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5 for Friday: August 28, 2020

Today, the Villains are bringing you a selection of our favorite new product releases from around the world. We’ve got quite an array of stuff here, from hip-hop-inspired beers to a brew your dog can enjoy. Cheers!

City Built Brewing Company, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is paying homage to Run the Jewels, the insightful and incendiary hip-hop duo of Killer Mike and El-P. While listening to the track “Crown” on Run the Jewels 2, the lyrics spoke to City Built CEO Ed Collazo. He was inspired to craft four new beers and create the Crown Series. Into the Fray, Into the Haze, and Into the Murk are double dry-hopped double IPAs, and Childish Obsession is a fruited sour. Each name is based on a “Crown” lyric and each beer in the series is available starting today for $20 per four-pack.

Vamonos Riendo, a super-premium, high-altitude mezcal, officially launched in the United States yesterday. The triple-distilled, small-batch Joven is characterized by subtlety and bright, vibrant fruit flavors. In other words, it’s not the smoke bomb many Americans have come to associate with mezcal. (84 proof, $59.99/750ml SRP)

Two innovative Kentucky distilleries have once again teamed up for a brand-new take on bourbon. Bardstown Bourbon Company / Copper & Kings Destillaré Orange Curaçao Finish marks the sixth collaboration between Bardstown and Copper & Kings. The latest entrant in the Bardstown Collaborative Series ($124.99/750ml SRP) is 9-year-old Tennessee whiskey finished in Destillaré Orange Curaçao barrels. Expect vanilla, maple, bright citrus and baking spice, according to Bardstown VP of sales and marketing Herb Heneman. He suggests enjoying this unique bourbon in a “top-shelf” Old Fashioned.

Looking for sophisticated, elevated options for zero-proof cocktails? Check out Curious Elixirs, whose handcrafted, alcohol-free drinks are made with adaptogens, herbs and botanicals. There are four Curious creations available now, each a unique interpretation of a classic low- or full-proof cocktail. Curious No. 1 is based on the Negroni, Curious No. 2 is inspired by the Dark & Stormy, Curious No. 3 (contains ashwagandha) is the Curious Elixir answer to the French 75 or Cucumber Collins, and Curious No. 4 is a limited-release riff on the Aperol Spritz. Learn more here.

For all you dog lovers out there, Busch has crafted a way for you and your best animal buddy to crack open a can and enjoy a beer together. Busch Dog Brew is “beer” for doggos. In reality, it’s an alcohol-free pork bone broth made with bone-in pork butt, whole corn, celery, basil, mint, turmeric and ginger. Busch will be donating $1 to Best Friends Animal Society for every case of Dog Brew purchased, up to $50,000. Dog Brew is available online now for $9.99 per four-pack, while supplies last.


This one comes to us from the United Kingdom. Wanda is a bespoke dining service that sends out curated dinner boxes focused on specific cuisines. Their inaugural box is meant to honor the diverse flavors of Mexico and includes a menu designed by Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson, a dinner recipe, grocery shopping list, stoneware dishes, two cocktail glasses, a syrup and salt for cocktails, and more. Also, 10 percent of Wanda’s profits will go to World Food Programme. Future boxes will feature Vietnamese and Grecian cuisines.

Neither the author nor Hospitality Villains received compensation, monetary or otherwise, from these brands, their distributors or any other entity in exchange for this post.

Photo by Tony Hand on Unsplash. Product images belong to their respective brands.

David Klemt View All

I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.

After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.

A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.

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