Award winning Nissos Beer launches in Sydney in true Greek style

The ancient Greeks are known for many of their achievements. They gave the world the first democracy, they invented the Olympic Games, they built magnificent buildings and developed formulas that have influenced architecture for the last two millennia, they wrote the first histories, they were the first to take a scientific approach to medicine and study diseases, they invented the rules of geometry, they created outstanding literature, they wrote the first dramas that were performed in outdoor theatres, and they studied and classified plants. However, all I hear about Greece now is their economic woes rather than any achievements, until I heard about this craft beer known as Nissos.

Nissos hails from the isle of Tinos in Greece, and has been winning awards Europe. On 23 April 2015, Nissos Beer launched in Sydney’s CYREN Restaurant, Darling Harbour, and I got to taste this award winning beer.

Brewed and bottled in small quantities, the result is a spicy herbal-citrusy fragrant aroma with subtle malt flavours, rounding off with a pleasant hoppiness at finish and a perfect mouthfeel.

Nissos took home the Silver Bohemian-Style Pilsner 2014 Award at the European Beer Competition in Bavaria, Germany among 42 countries and 1,613 beers on offer, with judges evaluating taste, colour, flavour and overall impression. Nissos also won National Champion at the European Business Award 2014/15.

Guests were invited to celebrating in true Greek style with master brewer, Alexandros Kouris,, enjoying an abundance of authentic Greek foods including such classics as Spanakopita, prawns, halloumi, cypriot sausage called sheftalia, grilled lamb and chicken skewers, salt and pepper octopus, and freshly shucked oysters. For dessert, guests were treated to a delicious Nissos Beer sorbet and fetta and watermelon on skewers.

Celebrities and notable guests included Jay Lyon, Melinda Kemp, Tim Dormer, Samantha Frost, Rachel Smith, Emma Birdsall, the Greek ambassador and, my favourite, the Acropolis Now character of Effie Stefanides, Mary Coustas.

Nissos is now available in Sydney and Melbourne through Beverage Imports Pty Ltd, with a future roll out of off-premise stores to occur over the next 12 months.

Exclusively on-premise for now, Nissos can be found at Nick’s Restaurant & Bar venues, including Cyren, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant, Nick’s Bar & Grill, Stacks Taverna, I’m Angus Steakhouse and Adria Bar Restaurant. Nissos is priced at $9 per bottle, $8.50 ‘on tap’ and $24 per jug (only at Stacks).

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Yellowglen celebrates Australian jewellery designer, Samantha Wills, becoming the new face of their brand

Australian New York-based jewellery designer Samantha Wills, has been appointed the new Creative Director and face of Yellowglen and to celebrate Yellowglen launched a limited edition Yellowglen Yellow bottle and threw a party in Surry Hills on Thursday 26 March 2015.

Samantha Wills started her jewellery line in 2004 when she was 21. Her accessories have been worn by some of the world’s most stylish women – Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Eva Mendes, Kate Bosworth and Drew Barrymore.

Together with winemaker Trina Smith, Wills is now an on-going face of the brand. The extended partnership follows on from the hugely successful 2013 release of the sparkling wine Yellowglen Peacock Lane by Samantha Wills.

The partnership comes with the announcement that Yellowglen is bringing back its iconic ‘bubbly girl,’ which was signature to the brand from 2000 to 2010.

According to Astrid Oakley, Yellowglen Senior Brand Manager, Wills is the quintessential ‘bubbly girl’ of today. “Samantha is ambitious, she’s charismatic, she sparkles and lights up the room, and everyone wants to be around her. It makes sense for her to become the face of Yellowglen as we reintroduce the ‘bubbly girl’ in a beautifully modern way.”

In her debut as Creative Director, Wills has added her stylish touch to Australia’s number one selling sparkling wine, Yellowglen Yellow, by designing a stunning limited edition bottle. She will also front a new supporting creative campaign bringing to life the tagline ‘she leaves a trail of glitter wherever she goes.’

The same bespoke jewel design also features in the interior design of Yellowglen’s highly acclaimed interactive portable marquee, Yellowglen Terrace. Styled by Wills, the Terrace made its debut at last year’s Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington Racecourse. It will travel around Australia during 2015, bringing a touch of sparkling to racing events across the country.

Yellowglen Yellow by Samantha Wills, RRP $11.99, will be available from the end of March 2015 in Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and major bottle shops nationally

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Tsingtao Be Bold Party is the party to end all parties

On 24 March 2015, Tsingtao hosted the Be Bold Party at Chinatown’s Dynasty Karaoke bar with comedian Ronny Chieng as guest MC. This was not a launch. It was THE party to end all parties and THE party that you do not leave to go to another party.

The night had an electrifying atmosphere with performances from Angle Grinder, Hula Hoop Specialist and Contortionist, and a Live UV Model Painting. Throughout the evening guests were able to participate in a Beatbox Battle as well as view the captivating Safari and Balloon Room.

Tsingtao, pronounced Ching Dow, has been in the Australian marketplace for 20 years. Instead of targeting men aged 35 years and upwards who eat at Chinese restaurants, Tsingtao changed its marketing strategy to appeal to young professionals aged 18-35 who drink beer socially and purchasing the product in bottle shops.

While many of the attendees were hip twenty-something’s (some of which were competition winners), there were a few celebrities including: social media king, Kurt Coleman: Australian Olympic gold medallist Leisel Jones; and singer and songwriter at What About Tonight, Brock Codey Jays.

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This Must Be The Place bar opens in Sydney

Yesterday, two of Australia’s most talented bartenders and DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ winners, Luke Ashton and Charlie Ainsbury, opened the doors to their highly anticipated bar This Must Be The Place, at 239 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney.

In 2013 Luke was crowned DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ Australia Bartender of the Year, winning a $100,000 prize to go towards opening his own bar. The following year Charlie took the title of 2014 World Class Australia Bartender of the Year, and their dream to launch their own establishment began.

This Must Be The Place is a Spritz bar. Using seasonal produce, spirits and specialty wines, the bar offers a twist on the traditional Spritz. Luke and Charlie are mindful of the number of ingredients they use in their cocktails ensuring they all have a place and are used to their full potential. To round out the drinks selection, a range of beer, wine, aperitifs and bar snacks are also available.

The bar, which seats around sixty people, was designed by the owners taking into account social and environmentally-friendly considerations. A reclaimed timber bar sits as the hub of the venue, while lounge tables and chairs rest along one wall. The new venue also features a floor-to-ceiling wall, which stands as a blank canvas, and will be decorated quarterly with artwork by established as well as up and coming artists.

A feature of the bar is a ‘Tanqueray No.TEN Crawley’s Imperial Shaker’ which is a six foot tall cocktail-making machine. The Imperial Shaker was recreated from a nineteenth-century drawing. Five of these machines were made in New Zealand. Now, four machines are in the United States and only one is in Australia, currently located at This Must Be The Place.

This Must Be The Place is a true representation of how the drinks and hospitality industry is evolving, and how trade competitions, such as Diageo’s World Class Cocktail Competition, support the growth of bartending as a successful career.