The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2017

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Page 26 of 116

26  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2017 SIN CITY SIPS W hatever your memories of the standard event concession beverage, the annual Life is Beautiful festival of music, food, art, and culture defies the stereotype by offering what's arguably the best largescale-event beverage program in the country. In the years since Breakthru Beverage Nevada (formerly Wirtz Beverage Nevada) began serving as Life is Beautiful's presenting sponsor at the inaugural fest in 2013, annual attendance has steadily climbed. In response, Breakthru has pared down its offerings from a high of 52 recipes in 2014. This year's sleek assembly of 20 drinks, created by beverage development specialists Andrew Pollard (now with Wynn Resorts) and Rodger Gillespie, covered all the trends: frosé, energy drinks, whiskey, amari, craft beer, Moscow Mules, and more. Predictably, teamwork is a vital ingredient when it comes to serving an estimated 116,500 cocktails. Andy Seymour, Leo DeGroff, and Sean Kenyon of New York's Liquid Productions worked with the rest of the combined crew in a headquarters known as Batch Town—a refrigerated truck, a tented concrete pad, and a doublewide trailer ringed with towers of crates. Planning started in June, when the specs for each cocktail were entered into a mas- sive spreadsheet that churned out the total amount of every necessary ingredient (for example, 2 ounces of Tito's became 9,000 ounces). At the end of each night, orders came in from the bars, and craft spirits specialist Jason Bornstein input them into the system between 4–6 a.m. The items were then pulled from Breakthru's warehouse, loaded into trucks, and delivered to Batch Town by 8 a.m. To fulfill an order, batchers converged at a central table to deposit the ingredients into a massive elevated tub—called a cow because of the multiple "udder" spouts at the bottom for fast and furious filling of gallon or half-gallon jugs. Within minutes, the completed order would be in a golf cart and on its way. It's a quiet, ergonomic dance with not a step or movement wasted—and Life is Beautiful will do it all over again September 21–23, 2018. Las Vegas suffered a devastating loss with a shooting at another recent festival on October 1, but in the wake of such a horrible tragedy, it's important that the greater beverage community comes together to support the victims and their families. Donations can be made at Bartenders prepare gallons of cocktails at the annual Life is Beautiful music festival. Tipping the Scale LAS VEGAS QUENCHES THE THIRST OF LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL ATTENDEES by Xania V. Woodman photos by Billy D Photography More than 137,000 people attended the Life is Beautiful festival, which featured an eclectic lineup of music, art, food, and drinks.

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