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Bartending Icons: Reggie St. Paul

As time passes, drinks change, styles change, tastes change, but one thing that never changes is the service that bartenders give their customers. Licensed bartenders through the ages - such as Reggie St. Paul - have always had to focus on responsible alcohol service. A bartender for more than 40 years, Reggie St. Paul of Cambridge, MA has poured drinks for celebrities like Miles Davis and St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson.

St. Paul has watched people change, times change, and consumer tastes change over his bartending career. A former school teacher, who's served tens of thousands of customers, St. Paul says he still enjoys coming to work at The Blue Room’s ash bar in Kendall Square.

“I know every day is going to be different,’’ says St. Paul, “And I like it because I work with people who are young.’’

An article on Boston.com notes:

Through the decades, he has watched drinkers rediscover cocktails and seen smoke-filled rooms consigned to the ashtray of history.

... He remembers when drinking was serious stuff, when tastes were dramatically different, and a bar could go through eight to 10 bottles of whiskey and bourbon a night, compared with only one bottle of gin and one bottle of vodka.

Drinking habits have changed dramatically since then, often circling back to decades-old tendencies. Cocktails are popular once more, wine is nearly a given, and bartenders must learn or reacquaint themselves with the mechanics of an intricately mixed drink.

“We’re doing cocktails of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s,’’ St. Paul says. “It’s become exciting.’’ One big difference, he says, is that “to some people now, the glass is more important than what’s in it.’’

But some things never change for bartenders, including their interaction with customers, the social psychology they develop, and their ability to defuse potential confrontations. And then there are the physical demands.

At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we tip our hats to certified bartenders like Reggie St. Paul, who continue to provide responsible alcohol sales and excellent customer service.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and bartender licensing, or to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

In the Service of Care

Too many people all crammed into a bar, the sway back, rock forward, tipsy movements. There she comes again, that specimen of service, gracing everyone with smiles, gentle excuses, and spirits. She weaves through the crowd, never stopping, never dropping. Her heart beats to the rhythm of the music, her hand twitches through her tickets, and her mind keeps track of all the loose ends. In the corner, a dark space, far against the wall, she keeps an eye on those two love birds, filling the glass, or stopping to ask if the comfort is still there. Also, at arms length, she watches those bodies, all of those bodies, because her word is the law when it comes to making sure safety is upheld. Her service requires care for every individual, a blessing and a curse, as they beckon, are denied, yell and scream, blink and babble. Unexpectedly, righteously, she stands between that door. No one leaves with their breath on fire, or their track off kilter. A cab can be called, or a friend, and she knows just what to do, water and well wishing keeps this smile in service. -- The Author, Alexandra Erwin, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Alexandra and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Inspections in Indiana Find Fewer Sales to Minors

Indiana recently passed a law requiring all carry-out alcohol customers to show ID when purchasing alcohol, regardless of age. The law was largely ridiculed; however, after the law was enacted, officers completed inspections on underage sales of alcohol, saying that sales to minors was down over 40% since 2009. During the inspections, people ages 18 to 20 accompany officers and try to buy alcohol. Indiana business owners are "getting the message about not serving to minors after being hit with citations and fines," said a Courier Press article. Indiana Excise Police Officer Travis Thickstun said that along with laws mandating certified server training, the tougher ID requirements helped improve compliance. The mandatory server classes, which last about two hours, cover not over-serving to intoxicated customers, how to spot fake IDs, and basic alcohol laws in the state. "Liquor store owners supported the stricter ID law," says the Courier Press article. "...It wasn't that inconvenient and it led to a drastic drop in attempts by minors to buy alcohol because they knew clerks had to card all customers." Laws like these help reduce the risks of alcohol, from service-to-minors to drunk driving. Like Indiana, Washington state also requires mandatory alcohol server training. This spring, Indiana revised their card law so that store clerks are no longer required to card customers who reasonably appear older than 40, similar to laws in Washington state. If you're looking to take bartending certification classes, or to complete your mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA has an easy online alcohol server training program to fit your needs. Sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Montana DUI Task Force Holds First Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class

