Bad Girl, Good Business

Bad Girls Drink Whiskey

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So do hipsters, apparently.

I went through a “brown booze” phase in college and now the trend seems to be back. I had the pleasure of attending the Crain’s “Made in New York” show and conference today. Brooklyn has become the epicenter of food alchemy and great package design. Although I wasn’t quite ready to down a tumbler of rye at 11am, I enjoyed talking to the owners of Widow Jane Distillery. (Seems to be a good follow-up to my blog on the weed trade in Colorado.) Can you only imagine what bootleggers could have done if the Internet existed back then?

Bitters are back too! The “bar in a box” kit from Hella Bitter is an especially useful gift for the holiday season.

On the wagon? Plenty of other cleverly-named treats abounded. Vertical Water is the new alternative to coconut beverages. It’s made with pure sap and as Valentina Cugnasca, the Co-Founder and CEO told me, it mixes really well with oatmeal. (Faux Maypo, anyone?) Plus, you can mix it with whiskey or turn it into ice cubes for a more adult treat. Other sweet ideas? Cracked Candy is the most delicious sugar-free candy I’ve ever sampled. Buy some.

For those who felt like splurging, the dudes of Studmuffin were sampling their baked goods and being especially studly at their table. (They have clearly mastered the art of integrated product branding.)

As for brain food, we sat in on a great panel on e-commerce and food and I got to meet one of my food heroes, Craig Kanarick, the CEO of Mouth. He was totally gracious. They sell lots and lots of whiskey and whiskey-related products. I see a theme emerging here.

A few things were abundantly clear today:

  • People are passionate about food — especially local small-batch food.
  • Food, tech, and design are all coming together in Brooklyn.
  • People now will buy food online without squeezing or tasting it.
  • Despite the boom in online businesses, the trade show is still alive and well.
  • Whiskey is back — in a big way.
  • If you hate your job, you can always start making food. Or whiskey.



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