Beverage

Steal This Idea: Barrel aging for one

Plum Bar + Restaurant, a Daniel Patterson Group restaurant in Oakland, Calif., is one of the many now serving barrel-aged cocktails. But in addition to traditional aging for the drinks list, the craft-focused bar offers guests the option to buy smaller, individual barrels filled with their own customized, aged cocktail.

barrel aged cocktails

“Guests have liked our barrel-aging program. The next step was to do it for individuals,” says general manager Adam Chapman. To come up with a cocktail suited to their tastes, customers get a creative session with a bartender that lasts about an hour, says Chapman.

Cocktails cost about the same price they would if they were purchased individually, averaging around $11 a drink, plus the $75 cost of the barrel—which guests can either take home or refill with a new cocktail once they’ve finished off a batch. Each barrel holds about 33 drinks, Chapman says, so it’s a draw for regulars and private groups.

Guests pay upfront for the barrel and cocktail. They are given a card, so when they come in,  bartenders  serving the drinks know which barrel to tap. Guests also get paper cards to hand out if they want to allow others to share their concoction. One local company purchased a few barrels filled with different cocktails, for example, and employees swapped cards to try the various drinks. While the program is still new, reception from early imbibers has been positive, Chapman says. 

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Why Wingstop isn't afraid of Popeyes' chicken wings

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual wing chain says its sales improve when another brand pushes the product. Here’s why that might be.

Food

Mendocino Farms masters a meaty Philly cheesesteak sandwich—without the meat

Behind the Menu: The fast casual uses a mushroom-based meat alternative for its Philly Shroomsteak Sandwich, a new menu item targeted to flexitarians, not just vegans.

Workforce

Pay hike for couriers shakes up food delivery in NYC

Customers are paying more, and couriers are working less. What it all means for restaurants is still unclear, but some fear it could get ugly.

Trending

More from our partners