While our Behind the Bar series has been off for the summer, we are pursuing it by asking people in the industry how to drink less, but drink better during this summer period (it is certain that apply to the year). So here is better drink with Made With Love (Pierre-Olivier Trempe and Justin Presseau-Gagnon). The series will continue with Manu Ruiz of the Royal and Pierre-Hughes Marois of Coldroom and St-Germain Brand Ambassador.
So it was in the context of a discussion on Quebec spirits with Nicolas Duvernois among others that I had the chance to talk with the co-founder of Made With Love, Pierre-Olivier Trempe and the director of the Made With Love Bar School Justin Presseau-Gagnon.
I see you, Pierre-Olivier, as part of a discussion about spirits with a can of sparkling Montellier water, and I just wanted to ask you and Justin, what are the challenges of working in the world of alcohol and to have a reasonable consumption. And how does one come to reduce its alcohol consumption?
Because we drink too much. It’s that simple.
What makes it stop, is it family, employee relations, energy at work, etc.? How do we realize it?
All the stories are different, there are more and more people in the spirits industry who decide to have control over their consumption, not to let go, because there are a lot of events, a lot of parties it is accessible. For 1 year it’s ok, 2 years ok, but when you come to 30-35 years old with the family and you realize that this is a job that you really like. You’re not in this environment because you want to be drunk, but because you’re liking it, and that’s where you put limits and you decide to pay attention to your drinking, because if you drink all the time, a lot, you will not be able to continue. You will not be able to continue in this environment, you will have to change job and work in another environment. Whereas if you pay attention, you will be able to continue in there all your life.
For me, it was the case, there were a lot of events, outings almost every night. So around 30, I decided to put a check on it. There are times when I drink, and others where I drink sparkling water (laughs)
Which is not bad, since in your Made With Love events, you have integrated bars without alcohol and a big promotion on this side with Éduc’alcool, for the public and events for the industry. How it happened? Is it because of you personally or it is a request from Éduc’alcool.
Both. It’s been a long time since we start our collaboration with Éduc’alcool, it’s been 6-7 years that it’s a partner of Made With Love at different levels, and there, the fact that there are no offers often in bars or events, which are alcohol-free, you end up with sparkling water or traditional soft drinks, Coke or 7-Up to name them.
Or often cocktails that are not interesting like a classic Shirley Temple, commonly known as 7-Up / Grenadine.
And there, it happens that you do not drink, but you want to do a social night and you pick up with a Coke while all the others have pretty funky glasses and there is all the judgment that comes with and well often, it does not tempt you to drink soft drinks and sparkling water, it’s time, and that’s why we developed a concept with Éduc’alcool that we present in events of which Made With Love. This is a mocktail bar, for people who do not drink for any reason, whether for health reasons, a pregnant woman, problems in the past, because the person has decided not to not drink that evening or alternating like after having two beers for example. This is something very popular and in the different events, there is really a lack at this level. In bars or restaurants, there are more and more, and interesting options, and there has been a big change in the last year.
Precisely, did the arrival of Seedlip as a big player in the industry with its non-alcoholic spirits pushed the industry to change?
For my part, I think it’s the industry and the alcohol-free trend that pushed Seedlip to wake up a bit more and develop interesting products in large quantities. There are also very good mocktails that can be made without Seedlip.
Drink Better with Made with Love: The trend in events.
As a creator of cocktail events, what do you observe as a trend, do you think people will reduce their consumption in the years to come?
I think people are going to want better quality products, and as you get older, getting drunk is less funny. I did not notice that much.
[Justin] There is also a question of budget, as long as you buy 15 bottles of cheap wine, you will buy two excellent ones.
As for the Made With Love Bar School, Justin, tell me, do you do mocktail classes to drink better with Made with Love?
We do not have courses specifically on mocktails, but what we show them is how to balance sugar, acidity and flavors whether with or without alcohol. With or without alcohol, the rules remain the same. With the basics we teach our students, be it the public or future bartenders, they will be able to make mocktails.
Pierre-Olivier spoke earlier about the partnership with Éduc’alcool, is this something for which you have more requests?
It’s imperative that any event should have an alcohol-free option, with the movement drinking less, drinking better. And not only that, people who consume alcohol all night, have the right to a moment of wanting to lower the tempo and to have a non-alcoholic option.
[Pierre-Olivier] To add to that, we did, a few weeks ago, an event in a law firm, with two mocktails, one with cold brew and another that we developed with Éduc ‘ alcohol. There were 75 people and it was a huge success even without alcohol.
There is a potential for doing lunchtime events with this option there, even if you focus primarily on alcohol.
[Pierre-Olivier] Yes, we make discover several kinds of spirits, we taste, we explain. But there are always opportunities to develop workshops for groups that contact us or bar owners who would like non-alcoholic cocktails.
Thank you gentlemen for this interesting discussion.
A Festival in tribute to Québec spirits
Moreover, Tribute, of which Made With Love is the creator, organizesthe TRIBUTE Festival – tribute to spirits of Quebec. After, a first edition with the local spirits of Alberta, it is the turn of Quebec on September 6th and 7th. We bet there will be a non-alcoholic bar with excellent Quebec mocktails.