June 21st, 2018
VIBE Conference, a division of Boston, Massachusetts-based Nightclub & Bar Media Group, is the premier event for chain and hotel adult beverage executives and suppliers. This top, on-premise conference is held annually and involves high-level content, tastings and networking opportunities. The 2018 conference was held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina this past February.
CORE Party, Giving Back to Our Own
For the seventh consecutive year, nonprofit organization CORE served as the official charity of the 2018 VIBE Conference. CORE supports the children and families of food and beverage service industry employees by providing grants to help them navigate life-altering circumstances. At this year’s event, VIBE raised $81,000 for the organization, including $20,000 from the silent auction. To kick things off the first night of the conference, CORE hosted their annual “Giving Back to Our Own” cocktail party, which was attended by nearly 600 VIBE participants and guests. DJ Taif Tozy spun tunes while partygoers sipped on wine, beer and cocktails.
CORE recipient Julia Davidson was in attendance with her parents Jessica and Todd, as was Abby McDonald and Jesse Burdette, parents of recipient Silas. Presenting event sponsors were Boston Beer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Rodney Strong Wine Estates, and gold sponsors included E&J Gallo, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Beam Suntory, Edrington Americas, Proximo Spirits, FIJI Water, Monin, Nestle Waters, Red Bull, American Beverage Marketers and IMI Agency.
Evan Goldstein, President and Chief Education Officer of Full Circle Wine Solutions, Master Sommelier and a four-time James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year, was the master of ceremonies for this year’s event.
Keynote Speaker B. Hudson Riehle, National Restaurant Association, Senior Vice President Research & Knowledge Group, lectured on the topic “Hospitality Operators Beware: Converging Disruptive Trends Ahead.” (Photo- Keynote)
John Niekrash was presented the 2018 Innovator of the Year award by Evan Goldstein.
Jim Koch from Boston Beer Company was presented the 2018 Industry Legend Award by Evan Goldstein.
VIBE Conference presents the 2018 VIBE Vista Award Winners
VIBE Vista Awards recognize the top performers in the beverage industry through the creation, training, execution, management and on-going positive results of beverage programs. Entries were reviewed by a panel of Johnson & Wales University beverage faculty, staff and alumni, and were judged on positive beverage sales initiatives, efficient operational innovations, and training and service programs producing high quality standards.
This year’s VIBE Vista Award winners are:
Best Beer Program sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Co. – Taco Mac
Best Spirits Program sponsored by Campari America – Earls Kitchen + Bar
Best Wine Program sponsored by Palm Bay International – P.F. Chang’s
Best Wine Program sponsored by E&J Gallo – Olive Garden
Best Adult Alcohol Free Program sponsored by Monin – Olive Garden
Best Beverage Menu Revamp sponsored by Beam Suntory – Chart House
Best Beverage Promotion sponsored by Bacardi USA – TGI Friday’s
Best Beverage Limited Time Offer sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates – Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Best Responsible Alcohol Service sponsored by VIBE Advisory Council – Taco Mac
Best Overall Multi-Unit Chain Restaurants sponsored by Diageo – Earls Kitchen + Bar
Best Overall Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos sponsored by Heaven Hill Brand – Columbia Sussex Corporation
Best Overall Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos sponsored by Jackson Family Wines – Interstate Hotels & Resorts
VIBE Conference Presents the 2018 Supplier Awards
For the past seven years, the VIBE Supplier Awards have invited beverage operators to rate their respective supplier companies, through an online survey, on key attributes including business-building support as well as service and support performance. To ensure efficient, fair and unbiased balloting and analysis, survey results were analyzed by food and beverage industry research and consulting firm Technomic Inc. Winners were then identified in four categories: beer, wine, spirits and non-alcohol beverages, categorized by total annual case volume.
This year’s VIBE Supplier Awards category winners are:
Large company: Anheuser-Busch
Medium company: The Boston Beer Company
Small company: New Belgium Brewing
Large company: E&J Gallo Winery
Medium company: Jackson Family Wines
Small company: The Mark Wine Group
Large company: Beam Suntory
Medium company: William Grant & Sons
Small company: Fifth Generation/Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Large company: Coca-Cola Foodservice
Medium company: Monin