to get to was the Three Lions Pub inside the Charleston Battery stadium, but it was closed.   I have to get back to this wonderful city, as I know there was much more to experience, but also fair to mention we had GREAT meals, and I mean over-the-top good meals at Scarecrow and at the new, HomeTeam BBQ (http://www.hometeambbq.com) with cocktails under the direction of Adam Rothstein, formerly of Seamstress in NYC.  What a great evening of camaraderie, beverages, and making new friends.  Some great Zacapa based drinks for sure that night!

Until the next adventure.  Which will be trick or treating, but that won't be posted about here!

-JDM