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

    2018 Symposium - November 16-17 in Brooklyn, NY

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


    5-8p Friday, Nov. 16
    $25 GA or $35 VIP

    This is the kick-off event for AIAB. You will be welcomed by event dignitaries, meet people in the industry, and of course enjoy tastings of 20+ beverages. VIP ticket holders will be admitted an hour earlier (4pm) and will receive a VIP gift bag. Must be 21+.


    9a-5p Friday Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17

    $10 GA or $20 VIP

    Each 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. This is a very kid friendly event. VIP ticket holders get a limited edition AIAB tote bag. Whoop Whoop!!


    6-8p Saturday, Nov. 17

    $25 GA or $35 VIP

    After a busy day of learning, we will wrap up with some great stories, nibbles and tastings. You'll taste 20+ brands. VIP ticket holders will be admitted an hour earlier (5pm) and will receive a limited edition tote bag. Must be 21+.


    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!


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

    $999 Design Contest

    Think you have a great concept? Submit your design and let our panel of judges give you feedback. Big prizes and bragging rights!!


    This event is presented by the Alpha Chapter of Hospitalented at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, NY, with support from Hospitalented.org (mother ship).

  • Workshops & Panels

    Get to know the world of beverages and condiments by those that live it every day.

    Packaging Science

    Beverages and condiments come in all types of containers these days, and they are becoming more art than function. Learn from the pros what can and can't be done, as well as what's on the horizon.

    Coffee Love

    Are there too many coffee shops? Is Starbucks a real coffee shop? Do baristas deserve more money? Does it really matter if they sell 'fair trade' coffee? Learn from those that do it best!

    Store Managers

    Learn from people negotiating deals every day. How do you get on the shelf at eye level? How do you get a product right behind the bartender so that guests see it? How do we get a condiment bottle on every table?


    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.


    What are distributors looking for in a product? What are differences between the companies that deliver product each day? Learn from a variety of companies who do this all over the Tri-State area. 

    Brand Ambassadors

    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.

  • Speaker Highlights

    These were our speakers from 2017

    Krista Archer

    Business Development Mgr, Spiribam

    Krista Archer is a Business Development Manager for Spiribam, fine heritage rum specialists and a family owned company which distills French and St. Lucian style rums. Spiribam's luxury portfolio includes award winning brands such as Clement Rhum and Rhum J.M from Martinique in the French West Indies and the recent addition of St. Lucia Distillers producing brands including Chairman's Reserve, Bounty, and Admiral Rodney.

    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.

    Chris Calkins

    Founder, Gotham Coffee Roasters

    Chris Calkins is a New York based coffee roaster, vintner, photographer, and entrepeneur. He opened his first coffee house theater while still in college, and in the late ‘70’s he was part of the team that opened Starbucks' fourth and fifth stores in Seattle. In 1985, he co-founded Spinelli Coffee Company in San Francisco where he mentored under Alfred Peet, the father of the specialty coffee movement in America. After Spinelli was sold in 1998, Chris founded the award-winning Destino Wines in Napa Valley. In 1999, he and his winemaker made history as the only people ever to import grapes from Burgundy, from which they produced a wine from Morey Saint Denis called Par Avion in Napa Valley. Chris’ re-entry to the coffee business was the espresso bar Prodigy Coffee in the West Village, and as founder of Gotham Coffee Roasters at The Pulley Collective in Red Hook. Gotham Coffee Roasters roasts coffee for a discriminating wholesale client base, and just opened its flagship store in the Flatiron district in Manhattan.

    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.

    Rupert Flowers

    Brand Ambassador, Teatulia Organic Teas

    After attending Metropolitan state college of Denver, Rupert set his aim on music production, completing many works for various artists in his hometown of Denver, Co. Finding himself in Brooklyn NY, he dove into the hospitality scene. According to Rupert; "I believe in overall health. Physical, mental and spiritual. a result of what we consume, we can directly connect our current state, to our diet. Healthy body, healthy spirit, healthy mind. It is my goal to plant and nurture seeds of knowledge within the mind, soil, and cabinets of my community.

    Chaz Greene

    Founder, Trill Tea

    Trill Tea is a lifestyle tea brand for millennials by millennials. People are becoming more aware of teas many benefits, however it has yet to fit true millennial lifestyle and culture as larger tea brands are still creating tea experiences like it’s 1872. Trill Tea is intent on changing that. Through social media and word of mouth, we have shipped tea to homes in more than 35 of America's fifty states. What sets us apart is that we're hyper-focused on the "trillennial" lifestyle. A lifestyle full of creators looking to make an impact on the world. Trill Tea is what the tea industry would look like if it was founded in 2017 New York City, by millennials of course.

