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DUMBO Tech Execs Form Booze Appreciation Society

By Janet Upadhye | January 9, 2013 7:03am

DUMBO — There are no "dry" employees at The JAR Group in DUMBO.

That’s one of the reasons that the small digital marketing company is a great place to start a booze-appreciation society — where staff not only get to let off steam after work, they also get to taste quirky off-the-grid boozy Brooklyn specialties and classics.

“We are a cocktail community,” said Amy Litt, a social media manager at The JAR Group. “We don’t just drink alcohol, we appreciate it.”

The fledgling group that's dubbed Bower Hill Society was born from an idea spoken over an after-work round of bourbon in the office's fully stocked bar. The name honors the home of the primary battle of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791.

Litt and JAR founder AJ Lawrence planned the society’s first event — a tasting session of Scotch whiskeys. The affair was hosted in the windowed JAR offices overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

The event wasn't open just to JAR Group employees, and more than 90 people came.

“In DUMBO, people tend to mobilize around a great idea,” Litt said. "We envisioned this event as an opportunity to sip a single malt Scotch and bring local creatives together — and it worked."

The subsequent Bower Hill Society events were conceived in the same way, with Lawrence rummaging in the office bar for something new to sip and employees gathering around a salvaged wood picnic table after hours, talking about what they’d like to try. 

“AJ is a wonderful boss and a fearless leader,” said Litt.

“After a long day at the office, he is known to open the office bar and create a space for us to experiment with cocktail combinations and relax.”

For the society’s next event, Virginia Distillery Company is set to bring their newest whiskey, Virginia Highland Malt, to Brooklyn.

Participants will get to try this single malt aged in French barrels while munching on alcoholic cupcakes from Prohibition Bakery on the Lower East Side.

Designers of the ultra-hip Mason Jar Shaker will also be present, mixing cocktails for guests.

Litt guarantees drinks will be poured, conversations will ignite, and magic will happen.

“It’s all for the love of bourbon and whiskey,” she said.

To find out more about upcoming events or to become a member of Bower Hill Society visit its website.