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Our three favorite things of last week’s Nightclub & Bar Convention



1. Love the idea of breakfast booze, but bored with screwdrivers and mimosas? Mama Walker’s liqueurs open up a range of possibilities with glazed donut, blueberry pancake and maple bacon flavors. Weird? Kinda! Good? Kinda! And Pernod Ricard just launched the retro-labeled and ironically flavored brand as a bow to the comfort-food trend. Don’t you want to make a white Russian with vanilla vodka and blueberry pancake? A bacon Manhattan? Or maybe just add an intriguing jolt to your cuppa coffee?

2. North Coast Brewing Company has always been a welcome sight at the NBC’s craft brewing zone. Based in Washington state, it steadily pours out some of the best beer to be had. A particular favorite is the Brother Thelonious Belgian-style Abbey ale, a rich, powerful stout that will not only give you a fine taste and pleasant buzz, but also help support the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which supports music education. Delicious! Charitable!

3. Keynote speeches are usually exercises in braggadocio disguised as humility. But Samuel Adams Brewery founder John Koch delivers. After swigging off his pint, he discoursed on his beginnings, his company’s position of holding 1 percent of the U.S. market and his lifelong love for beer. “At a beer-tasting, we swallow,” he said. “At a wine-tasting, we spit it out. That should tell you something about the two beverages. It’s always better to swallow.” He also said this about his fellow Harvard alumnus: “Poor Mitt [Romney]. He’s never had a beer in his life. Maybe if he’d had a few beers … he’d be president now.” Koch then raised his nearly-empty pint aloft: “So this one’s for Mitt!” LISSA TOWNSEND RODGERS