An integral part of the NRA Show, the International Wine, Spirits and Beer Event—now in its seventh year—will be treating attendees to a number of education sessions and interactive demonstrations during two days of the show, May 18-19. The IWSB Event is the only forum to focus on alcoholic beverages and their important role in the hospitality industry. Being the craft cocktail enthusiast that I am, the breakdown of the six educational sessions and eight hands-on demonstrations have left me itching with anticipation.


12:30 PMHow to Take Your Craft Program from Ordinary to Extraordinary Wine, Spirits and Beer
Led by Group Publisher for Food News Media, Greg Sanders, this session will focus on making “craft” a reality on menus, and provide information on other upcoming trends in craft cocktails and sodas.

2:00 PMChampagne and Sparkling Wines: Is the Bubble Bursting?
A panel of sommeliers and other wine professionals will be answering some questions on all things wine. Trends, loyalty and buyer perception will be a few topics up for debate during this panel.

3:30 PMThe Art of Beverage and Food Pairings
Chef Kevin Hickey will be leading an exploration of culinary sensory awareness, helping better understand which beverages pair best with which dishes, and how to determine what goes better together for future drink and menu options.


11:30 AMThe Great Martini Debate
Tony Abou-Ganim shares the countless martini options, from alcohol and flavor choice to garnish selection and the different ways to physically build the classic beverage.

1:30 PMHot Trends for Increased Beverage Sales
Understanding current trends and learning how to incorporate those trends can significantly increase sales. Glenn Schmitt, president of Marke Team will help coach you through learning what is and will be trending and how to profit from it.

3:00 PMTrends in Beer: Adding Value through Your Beer List
Craft beer is wildly popular and this panel of professionals is dissecting how to incorporate the seemingly endless selection to menus.

The Demo Lounges that will be operating during the two-day event include How to Make the Perfect Margarita, The Perfect Bitters for your Manhattan, In the Rocks, Mojito-making and others. My inner bartender cannot wait to learn how to put a special twist on classic drinks, and I am especially excited to learn how to make a fabulous martini that even James Bond would love.