• ART IN A BOTTLE: The Business Behind Beer, Wine, Spirits & Condiment Brands

    2017 Symposium - April 28-29 in Brooklyn, NY

    All paid ticket holders receive an AIAB tote bag.

    Do you work in the beverage/condiment biz? Reserve your spot for free!!


    This is the kick-off event for AIAB. You will be welcomed by event dignitaries, receive souvenir swag, meet people in the industry, and of course enjoy tastings of 20+ beverages. VIP ticket holders will be admitted an hour earlier (5pm) and will receive a VIP gift bag. Must be 21+.


    The day's schedule will be loaded with speakers, educational sessions, and time to rub elbows with all sorts of people in the industry. You'll also enjoy tastings of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, as well as cups of coffee - merci PlanDay! This is a very kid friendly event. VIP ticket holders get a limited edition AIAB tee. Whoop Whoop!!


    This is where we say our goodbyes. After a busy day of hopefully significant learning, we will wrap up with some great stories, nibbles and tastings. Get to know Proud Pour, and taste 20+ brands. VIP ticket holders will be admitted an hour earlier (5pm) and will receive a limited edition poster. Must be 21+.

  • What's it all about??

    Two tasting nights and one big day of workshops. They say a picture's worth a 1000 words, so here's 12k!!


    Come learn from the best in the business. Taste great beverages, condiments, and explore our museum and bookstore.


    If you are a brand producer, your ticket is FREE. Just bring a bit of product!


    You asked, and we listened! If you can't come to the conference you can now buy a streaming and video ticket!


    From old to new, small to large - be inspired by containers on display... Bring yours too!


    Get to know Berlin and Brian, their wines and their mission. Oysters and bees oh my! Try their wines plus a dozen more spirit brands...


    We'll start AIAB with a bang... a unique environment with friends from the industry and our partners. Join us for tastings of over 20 brands!!

  • Workshops

    These are 30, 50 & 90-minute educational sessions

    Beverage Marketing: Leveraging brand relationships (50min)

    Few venues do as much as they can to partner with brands. This workshop will focus on how both sides can achieve a win-win. Presented by Shaun Rose, Type Social (Goldbar, Sons & Daughters)

    The New BYOB: Building Your Own Brand (50min)

    Have a great sauce people want to buy? Are you starting to brew your own beer downstairs? This workshop is all about the process of how restaurants and bars can sell their own creations. Presented by Charles Ferri, Star Vodka.

    Follow Your Feet: The brand ambassador (50min)

    What is life like visiting hundreds of venues each week? Learn from the people that do it and discuss what success looks like for beverage and condiment brands. Presented by Kevin Bracey, Plush Vodka.

    Getting on the Shelf: Distribution tactics (50min)

    Learn from people negotiating these deals every day. How do you get on the shelf at eye level? How do you get right behind the bartender so that guests see you? Presented by Shaun Rose, Type Social (Goldbar, Sons & Daughters)

    Coffee Love: Behind the java curtain... (30min)

    Are there too many coffee shops? Is Starbucks a real coffee shop? Do baristas deserve more money? Does it really matter if I sell 'fair trade' coffee in my shop? Learn from those that do it best! Presented by Dan Magor, Black Star Bakery & Cafe, and Theo Peck, Peck's Homemade.

    Basics of Bartending (60min)

    You've been thinking about bartending for a while. Come learn about the basics from a pro who has taught over a 1000 bartenders how to do their craft. Presented by Giovanni Geraca, The Tavolo Group

    Borrowed Time: Shared production and co-packing... (30min)

    It's not always realistic to have your own distillery, brewery or plant. Learn from some great people how they made the jump from small batch production to larger scale distribution. Presented by Charles Ferri, Star Vodka.

    Basics of Being a Barista (30min)

    So you want to be a barista. It looks pretty simple right? Not so much. There's an art to not only making good coffee, but also the presentation that goes with it. Presented by a panel of current professional baristas.

    Boxed Wine - Say What?? New container magic... (30min)

    The days of hating boxed wine are behind us. Look at what coconut water and other categories are getting into. Let's learn together what options are out there, and why they may (or may not) work.

    Art of the Label: What needs to be on there! (30min)

    So many mistakes have been made on labels, from fraud to missed opportunities. Learn from the pros what can and can't be on there, with a touch of design.

