Tuesday, July 31, 2001

School Spirit ~ by Gina Larson

About 20 people gathered at Dewey Flatiron on Tuesday night prepared to get schooled. The lesson of the evening? Spirits. Scott Lima of FutureBrands LLC held class in the upstairs lounge and lectured the audience about the strict guidelines makers follow to yield Bourbon (51 percent corn minimum), Scotch (12 year aging process) and that South of the Border specialty, tequila (minimum 60 percent agave).

My fellow classmates and I were riveted by the jars of unfinished brews and starter potions that Scott passed around the room. Afterwards, the graduates were invited to experiment with various liquors from FutureBrands stable of 135 liquor brands, including Absolut, Vox, and Jim Beam.

The recess gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up with Stephen Gilberg, CEO of HappyHours.com, the host of our evening. Steve said that business was going well, but he was hoping to enroll more people. "Maybe I'm competing with Madonna," he shrugged. I also talked with Dietman Petutschnig, CEO of Nunet Solutions, who said that despite the lack of enthusiasm towards the Web, there is still an interest in streaming - "where it makes sense." After a few more sips of my delicious apple-tini, I felt that it was time to dismiss myself.