USBG Boston Chapter
How many of you know what the USBG is? I’d venture to say not many of you. Well, hopefully after you have read this short piece you will have a clearer idea of what exactly the USBG is and who knows, perhaps you will be interested in joining or attending the next party or event.
USBG stands for the United States Bartenders’ Guild. The guild has been around since 1948 and is a non-profit organization of like-minded professionals who share the common interest of crafting great cocktails. The guild has chapters all over our great nation in cities and areas like Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Connecticut, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Sacramento, San Diego, and many others.
Why join the USBG?
Why not?! But to further answer the question, let me share a couple of my points and some from the USBG website…
- The United States Bartenders’ Guild is the Only Official Representative of the International Bartenders’ Association in the United States.
- It’s a chance to challenge yourself and your skills by participating in hand crafted cocktail competitions; locally, nationally and internationally.
- You will have access to extensive spirits education and training in our chapter city.
- There are fantastic networking opportunities with your peers and industry insiders.
- Access to industry information like new product introductions or trade events.
- Charitable involvement through your local chapter or through our national charities.
- Free subscriptions to industry publications and discounted trade event tickets (i.e. Boston Cocktail Summit).
- USBG members receive discounts on all USBG Master Accreditation tests.
- There is USBG Health Insurance!
- Have the opportunity to meet legends in the industry like Angus Winchester, Simon Ford, Tony Abou-Ganim and many others.
- These are the people behind the huge Luau party last summer. They are also the people behind the people that threw the epic party, #thething.
- The USBG just debuted a great new platform and resource that will revolutionize it’s organization – USBG PULSE. This new web tool has discussion boards, videos, surveys, bartender spotlights, resources and much more! [Watch the Youtube video about USBG PULSE]
What if I am not a bartender?
Once, a long time ago, I did tend bar in New York City, but that was a long time ago. I’m not currently a bartender and sure, sometimes I pretend I’m Tom Cruise in Cocktail while at home mixing up drinks, but who hasn’t? I’m a “day-walker”, as some in the industry call it. Scholars maintain that the term means you have a day job and don’t work in the restaurant industry. But I digress…
What I am trying to say is, no, I am not a bartender and I’m not the only member that isn’t one. A great deal of members are actually spirit professionals, writers or brand reps, not bartenders. You can also be an “enthusiast” member (like me) and I highly encourage you to consider attending an event than perhaps becoming a member if you have an interest in cocktails and mixology. Personally, I think the USBG needs more enthusiast members because it will not only bring in more funding, but can provide a different prospective for the bartenders during educational seminars. It can also help build relationships between clients, businesses and the community. A true win-win…win.
How much is it to be a member?
$100/yr. Next question.
What is a Master Accreditation test?
Personally, this is something that I probably won’t ever do, but that is alright. Here is a description from the USBG website about what the Master Accreditation Program is…
The USBG’s Master Accreditation is a non-brand directed Bartender/Mixologist testing program. This program a comprehensive series of written and practical tests – designed to educate, evaluate and further accredit beverage, spirit, and service industry professionals with a valid title granted by the USBG and recognized by the International Bartender’s Association.
It goes without saying that if you are a bartender and want to further your career, holding the titles of “Spirits Professional” and “Advanced Bartender” are achievements that will definitely help you reach your goals quicker.
Who are current members of the USBG Boston Chapter?
Below is a short list of some of the current members.
- Troy Clarke – President
- Dave Delaney Jr.
- Rob Hoover
- Sabrina Kershaw
- Kitty Amman
- Elizabeth Powell (now in Seattle and greatly missed)
- Sam Treadway
- Joy Richard
- Sean Frederick
- Josh Childs
- Misty Kalkofen
- John Nugent
- Nicole Lebedevitch
- Josh Taylor
- Trina Sturm
- Jackson Cannon
- Naomi Levy
- Kevin Martin
- Bob McCoy
- Andrew McNees
- Corey Bunnewith
- Alexei Beratis
- Kevin Mabry
- Ted Kilpatrick
- Tyler Jay Wang
- Ryan Lotz
- Sam Gabrielli
- Catherine Stanton-Schiff
- Curtis McMillan
- Adam Lantheaume
- Geoffery Kleinmann
- Fred Yarm
- Lauren Clark
- TJ Connelly
- and your’s truly
Apologies if I missed you in this list. Please feel free to comment below and I will gladly add your name.
Short of Facebook stalking each of these members, the app, onthebar, will help you find out where and when most of these people are working behind the stick. I suggest you download the app to see for yourself.
How often do local Chapters meet?
I am sure each Chapter is different, but the Boston Chapter meets monthly for educational seminars and quarterly for fun-focused events or parties. All the Chapters have a governing board as well with a President, VP, Treasurer, Educational Chairs, Marketing Chairs and Director of Membership.
Who can I contact regarding membership or general inquiries?
You may also contact me if you like. I will do my best to answer any of your questions and if I can’t I will gladly introduce you to someone that can – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is USBG Boston active on Twitter and Facebook?
Yes, here are the links. Be sure to Follow and Like for instant updates and event information!
If you are currently a USBG member, be sure to do this…
There can only be one…help Boston reign supreme!
I don’t want this piece to be a sales pitch to you about why you should become a USBG member. If I have peaked your interest, high-five! What I set out to do was to hopefully shed some light on a truly unique organization of amazing individuals that I have great respect for. Bartendering can often be an overlooked and under-appreciated profession, but they are some of the hardest working, nicest and smartest people out there. Next time you are sitting at a bar, watch how they operate, move around the bar, make your drink without hesitation and manage their time. Then try to picture yourself doing it. It’s alright if you got immediately overwhelmed. That means you are normal, so have another drink and enjoy the show.