    Negociación - The business behind overstock wine (30min)

    There is no correlation between price and quality, and this workshop will explore how different companies and vineyards work together to distribute more wine.

    Knockoffs - Wine, olive oil, what's next? (50min)

    There's a big difference between imitation and straight-out copying. We are all inspired by other brands, but how do you create something unique enough not to violate intellectual property laws?

    More to be announced!

    Want to present something interesting? Let us know!

  • Speaker Highlights

    Amazing people with amazing stories... (in alphabetical order!)

    Kevin Bracey

    National Accounts Manager, Plush Vodka

    A native of Queens NY, Kevin began his professional career working in some of the finest hotels in North Carolina and New York City. A housekeeping and front office management pro, Kevin has worked at some of the more iconic properties, including the Marriott Marquis, Alex Hotel, Doubletree Metropolitan, and Fairfield Inn & Suites - the largest Fairfield Inn in the Marriott chain. In 2016. Kevin made the transition to medical lodging and now works at a prominent hospital as a lodging specialist. More importantly for the purpose of AIAB, Kevin is a brand ambassador for Plush Vodka. He has worked from the ground up to expand the reach of the brand - a journey he'll share.

    Charles Ferri

    Founder, Star Vodka

    In 2004, Charles made the biggest and smartest decision of his life and left a very successful banking career in order to seek out his true passion as an entrepreneur. He started by purchasing a lounge under famed Chelsea Hotel with a few of his closest friends, then expanded to the Hamptons with the famous Star Room Nightclub. That led to creating a vodka line as a special gift for select clientele to remember their experience. To develop Star Vodka, Charles traveled the world in order to understand the vodka process, meeting with distillers, purveyors of grains and other beverage experts. He wanted the finest quality ingredients and production facilities in the USA, so he selected non-genetically modified corn, Cascade Mountain water from Oregon and a unique distillation method called volcanic filtering. “Building a lasting brand takes time and patience while staying honest to your vision and goals." Part of his vision is a return to his roots in the Hudson Valley where he is developing an iconic Hudson River property with a craft distillery - The Star Estate.

    Berlin Crystal Kelly

    Founder & Co-CEO, Proud Pour

    Proud Pour connects Berlin's passion for crafting delicious fermented beverages with her heartache for the current state of our environment. Berlin began building Proud Pour in New York, working with the Billion Oyster Project, before moving to Boston and also building a partnership with the Massachusetts Oyster Project. She has an insatiable desire to understand the world's most serious problems, meet inspired people and improve the way we live. Before launching Proud Pour, Berlin put her business degree to work in the worlds of finance and real estate development. She's happiest when climbing Twisting Coral trees, dancing to '90s Hip-Hop, crafting a new fermented beverage, or listening to Macklemore.

    Theo Peck

    Owner, Peck's

    The path that led to Peck’s has not been a straight one. Theo's great grandfather opened Ratner’s restaurant on the Lower East Side in 1904. Theo grew up 'in the business,' taking cooking classes when he was just twelve years old. Fast forward to the 90’s, and he opened Lansky Lounge, a bar which earned some acclaim in the industry. After a short stay in Taos, New Mexico as a professional skier (a.k.a. ski bum), he hurried back East and enrolled in culinary school to start the next chapter of his life. After stints cooking at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Hugo’s and Fore Street of Maine, he started a national tour of amateur cooking competitions that took him from Austin, Texas to Stockholm, Sweden. After selling that company he found an opportunity in his neighborhood to open a business - Peck's Homemade. It was a chance to work close to his family and be part of the community.

    Shaun Rose

    Partner, Type Social

    With over 20 years in the hospitality world, Shaun Rose began as a club promoter, doorman, host and manager at some of New York’s top bars and clubs. Then Shaun and his good friend Pavan Pardasani launched NRMG and Type Social to support marketing and event planning needs of various clients. These included BCBG, Max Azria, Vonage, ASPCA, Columbia University and countless nightlife establishments. After NRMG’s successful opening of Hudson Terrace, Shaun was tapped to become their Director of Marketing and Promotions, then was quickly promoted to Director of Operations. A few years later Shaun and his partners acquired one of New York’s most iconic clubs; GoldBar. Shaun expanded on his success there by launching Sweetwater Social and Mr. Jones. Last year Shaun partnered with longtime friend and industry confidant Noah Weinstein to create Type Social Hospitality, which now proudly boasts GoldBar, Sweetwater Social, Mr. Jones and Sons & Daughters.