The Lewis and Clark county DUI task force, along with Youth Connections, held its first Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class Tuesday. In an effort to prevent underage drinking, and auto accidents involving alcohol Montana passed a Mandatory Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Training Act, requiring all places that sell alcoholic beverages train their servers and sales staff to recognize intoxicated or under-age patrons. Training has to be completed by September 30, 2011. In accordance with this new legislation, a DUI task force in Lewis and Clark County conducted its first Alcohol Sales and Service Training Class, handing out Certificates of Completion from the Montana Department of Revenue-Liquor License Control. Now, any Montana server who stocks shelves, serves, supervises and manages an establishment with alcohol must take the class, aimed at reducing the impact of alcohol impairment and impaired driving. From an article in the Helena Independent Record on Alcohol Server Training: "The class... focuses on things like how to spot a fake ID, the law that prohibits sales to anyone 'who is apparently, obviously or actually intoxicated,' and the personal civil liability a server or seller carries if an underage or over-served individual gets behind the wheel. These topics teach [attendees] how to do their job responsibly while keeping themselves, their customers, and the community safe. "This is a hot button topic in communities around Montana. For the first time in Montana’s history, a bartender and manager were charged criminally after they over served the man who hit Trooper Michael Haynes head on. Trooper Haynes died as a result of his injuries. This criminal charge embodies a shift being seen across Montana as lawmakers grapple to get a handle on the state’s overwhelming DUI problem. Alcohol sellers and servers are being held accountable for those they serve who get behind the wheel after they over indulge." America's Alcohol Certified Education Association provides mandatory alcohol server training, promoting responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington or to get your alcohol servers permit in Oregon, visit www.aacea.com.

Scholarship to Save Lives Runner Up Arieshia Watson

When I first began serving tables at eighteen, I was the youngest in my restaurant. I can remember going through the class learning about the dangers of serving alcohol to different types of people and being extremely afraid to take on the challenge. In my restaurant I trained for five days and at minimum three of those day involved liquor and its hazards. As I acknowledged the responsibility, I decided to take it on full force accepting the opportunity and the privilege that I was given. Now at twenty, I can recall many incidences where my authority has been questioned because of my youth. But, every time I ask for a person's ID I remember that I could be the direct cause of an incident involving alcohol. Not only is it important for me to properly serve alcohol, but it runs even more crucial when I legally can't drink it myself. The risk of a federal offense seems to be more of an incentive to work hard, keeping drunk drivers off of the road. Most people don't realize how serious over-serving alcohol or serving to minors truly is. I am proud to say that I know the risks and I work exceptionally hard to maintain a safe environment during my time serving. Giving this responsibility to young adults at my age can be very stressful because of the consequences that alcohol consumption can bring. I believe that my Liquor license is one of the most vital pieces of paper that I will ever have, and I feel rewarded as I can say that I earn it every day. -- Author, Arieshia Watson, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Arieshia and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Scholarship to Save Lives Winner!

AACEA and Len Riggs want to send out a special thank you to everyone who entered our Scholarship to Save Lives competition. We picked a winner: Will Franz who wrote this original composition. Click to listen to: Send a Friend-Will Franz Verse 1 Just sittin' alone as I watch his expressions change Thinking only God knows if he's ever going to change his ways But he promised me it's the last time we'd be out on a school night A 34 old man should know what's right Verse 2 A couple hours in and he's stumblin' pretty hard He polished off his last drink as I guide us out to the car But he claims he's fine to drive us home I just wish he'd call a cab instead An eight-year-old should be in bed Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Verse 3 My tired eyes stayed glued to all the passing cars We kept drifting left and right but we've made it out pretty far And I know we were so close to home, there couldn't be a mile left Just please hear my prayer to live Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me Bridge The man before me now is not the man I held so high He's got to give it up and gain control And become the dad I've been waiting for Maybe then we can start another life Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me tonight We're truly amazed to have such talented entrants! Thank you to everyone who participated, and remember, AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

State Liquor Pilot Project Allows Alcohol Tastings

30 state, pilot and tribal liquor stores in Washington are testing a pilot program to allow spirit or hard alcohol tastings in-store. Sampling will be limited to a 1/4 ounce with four samples maximum. Only product sponsors, such as a distiller representatives, may serve samples. These alcohol servers must have the WSLCB-Approved Mandatory Alcohol Server Training Permit. The pilot program starts today (September 1st) and is a year-long program, intended to introduce premium products to store customers. Details of these 30 stores which allow spirit tastings can be found on the events page of the stores and products section of the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov. Stores are permitted one tasting event per week. The tasting events will be either Fridays or Saturdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m "The spirits sampling pilot is a win for both consumers and producers,” said Carrie Tellefson of the Distillery Representatives Association of Washington. “With so many products available, the tasting events offer consumers a valuable opportunity to taste spirits in a controlled environment, learn about new, premium products and provide valuable feedback for distillers." The Distillery Representatives Association of Washington is an organization committed to representing the Alcohol Beverage Community in a manner that advances the understanding of the issues and challenges that affect our industry. DRAW works with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the State Legislature to eliminate underage drinking and promote responsible alcohol consumption. Of the pilot program, WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster said, “We are excited to have this opportunity for our customers to taste new and interesting products in our stores. With more than 1,100 spirits products available in state stores, customers can now enhance their product knowledge by trying something they may never have considered before and learn first-hand about the products from distillers’ representatives.” Stores were selected based on retail sales volume, locations, and appropriate in-store space for sampling, as well as traffic accident data and proximity to churches and schools. At AACEA, we provide alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington or to get your alcohol servers permit in Oregon, visit www.aacea.com. Sign up today and you’re eligible to win our monthly $100 raffle, from AACEA and Len Riggs.

