The USBG has been an amazing experience all around. I joined USBG Boston 4 years ago as my mobile bartending business took off, as a means to sample the best spirits and further my spirits education. The regional meetings brought some of the most creative minds together, and provided a beautiful platform for new friendships and sharing of ideas. Locally, I've watched the Boston USBG community host beautiful events - from fundraisers to Chartreuse education - and grow as a tightknit community. USBG exposed me to new venues and spirits industry professionals, as well as furthered my spirits education. Each meeting, event, and class has yielded sincere connection with this creative community, and I personally find the experience invaluable. Any professional- whether a bartender, brand ambassador or spirits enthusiast- I highly recommend joining USBG.
Since becoming a member, I've gained access to New York's top tier bartenders. I've learned from master distillers, drank with some of the most bar-smart people, and never had a dull conversation with any USBG member.
The USBG Las Vegas Chapter has countless educational seminars. I've been to many many different types of seminars from spirits education to bottled water education to just plain fun excursions (bowling to indoor skydiving). There is almost too much to do. Each seminar gives me the opportunity to learn and to meet other members of the chapter. The USBGLV also has bartender competitions. If you want to compete in a casual, local competition or a national or international (International Bartenders Association) competition, USBGLV is eager to help you hone your craft. I've attended many competitions as a spectator and learned from and enjoyed every one of them. The talent and passion bartenders have in Las Vegas is amazing.
WOW...so many positive things to say, but gotta keep it short. First and foremost, I'd have to say that with the progression and explosion of new and innovative cocktails and techniques over the last 10 years: if you want to stay relevant and cutting edge, you HAVE to learn from the innovators, and the USBG is the vehicle I use to keep up. The networking alone has been beyond amazing for me! Besides the educational programs they offer to all members, the opportunities to enter regional and national competitions are a huge draw for those who are under the radar but have lots of talent. The local events we do with brand tastings and seminars are informative and allow us a resource to meet the people behind the products as well as expand our overall product knowledge and the ability to taste and compare similar spirits that we may not have access to. I have met some of the most wonderful, giving, passionate, and helpful people in the 5 years I've been in the USBG. I can travel to any city that has a chapter, make a phone call or reach out to the chapter's web page or Facebook page, ask for advice as to where to go, what to do, who to meet, etc., and I'll get a bunch of responses, all friendly and open and fun. A very wise and VERY successful businessman told me a long time ago, "Life is ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW, not always what you know. You may know everything, but you're eventually going to need SOMEONE to get you in the door for that first shot. NEVER miss a chance to befriend a stranger, cuz you never know." Before I helped start the chapter here, the vast majority of those bartenders I heard about or read about were strangers... now I consider many of them friends, and because of that I am not only lucky, but beyond thankful!
The USBG helped me meet peers and mentors in NYC when I first moved there. Upon forming the Rochester, NY chapter after moving here, the USBG gave credibility and attention to a region of New York State that previously gained little credit for it's merit. Personally, having now attended almost every available program (both nationally and locally), I've been afforded job opportunities and career connections that I never would've otherwise. The USBG has been pivotal in my career development. It is not a replacement for motivation, but is key to focusing your energy well!
While I haven't worked behind the bar full-time in years, the hospitality industry has taught me valuable lessons in how to relate to and anticipate the needs of guests. That skill has served me well in my corporate position. My membership in the USBG affords me the opportunity to continue learning from my peers in the industry, and allowed me to forge lifelong relationships with bartenders from all walks of life from all over the country. It's also fulfilling being a member of USBG while serving our communities and giving back to my chapter. My only regret is that I didn't become a member 29 years ago!
Ever since good old Pirate (then at Longitude) introduced me to the USBG back in 2015, it's been a blast. The events and the community are terrific, thanks in no small part to the work of local USBG whizzes like Summer-Jane Bell and Andrew Meltzer. I'm glad the Guild is here to connect "bar groupies" like me with the industry we love, even if we don't work in it.
The USBG provides direction on the knowledge and abilities that enables growth in the spirits community.
USBG has been an awesome networking source, introducing me to new friends and partners (and at least 2 gigs!). The classes and workshops I've been able to participate in have been beyond valuable to my job, helping me to get further ahead than in all the years before I joined combined. I look forward to the Regionals every year; this is worth the membership a thousand times! The education opportunity and a lot of fun; Regionals is like a year of USBG crammed into one amazing week. I look forward to our local events as a chance to meet up with my USBG buddies and always learn (and probably try) something new. Bouncing ideas off of each other and hearing new techniques and tactics from such skilled peers, USBG has been a great experience from Day One.