    Mary Taylor

    Founder, Mary Taylor Wine

    As a result of many years working with wine retailers, Mary created a Bordeaux brand that she casually refers to as the 'white label.' Each year they sell roughly 75,000 bottles to retail and restaurants throughout the U.S. Her wine is currently served by the glass at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco, and floor stacked at Whole Foods, among other fine establishments. Her wine is distributed by Massanois Imports, the same company for which she serves as French Portfolio Manager. Mary is also the founder of the Thoreau Wine Society, which she started in 2006.

    Brian Thurber

    Co-CEO, Proud Pour

    Originally from the D.C. area, Brian has been in Boston for ten years and happily calls it home. He first came to Massachusetts to lead statewide climate advocacy for an environmental nonprofit - exciting work that involved community organizing, designing strategy, media work, and lobbying. He later got his JD magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and worked at private equity and law firms. Brian is thrilled to be with Proud Pour and living his passion for environmental protection. When not Proud Pouring, Brian enjoys playing squash and ultimate, computer programming, and being anywhere on the water.

  • Schedule

    Subject to Change


    • 12-5pm Partner Load-In
    • 12-5pm Check-In
    • 6-8pm Opening Session
      *Must be 21+

    SATURDAY 4/29

    Sponsored by PlanDay and The Tavolo Group

    • 8:00am Check-In & Onsite Registration Opens
    • 9:00am Morning Welcome
    • 10:30am First Workshop Block
    • 11:15am Coffee & Tea Break
    • 11:45am Second Workshop Block
    • 12:30-1:30pm Lunch Break
    • 1:30pm Keynote Speaker
    • 2:30pm Third Workshop Block
    • 3:15pm Coffee & Tea Break thanks to PlanDay
    • 3:45pm Fourth Workshop Block
    • 4:30pm Wrap-Up & Competition Winners Announced


    • Closing Event with Proud Pour!!
    • 6-8pm Closing Session
      *Must be 21+
  • Elements

    Events of great monument often hang on trifles - anonymous

    Fireside Chats

    At times during the conference we will invite you to hear stories from those in the biz... great tales of success and failure.

    The Museum

    You can learn more from bottles and other containers that you can see (and maybe touch) than just what you see in pictures. We are curating our very own museum of containers, from 1970s 7-Up bottles to the newest beer growlers. Bring yours!!

    The Bookstore

    There are so many great books out there, but who wants to wait for Amazon to deliver them? We've created a small collection available for inspiration and admiration. Old and new titles ranging from packaging design to unique wine regions.


    The Business Behind Beer, Wine, Spirits & Condiment Brands

    People buy beverage brands and related products because of what's on the outside and what's on the inside. For some consumers, they make decisions about the contents - they are all about the ingredients and taste. For others, the way the container looks (material, label, name) is key. They also want the story - what is behind the brand? And then there's what lies in-between. What is the special sauce that makes their product different from others? This is partially the actual formula, but also the way that formula is communicated.

    Packaging Science aka Container Love

    There's a science that goes into creating a beautiful container. Whether you're launching your own artisan honey or craft beer, you have a shape and material in mind. Most of the people that create these containers don't actually have a background in packaging science, so our goal is to bring enough people together that have done so that everyone walks away with a new skill set...

    Creative Writing aka The Spiel

    As you create a brand, you should also be crafting a story that communicates who you are. Some brands have natural and original stories while others have worked hard to come up with one. Throughout the symposium you will see and hear these stories. They will be on display and also shared with you verbally. Let's all learn from each other...

    Design aka Special Sauce

    Design is a way of doing things that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. This is where formulas, strange procedures, secret recipes and other tricks of the trade help differentiate a brand from the rest. Some call it magic, others call it intellectual property. We call it cool...

  • Let's find some synergy...

    How Can We Work Together?

    AIAB seeks partners, not just sponsors. Our goal is to create an intimate environment that offers partners not only opportunities to connect with attendees and provide an opportunity to celebrate your company's contribution to the hospitality industry. We seek a win-win for our attendees and the companies/organizations that choose to align themselves with us. Sound good? Download packet HERE or email us at partners@aiab.info