Studies Link Socioeconomic Status and Alcohol Consumption

The more income people have, the more educated they are and the higher their social status or class, the more likely they are to drink alcoholic beverages, studies show. An article at Potsdam.edu shows the connections between Socioeconomic Status and Alcohol Consumption. The article states, "Investigators received 2,349 completed mailed questionnaires from adults age 18-76 living in Melbourne. They found that adults of higher socioeconomic position were more likely to consume alcoholic beverages frequently. Those of lower status tended to drink less frequently but in higher quantities on each drinking occasion." Another article from Potsdam states, "Abstention from alcohol in the U.S. is closely associated with social status. The lower the social class, the higher the abstention. And, as is true throughout the world, women are more likely to abstain than are men. "...People choose to abstain from alcohol for many reasons. These include religious reasons, moral objections, abstinent family background, dislike of the taste of alcoholic beverages, fear of a lack of self-control, health reasons including the use of certain medications or pregnancy, the belief that alcohol consumption leads to dependence or alcoholism, legal reasons such as age, and the misperception that even light or moderate drinking is unhealthful even when not contraindicated for medical reasons." At AACEA, we're committed to keeping you informed of news and facts about alcohol consumption and the responsible sales and service of alcohol. AACEAprovides alcohol server training in Washington and Oregon– sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

The Facilitation of Positive Experience in Food and Alcohol Service

I worked my way through my undergraduate studies in creative writing at Western Washington University through various jobs in food service, all of which included serving tables with alcoholic beverages: from aperitifs, to fine wines, to micro-brew beers. Jobs in the alcohol and food service industry allowed me the flexibility I needed as a student to balance work with studies, and without these jobs I wouldn’t have been able to support myself through school. I began with a job busing tables at Dirty Dan Harris’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Fairhaven just shortly after my twenty-first birthday, barely old enough myself to sample the fine wines we served, let alone know anything about how they paired with the offerings on our menu. Since then, my palate has come a long way. As a server, I can appreciate how good wine is paired best with good company. As a writer, I appreciate how great stories are told best over a drink shared with an intimate audience of friends. The best of these stories are the incredulous ones--the ones where you lean across the table and demand of its teller, “Did that really happen?!” As a server in the community of Bellingham, I had regular customers who I came to know and care for through their patronage of the restaurants in which I worked and served them drinks. We all have a need, on occasion, to be cared for. Through serving food to my customers with warmth and compassion, I could help meet a very basic and primal need for nutrition, and facilitate a positive experience for them to share with their friends and loved ones. Reckless alcohol consumption, however, does not facilitate a positive experience. And it is here that the importance of a server’s role as facilitator is fulfilled. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a facilitator as one who “helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect and unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or support.” As far as I am capable, I have tried my best to ensure my patrons’ positive experience dining out carries through the meal, from the moment they get up to leave the table, all the way through arriving safely at home. Besides, there’s hardly a good story to tell when you can’t remember what happened in the first place. And like in any great story, a person (or a character) makes choices that have real outcomes they’ll carry with them through the rest of their lives (or narrative arc). As a student at Western Washington University, it was important to me that I bridged the gap between being a college student residing in the town of Bellingham, who is bound to come and go within a few years, and a community member who makes a positive impact on the people she encounters in her time here, however short or long that time may be. The jobs I held in food and alcohol service played a large role in this. I graduated from Western in 2009, and decided to stay in Bellingham a few years more to work on my writing and continue working in the service industry. But the time has come in which I must move on. In the fall I’ll be starting as a first-year graduate student at Ohio University in the Master’s in Arts in Creative Writing program in Athens, Ohio. As a graduate student at Ohio University teaching Freshman Composition courses, I will have the unique opportunity to reach out to entering freshmen as they begin their college experience in a new town--a small college town very similar to Bellingham. I view my objective as a graduate instructor in much the same light as that of a server: to facilitate a meaningful and rewarding experience, challenging my students and myself to bridge the gap between being a college student and being a community member. Many of my students will be pledging to sororities or fraternities while enrolled in my composition course. Through the instruction they receive in my classes, I hope to instill in them the knowledge, awareness, and sense of accountability that they are all responsible as individuals and as a community as a whole to facilitate positive experiences for themselves and their peers while at Ohio University and onward. -- The author, Melissa Queen, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Melissa and to all of our entrants. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Louisiana Bar Card and Washington State MAST permit. Arizona Title 4 Basic Training Online AZ DLLC Alcohol Server Approved Certification Course California Responsible Beverage Service RBS TIPS Certificate Program On Off Premises ABC Florida Vendor State Compliant Montana Ohio Seller For Sellers Servers Bartenders and Managers Get your TABC Certification for selling serving alcohol in Texas Your official can be printed online upon completion Utah Mobile Friendly valid Bartender School on off premise server training permit classes by Len Riggs

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