Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So www.MySpeedRail.com has just launched its beta as of yesterday. This is the site I've been talking about, and, full disclosure, I am a paid content provider for the website. I'm very excited about this project though, as it is a website for bartenders and by bartenders. One of my frustrations with some other sites is the profusion of cocktail enthusiasts watering down discussions of actual bar techniques with commentary about how they may do something at home. I'm not trying to upset any enthusiasts here, I think they play a very valuable role in the cocktail world and as a general rule, I really enjoy their feedback and insight. That said, at least for me, having a website open only to the pros, those of us who have had that ridiculous order for 20 cosmos on a friday night when we're 10 deep at the bar and had to make a huge batch with an empty olive jar, or who understand intuitively what to look for to evaluate a good bartender (another post for another time, but I've noticed the pros evaluate very different things than enthusiasts), thats what makes this valuable. Its a gift from the good people at Angostura and its completely ours. No branding, no popup adds, just bartenders sharing techniques, recipes, successes and frustrations with their own kind. A place where it is safe to not know all the answers, and a site that, to be honest, is going to take active participation from the bartenders who are members to make it work.
I still have invites available for the beta. Email me at lancejmayhew AT oregonbarguild DOT org for an invite. If I don't know you, please send me more than just "Hey, I'd like an invite". Tell me where you work, even better, I'd love to hear what you hope to get out of this website. And if you aren't behind the bar, sorry, but this one is ours. Bartenders only.
Even more exciting than just the site itself are some of the people helping me support the launch. I had assumed that this would be an American only website, which would have been cool, but a little limited. Instead, www.MySpeedRail.com is getting contributions from people like Myles Cunliff in the UK, Hayden "Woody" Wood in Australia and Shaun Soole in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada. This is a first, a chance to create an international community of bartenders to foster the resurrection of our craft and share tips and recipes from around the world.
If you can't tell, I'm very excited to be a part of this launch and I'd love to share this opportunity with my fellow bartenders.
I'll be blogging both here on my personal blog, and also on www.MySpeedRail.com. I'm planning more cocktail recipes for the website and I'll probably focus more on some of my more experimental techniques here at this blog.
I hope to see most of you over there soon.