All posts for the month May, 2015

On May 19th, The USBGLV took a day trip to Fallon, NV (about an hour outside of Reno) to visit the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery.

We met up with members of the Reno chapter and began the tour! Frey Ranch is very unique in that everything that is made is from the grains and grapes on property. The tour began with a look into the Churchill Vineyards and what varietals they are growing. Everything from Pinot Noir to Semillon. They are experimenting with what grows best and may take awhile before they are 100% ready to have a steady stream of quality wines. They also make a pretty damn good Brady as well.

We took a break for lunch and then went on the distillery tour. Colby Frey and company are making almost anything and everything here. There is a lot of experimenting being done. Their flagship spirit it definitely the Vodka. It is a very creamy, full flavored and full mouth feel vodka. They have Bourbon in barrel that won’t be ready for bottles for another 4-6 years. We had a chance to taste the white dog off the still and a 4 month aged Bourbon and both showed amazing potential. We look forward to coming back in a few years and see how it’s maturing. The newest addition, still in progress, will be the Gin. They are going for a very delicate, citrus, floral Gin from the taste of the nominees for the final product. Keep a lookout for it soon!

We were in for a real treat when Francesco Lafranconi used Frey Ranch spirits and made a few amazing cocktails to show how to utilize them to their full potential in a mixology scenario. All in all, this was an amazing day with great friends and an amazing Distillery. We will be back very soon!


Checking out the fermentation tanks. This was a Bourbon mash (beer) waiting to distill.




We had an opportunity to fill our own Bourbon barrel! See you in 5 years! (at least)



What an amazing tasting room!





Churchill Vineyards




Very unique still setup. It is a hybrid ready to take on any spirit configuration.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather



By Raul Faria

We had a great turnout for our 2nd roundtable and I want to thank everyone for participating. I also want to extend a very big thank you to Jennifer Kelly from Disaronno for sponsoring the event and sharing with us the history of Disaronno and for also sponsoring our Afan AIDS walk team. Thank you also to Sergio and Tim from the Barrymore for hosting us at their beautiful venue and extending a 20% discount to members wearing their USBG pins.

Disaronno certainly has one of the most interesting and romantic origin stories. In 1525 painter Bernadino Luini, who was a painter in Leonardo Da Vinci’s circle, was commissioned to paint a fresco of the Madonna of Miracles in Saronno, Italy.

He was in need of a model and discovered a local inn keeper that was perfect for the painting. The inn keeper was so grateful that she was chosen to be immortalized in the fresco as the Madonna that she presented the painter with a bottle of her family’s recipe for a liqueur with the flavor of sweet almonds, herbs and fruits. This was Disaronno.

Disaronno we learned is not made from almonds at all but actually milled apricot pits, vanilla and cocoa beans along with a secret recipe of herbs and fruit.

We had a few important announcements and also addressed all of the concerns from our first roundtable.

We announced our search for the USBGLV Ambassador to join the council. The USBGLV Ambassador will be tasked with reactivating old members and engaging new ones. They will also be in charge of organizing social functions and of course recruitment.

The event classification system was launched. This will help quickly identify the content of an event with a quick tag.

Educational– a seminar or event in which the content is considered educational by way of a guided tasting, lecture, any activity that is relevant to the understanding of the seminar topic or any combination of those elements.

Party/Happy Hour– an event in which its content is considered recreational and focused on recreational consumption of beverage alcohol or other leisure activity.

Educational/Party– a seminar or event that will combine elements of both tags.

We also announced our website Which you are obviously aware of. Since you’re on it right now. has all our member spotlights collected, our events calendar, the USBGLV store, details on the USBG MA program, plus our Instagram and Twitter feeds. @USBGLV

We also went over the next USBGLV Workshop Series: MA Program that will be held July 1st. For those that are planning to take Advanced Bartender at Tales,  this will be an INVALUABLE resource for understanding and passing the exam. You will hear from Michael Pryzdial and Tim Weigel who will share with you there personal experiences with the MA Program. We will also get hands on practice with feedback and guidance from Livio Lauro, Bobbie Gleason and Tony Abou Ganim! Now is the best time to take the Advanced Bartender exam, but you must first pass Spirits Professional. Its an online exam that can be taken any time. Study your MA books and get on it!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

We spent the day donating time to a great local charity, Toys 4 Smiles. They take in donated wood and supplies and make high quality, hand-made toys. These toys are then donated to anyone in need of a smile. They are sent to children’s hospitals, shelters, schools, churches and many more. You don’t need any prior woodworking skills to help out and they are always in need of volunteers. I encourage you to spend some time with this great charity. Click here for more information on how to volunteer.



Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather