Monkey Shoulder is known for shaking up the bar world and pushing boundaries, particularly when it comes to changing the perceptions about the Scotch category. This year, the brand is debuting the new Monkey Business Academy, a bartender education like no other. Bringing together a roster of modern-day bar icons to lead quick-fire interactive classes across the U.S., the Monkey Business Academy diverges from traditional seminars in that every class features a hands-on element that provides participants from the industry with the skills that set them apart.
What really sets Monkey Business Academy apart is how it’s about going against the grain and beyond the typical skill-focused bartender class, and leaning in to skills that will help bartenders and others in the industry, look into how to not procrastinate.
Monkey Business Academy provides bartenders with an immersive workshop led by industry icons. This workshop dives in to the skills that really matter, including the fundamentals of concocting a modern classic, the importance of creating memorable moments, as well as expert advice for personal promotion and branding. With best-in-class department heads, this course material will set you apart from the rest, and take your bartending to the next level.
“Monkey Business Academy is how I evolved Bad Monkey Bar Lab,” explains Anna Mains, Brand Ambassador for Monkey Shoulder premium blended malt scotch whiskey. “The Bad Monkeys Bar Lab program brought in modern day industry icons to lead quick-fire interactive classes that mainly focused on teaching technique. While these Bar Labs were a success, COVID-19 changed the industry’s landscape, and with that, bartenders’ needs.”
The program features a talented roster of educators, including iconic NYC DJ Tony Touch, Attaboy GM Haley Traub, Masahiro Urushido of NYC’s Katana Kitten and thirsty co-founder Tara Fougner. The series kicked off in Brooklyn on June 27th and is moving around to different cities every few weeks, including Houston, San Franscico, Miami and Kentucky’s storied Camp Runamok.
Mains shares “It’s time for the Bar Lab program to evolve from teaching tips of the trade, which are now widely available through social media, into Monkey Business: a multi-sensory experience that focuses on helping rising stars shine, making connections, and creating a community – all of course while incorporating some of Monkey Shoulder’s signature flair!” After the first Monkey Business Academy, Mains adds, “I loved seeing people connect and genuinely engaging and enjoying the content that Tara, Haley, Masa, and I presented . Then seeing people truly take what they learned and put it to use almost immediately was the best feeling! The number of first time reels people posted after the event in response to Tara’s PR & Marketing challenge was incredible.”
Guests certainly were just as excited after the first event. Rachel Robbins , Bartender/Consultant- NYC/New Jersey gives her feedback, “There were networking opportunities, trade secrets, and cocktail competitions! The superstar speakers were wildly informative, personable, and FUN! This is the kind of summer school everyone wants to go to!”
For more details about the Camp Runamok Monkey Business Academy event on October 16th. We hope to see you there getting down to business!
Read on to get to know the Monkey Business educators!
DJ Tony Touch – The Mix Master
Grandfather of hip hop, DJ Tony Touch is a master at understanding how to layer beats and create an experience through sound, very similar to how a master blender creates a flavor experience through blending various barrels. Anna and Tony will lead attendees through a multi-sensory tasting experience, featuring (3) different barrels that make up Batch 27. DJ Tony Touch will lay down tracks during the tasting to further illustrate how the sum of parts (each barrel), is greater as a whole (Batch 27). A master blender Blending a whisky is much like a producer mixing and layering different tracks and beats to create a song.
Haley Traub – Research + Development
Haley – a Speed Rack champion and GM of Attaboy – will present on creating cocktails that people want to drink. With an ability to hear what guests actually are looking for in a cocktail and create a balanced cocktail with flavor profiles that will surprise and delight, Haley will teach the skills to create a new classic, like the Penicillin, that’s both so well-known and approachable. Following the presentation, there will be an interactive section where attendees will break into small groups and create their own twist on a classic cocktail. Haley will pick a winning cocktail from each event.
Masahiro Urushido – Human Resources
The Best Bartender 2022 World’s 50 Best and owner of Katana Kitten, Masa will walk attendees through the art of hospitality and creating experiences. Attendees will learn what “hospitality” truly means, learning tips about reading body language and the steps of service along with the importance of being committed to delighting your guests.
Tara Fougner – Marketing & Public Relations
Thirsty’s very own Tara Fougner has created a worldwide brand and the industry’s most devoted hype person thanks to a deep admiration and respect for the people behind the bar. Through experience, Tara has learned about the importance of growing a brand and making a mark; she will lead guests through media training, offering important insights to help them in building their personal brand and making their voices heard.
Schedule of Events for Monkey Business 2022:
- 6.27 | Brooklyn, NY
- 8.8 | Houston, TX
- 8.29 | San Francisco, CA
- 9.12 | Miami, FL
- 10.26 | Camp Run-amok, Lebanon Junction, KY
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