    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.

    Aleksey Kernes

    Founder, HOOCH

    Born in Ukraine, Aleksey spent ten years in various positions in the NYC hospitality space honing his skills as a frontman for venues of all kinds. He is the founder of HOOCH, an exclusive cocktail club. For $9.99 per month, you get one drink every day. Aleksey, his co-founders and team have curated hundreds of top bars from New York to Hong Kong. Hooch was founded by a group of friends with extensive knowledge and background in nightlife and tech, and backed by top celebrities in business and entertainment today. In his spare time Aleksey also manages the door at Hotel Chantelle and is a partner at The Regal in Brooklyn, NY. "One happy customer at a time"

    Erica Massenburg

    CEO/Founder, Tea Life Brand

    Tea Life Brand CEO/Founder, Erica Massenburg used her entrepreneurial vision to create a Lifestyle Brand called Tea Life Brand, which is an apparel and accessory brand for people who love Tea. Erica graduated from Philadelphia University with an MBA. After working in corporate America, Erica decided to follow her entrepreneurial drive and passion towards building the Tea Life Brand. A lover of “Tea” and of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, she merged her business acumen and her appreciation for living an organic lifestyle into a new enterprise. The Tea Life Brand is designed to connect with the millions of people worldwide who have the same love, appreciation and enjoyment for tea and to offer products to support their enjoyment. In addition to our line of accessories, she also has released her first line of apparel for the brand.

    Stephen Murphy

    Founder, The Murph's Famous Bloody Mary

    Stephen Murphy to the founder & creator of The Murph's Famous Bloody Mary. Nearly 9 years ago, after a couple decades of carrying out research and fine-tuning the product, Stephen introduced The Murph’s Famous Bloody Mary Mix. While being very proud to say that the product has received rave reviews from Bloody Mary connoisseurs, what really makes the product different from all the others is a unique marketing approach. Unbeknownst to at the time, Murph actually created The Murph's Famous over 30 years ago by tinkering with herbs and spices in my mother’s kitchen. Whether there was a family get-together, barbecue or tailgate party, I knew I would be called upon to whip up a Bloody Mary or two! The Murph's mix was the rage! After years of friends and family members were pushing me to bottle my mix & put it on the market, The Murph’s Famous was born!

    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.

    Jennie Ripps

    CEO/Co-Founder, Owl's Brew

    Jennie Ripps is the co-founder and CEO of Owl’s Brew and Owl’s Brew Radler, and the founder and CEO of Brew Lab Tea. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and a certified Tea Sommelier, Ripps began blending teas for fun. This led her to starting her own tea blending company, Brew Lab Tea, in 2011. Brew Lab Tea creates custom tea programs for restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and fast-casual restaurants. With her former colleague, Maria Littlefield, they launched Owl’s Brew, a tea created for cocktails with a message to “drink wise.” At the end of 2016, the company added a new product to its stable, Owl’s Brew Radler, the first ever blend of tea and beer. In October 2015, Ripps and Littlefield released their first book - WISE COCKTAILS: A DIY Guide to Crafting Tea-Based Cocktails (Rodale Press), which ranked in the top ten

    in its category on Amazon after publication.

    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.

  • Schedule

    Subject to Change

    FRIDAY 11/16


    • 8:00am Partner Load-In
    • 9:00am Check-In & Onsite Registration Opens
    • 9:30am Morning Welcome
    • 10:00am Workshop Block A (30min)
    • 10:45am Workshop Block B (60min)
    • 11:45am-1:00pm Lunch Break (see list of neighborhood specials)
    • 1:00pm Keynote Speaker
    • 2:00pm Coffee & Tea Break
    • 2:30pm Workshop Block C (30min)
    • 3:15pm Workshop Block D (30min)
    • 4:00pm Closing Conversation

    FRI NIGHT 11/16

    • 5-7pm Opening Tasting
      *Must be 21+

    SATURDAY 11/17


    • 9:00am Check-In & Onsite Registration Opens
    • 9:30am Morning Welcome
    • 10:00am Workshop Block A (30min)
    • 10:45am Workshop Block B (60min)
    • 11:45am-1:00pm Lunch Break (see list of neighborhood specials)
    • 1:00pm Keynote Speaker
    • 2:00pm Coffee & Tea Break
    • 2:30pm Workshop Block C (30min)
    • 3:15pm Workshop Block D (30min)
    • 4:00pm Closing Conversation, Awards & Design Contest
    • 4:30pm Symposium Concludes

    SAT NIGHT 11/17

    • 5-8pm Closing Reception
      *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!!

  • 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

  • Connect

    Click on the pretty icons...