The Unsung Heroes of Bartender Advocacy
Every year many brands pour thousands of dollars into the bartending community through parties & events all over the world. Some succeed while others don’t with bartenders often running from one brand to another based on the next ‘in thing’. There is one company and a person behind it that stands apart from the crowd when it comes to this sort of support. A company that has been supporting bartenders for many years without fail, a company that has stalwartly sponsored some of the leaders of our industry to share education & inspiration all over the world. The company in question is American Beverage Marketers (ABM) with its brands Reàl Cocktail Ingredients and Finest Call Mixes (FC). The person behind the support of the bartender community is none other than William Hinkebein.
We first met Bill Hink (as he is called amongst friends) in 2014 when they launched Reàl in the EU. The first Reàl item was Coco Reàl in 2006. Since then Reàl has supported the likes of Ian Burrel, Georgi Radev, Tony Abou Ganim, Dean Serneels, Salvatore Calabrese, Daniele Dalla Pola, Simone Caporale, Giuseppe Gallo, Jonathan Mejias, Oriol Elías, Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry, and many more industry legends in their work and on their tours worldwide spreading the love of spirits, ingredients, cocktails and bartending history. We’ve been lucky to have been present at events that ABM has sponsored and many that Bill Hink himself has curated personally. However, to give a bit of insight into some important industry support that ABM has tirelessly provided to bartenders over the years, consider the following. As flair bartending grew worldwide in the 1990s, Finest Call grew with it. FC sponsored and supported the US Flair Bartenders Association and any and all competitions including Legends, Quest for the Best and The Blue Blazer. When the World Flair Association was formed, FC was right there with sponsorship from the beginning. Finest Call was an early supporter of Dean Serneels the FlairCo founder (the original Flair Bottle) who coined the now famous move the “Finest Call Stall”. FC has supported Flair everywhere possible and now the brand is distributed in over 100 countries still supporting the industry. As the craft cocktail mixology movement began to rise, ABM was there with its 2006 new product Coco Reàl Cream of Coconut, the first ever squeezable cream of coconut product. A full line of Reàl Fruit Infused Syrups began in 2014. American Beverage Marketers through its two on-premise brands of cocktail ingredients, has been a strong supporter of many bar schools and associations including the International Bartenders Association (IBA), the USBG and dozens of individual international chapters of the IBA. FC for flair and Reàl for mixology. ABM has been a major supporter and sponsor of both the IBA World Cocktail Championships and the Pan Am Cocktail Championships for many years.
American Beverage Marketers has supported Cocktails For You with focus on spreading our ideals of education, entertainment and inspiration to bartenders worldwide. Reàl has made it possible for us to go to multiple spirit shows and events such as Miami Rum Congress, Tales of the Cocktail, UK Rum Fest, The Maestro Challenge and so many more. They are the reason we’re able to work to bring all of our bartender followers the best information and content from around the world. We watched them tirelessly support a huge amount of shows worldwide. They support bartenders from all walks of life and all ranges in the occupation. ABM also consistently gives back by donating to many charities in the industry. One such ongoing charity event is the USBG Tony Abou Ganim Campari Negroni Bike Rides supporting the Helen David Relief Fund. This charity raises funds for bartenders afflicted with cancer. Another charity is CORE: Children Of Restaurant Employees. This charity raises funds for the support of industry people’s children with unfortunate medical afflictions. We are proud to be partners of American Beverage Marketers and true friends with William Hinkebein. We are more proud of the commitment he has done with his brands Reàl and Finest Call for the bartending industry. We also believe it is time those who have been working so hard for us to receive their acknowledgement.