When deciding to purchase a business that has a strong bartending component, Mike and Melissa recognized a whole in their knowledge set. While they knew plenty about good food and were well-versed in craft beer, they were lacking in cocktail knowledge. Sure, they'd gone out for a few cocktails and had enjoyed plenty of perfect, beachy-type cocktails on previous travels to Hawaii and Vietnam, but actually knowing what to do to make a cocktail and stock a bar was well beyond their normal set of knowledge.
Fortunately, a Living Social deal popped up offering a weeklong course in bartending, hosted by Fort Collins Bartending Academy. Since the couple was living in Laramie at the time and it was late enough in the spring not to feel too threatened by weather, the duo signed up and began a week of after work travels to learn the art and skills of bartending.
The course ended up being a private endeavor for Mike and Melissa, as their timing and that of the instrutors didn't align with other students. This suited the situation perfectly, as the instructor, Gina, had tons of valuable bar/restaurant business experience and was able to offer M&M additional insight into what their future lives would hold. So, while learning how to count the perfect shot for all the classic cocktail combinations and essential differences between each type of liquor; the couple also learned how to choose glassware, the importance of inventory and a few tips on managing employees.
The class revolved around practicing speed pours, memorizing basic cocktail combinations, learning to pour accurately every time, understanding the concept of well - call - premium - super premium, and all the little tips and insights unique to the trade. Highlights included visiting Dancing Pines distillery (where Melissa whole-heartedly fell in love with a Chai liqueur and the DP Gin), being in Ft. Collins and having the opportunity to meet up with good friends in the area, being in Ft. Collins and having the opportunity to meet baby girl Cooley right after she was born (!) and touring New Belgium Brewery (we've posted about that already).
Now, a few years into owning their bar business, the couple is extremely grateful for the lessons they received during this weeklong course and have used that backbone of information to keep themselves and their business standing strong and serving up fun, well-poured cocktails...that is, when a patron doesn't have a beer-lovers pallet (since that's still the drink of choice at The Burlington Place and in the private stocks of Mike and Melissa).