Today we welcome a new contributor to The Genuine Kitchen! A New York native and graduate of Boston University, Tess Gostfrand joins The Genuine Hospitality Group as Brand Coordinator after sharpening her PR, marketing and social media skills at some of our favorite establishments including Food & Wine Magazine and McCrady’s Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina… not to mention hostessing among other in-restaurant positions from office management to event production! Follow Tess on her Instagram @honeyitstmoney and enjoy her work behind the camera on our social media and so much more!
The CRAFT: Spirits & Beer tasting event starts today at the Fillmore in Miami Beach. It couples two of our favorite things — drinking and dining – featuring local chefs and over 200 craft producers. In its second year, CRAFT draws industry insiders and top-notch influencers to taste expertly paired beers, spirits and cuisine. The craft beer and spirits movement is in full throttle with more and more people devoting themselves to the trade, developing unique brands that are not only delicious but come with a great story. The Genuine Hospitality Group will partake beginning at noon today, pouring Michael’s Genuine Home Brew for the trade and Saturday for the public with distributor Vinecraft. Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed also participates in a seminar today on choosing the right distributor, and tomorrow explores Kilchoman Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a variety of Seattle’s Mancino amaros new to Vinecraft’s portfolio, alongside The Cypress Room chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia and tastes of his Spanish Mackerel Escabeche.
“The goal is to connect distributors with new clients and new restaurants,” explains CRAFT Founder Jen Massolo. “This event serves as a platform to educate people on artisan spirits, the passion behind production and attention to quality and uniqueness of the ingredients and flavors.”
Attendees have the opportunity to taste local brews and small batch liquors that they may not typically go for in a restaurant. Meeting a producer can be endearing and enchanting; Jen hopes locals will want to support their new find and in turn, influence buying patterns. Jen has picked up on some unique trends developing in the beverage industry; there is the growing popularity of mezcal, great small batch American whiskys and fortified wines. Cider has made a come back and brewers are testing all kinds of flavors and varieties. Vermouth has appeared on wine lists more and more, and at CRAFT, Jen is featuring vermouths from Spain to California.
“CRAFT has evolved a lot since 2013, especially the dining component. We’re pairing chefs and local Miami restaurants with particular artisanal producers,” she continues. “It’s the greatest happy hour in town!”
Tomorrow Roel is paired with Kilchoman Single Malt Scotch Whisky and prepared Spanish Mackerel Escabeche with pickled vegetables, balancing the scotch’s smokiness with the acidity of the fish.
Our Beverage Director, Ryan Goodspeed, is in a unique position at these events and a great barometer for the booze industry. Ryan wears many hats; he in charge of the beverage program for all our restaurants (buying), the brand chief of Home Brew (selling) and he tends bar! For CRAFT Ryan had a unique idea, instead of creating a cocktail with many complex components he would let the Kilchoman shine. Adding just a few drops of different Mancino vermouths to the single malt whisky, keeping the integrity of the ingredients and honoring the producers.
Vinecraft is a local distributor that carries wine, spirits and as of November, Home Brew. Owner Paul Owens walked us through his giant distribution center yesterday, home to over 1,400 wines, 2oo liquors and for now, only one beer – ours! Having worked with Paul and his partner Florent Blanchet for years to procure product for MGFD, the mutual respect for quality and craftsmanship made the Home Brew & Vinecraft partnership a no-brainer. Everyone at Vinecraft came from a restaurant background, and for Paul, service is the differentiating factor of his business.
“There is a lot of great wine, but not a lot of great service,” he reflects. So he fills the void, providing Miami restaurants and hotels with quality products and quality people. If a couple comes into Michael’s Genuine to taste wines for their reception, and they can’t find anything they like, he is a phone call away and at the restaurant in 10 minutes with more choices for them. This is the guiding light of CRAFT: Spirits & Beer – creating relationships between producers, distributors, restaurants and their guests.
Tickets are still available for the tasting gallery tomorrow evening and can be purchased here – See you there!