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For the fourth year in a row, bartenders descended on Portland, Oregon for Portland Cocktail Week in October. An event that is "for bartenders, by bartenders,"  270 students from across the country went back to school. Split into four majors: Advanced Craft Cocktail Bartending, Beyond the Bar, Bar Ownership and Product Development, each student was required to fulfill a core curriculum, classes in his/her major and electives. With my media pass in hand, I was able to audit the classes that interested me so I attended a number of courses under the Beyond the Bar major.  Here are some of the highlights of what was covered:
As we prepare for our Thanksgiving feasts, it is a time to give thanks for what we have. It is also a time to give. And I want to take a moment to applaud the bartending community who continues to give and give and give to help others, whether individuals or strangers. I am proud be affiliated with this industry and community of people who like to have fun but never lose sight of helping those in need.  Here are four remarkable examples. Helping Children “This business is what we have chosen as our career.  We do something that makes us happy and I love bartending. We provide a service to people on a daily basis. But, I want to find meaning in what I do, something I can pass on to my family and kids,” explained Josh Harris of The Bon Vivants, the San Francisco-based cocktailing company.  They created Pig & Punch, a party with whole roasted pig, trash cans of punch and t-shirts for sale that follows a day of volunteering at a local charter school.  Started three years ago at Tales of the Cocktail, this year they organized the event three times around the country - in May 2012 at Manhattan Cocktail Classic, in July 2012 at Tales of the Cocktail and in October 2012 at Portland Cocktail Week.