Reno trying to become a USBG chapter city


Through the magic of Twitter I got wind that Reno was trying to become a chapter city of the USBG. What is the USBG? It is the United States Bartenders Guild and their mission statement goes like this:

The United States Bartenders’ Guild is an organization of beverage service professionals dedicated to the continued refinement of our craft. Such refinement is achieved through advanced product education; original hand crafted cocktail competitions; and aggressive involvement with other professionals in the beverage industry throughout the country and internationally. It is our intention, desire and main focus to become the most skilled, knowledgeable and professional group of bartenders in the industry.

I thought this idea was rad and worth reporting on so I got in touch with the fine young lady leading the charge to make Reno a chapter city, Nicole Barker is the Reno Chapter President and she was gracious enough to grant me an interview.

Why should Reno be excited to be a chapter city of USBG?

Reno should be excited to have a chapter of the USBG because the organization is a valuable asset to our community. It offers great networking and educational opportunities that can potentially put individuals, bars and our city on the map. USBG offers support in nationally recognized events, accrediting and competitions. USBG will potentially bring more industry based tourism to Reno. As well as aid in raising the local bar. Tourists and locals alike will benefit from a higher level of service, greater product knowledge and more passionate members of the service industry.

Say I am looking into becoming a bartender or I am out of work bartender why would joining USBG help me get a job?

Members of the Service industry will benefit from becoming members by advancing their education, product knowledge, by building a stronger industry network and showcasing themselves to a relevant market. If you are looking to break into the service industry or to trade up for a better position, being a guild member can only help. You will be introduced to many other service industry members who share your passion, building a sense of comradery. You will have the opportunity to better yourself in a rapidly expanding market, thus making yourself a commodity. We can all learn from one another and benefit from each other’s contacts and experiences.

Does it cost anything to join?

The Reno Chapter is in the process of becoming official. Upon joining USBG, you will be joining a national membership. Dues are $100 per year. These dues give you access to the nation membership network, competitions, health insurance and local events. We host at least one event per month and are always looking for subject suggestions and new ideas. We also host competitions, tastings and seminars. We are diligently working to create a substantial local basis of industry members to support an official local chapter. You can visit for more information and to become a member.

I am a beer man, so what kind of training and events will the Reno chapter be putting on that involves beer? Where can I find out more about them?

Beer is a rapidly expanding interest. USBG is on par with this genre of the bar. We spend an equal amount of time focusing on as many aspects of the bar industry. Beer is no exception. Currently we are putting an event together called Bourbon & Beer. This event will feature both bourbon and beer as well as cocktails involving the two. This event is scheduled in January. Specific date and time TBA.

Nicole Barker doin work at the Reno Usbg kick off event

What is your favorite: Beer, whiskey, vodka, gin and rum?

I thoroughly enjoy a variety of spirits in each genre… And my tastes are constantly changing an adapting.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of drinking a bourbon barrel aged barley wine that was fantastic. Just the right amount of caramel, laced with cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. As far as vodka goes, I am not much of a fan, at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans last July, I was introduced to Purity Vodka which has a rounded earthiness that I could enjoy. I am currently swept of my feet with Nolet’s Silver Gin– a fabulous pet project of the family that produces Ketel One. It is light on the juniper, very floral with bright notes of raspberry and white peach. A beautiful and enticing profile for a gin. As far as Bourbon goes, I may always be a Knob Creek girl. I enjoy the rich spice and vanilla finish coupled with a stunning heat. The reserve is worth writing home about. For rum, I am going to deviate a bit with another similar spirit born in the carnival jungles of Brazil, Cachaca. It is made from sugar cane rather than molasses and has a rustic and roasted heat that is exquisite when properly mixed. It is a little outside the box, just the way I like it.

Original USBG Reno Members Left to Right Josh Taylor, Nicole Barker(Reno USBG President), Armando Rosario (Las Vegas USBG President), Annalisa Rox (Reno USBG VP), Vaughn Silva (Reno USBG Treasurer)

Where should I go, or who should I talk with to join the USBG?

You can access more information about USBG on . You can also follow us on twitter and join the USBG Reno Chapter Facebook Page. You can contact me directly, Nicole Barker, at 916-494-1935 or
We hope to become the first new official chapter in 2012. Please join the movement!


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