By Michael Bradford II
Food & Drink Expert
When I first heard of NRA show the first thing that came to my mind was the National Rifle Association. After spending one Sunday with my friend KG, he showed me another NRA I should know about and that is National Restaurant Association.
During a four-day event at the McCormick Place people from the service industry in Food, Liquor and Hospitality come together to showcase some amazing products. Top companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Co, Nathans, Vienna Beef, Kronos were represented, but sometimes it is the smaller companies like Reeds Soda or Lil' Orbits Donuts catch your eye. Food and drink weren't the only things being showcased as cleaning giants like Ecolab and Rubbermaid are well represented.
The one place I was most interested in visiting was the Bar exhibit, a special section for that celebrates the liquor industry.
In this wonderful area there were some of the most beautiful pieces of equipment I have ever seen. One thing that caught my eye was the Spirit Station machine. A company called Napa Technology has developed equipment that can provide consistent and regulated pours of spirits or wines. It has three customizable pour sizes options, a state-of-the-art thermoelectric cooling system, high-resolution LCD displays and safety lock features. The other part of going to the NRA show is all the samples of liquor and food you can taste from some of the top companies in the world. I would recommend eating something hearty and slowly take your time drinking all the wonderful drinks you can enjoy.
When you enter the Bar section of the NRA show, you interact with liquor companies from Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, and more. Wine companies offer a wide selection of samples you can taste and they educate you on the different varieties as well. There were also booklets and magazines from different breweries and vineyards and you can visit their booths to enjoy their spirits and food they serve.
Not only do you get good food and drinks but also you get information from top people in the industry. Top mixologists and consultants offer tips and solutions to help bar owners maintain their business.
One who guy who is well known for his expertise with bars and night clubs is Jon Taffer from the hit Spike TV show “Bar Rescue." Taffer hosted a panel discussion and had a booth where he could talk business with anyone in need of advice. Jon offered his wealth of knowledge on Bars and Nightlife to people seeking information to better their establishment. He even made time to take some pictures with one of his fans.
Whether your thing is food, drink, or you just need new ideas to liven up your establishment, the NRA Show is the place to be. It is truly the greatest collection of great thinkers in the service industry. While you have to be a part of the industry to get to go, it is an experience that anyone can truly enjoy. The other NRA show is all the wonderful things we all love about good food and drinks.