It’s a familiar scene: Guests return to their hotel worn out after a day of meetings or sightseeing. It’s not even dinnertime and they desperately need a pick-me-up. For many people, the ideal solution is a cup o‘ joe that perks them up and gets them ready for the night ahead.
Coffee is a hot commodity in hotels—both literally and figuratively. And, according to Mark Anderson, vice president, food and beverage for Wyndham Grand, it was guests’ love of coffee in all of its forms and functions that served as one of the main drivers behind the brand’s latest initiative, the Brew Parlor. A happy hour based around caffeinated drinks and cocktails, Wyndham Grand’s Brew Parlor launched on Jan. 15 in four properties—Chicago, Istanbul, Shenzhen, and Doha. “We know our guests drink a lot of coffee; thousands of cups in our 33 hotels around the world. So we’re taking advantage of that opportunity,” said Anderson at the Brew Parlor’s launch party on Jan. 14 at the Little Owl Venue in New York City.
Developed over the course of only a few months, the Brew Parlor features cocktails and other drinks developed in partnership with Wyndham Grand’s new “Chef de Caffeine,” award-winning celebrity chef Stephanie Izard, and acclaimed mixologist Ivy Mix. All of the drinks are made using cold-brewed coffee, which is coffee brewed in chilled or room temperature water. Cold-brewed coffee is smoother and stronger than its hot-brewed counterpart, allowing for a greater depth of flavor, which has in turn made it a growing trend among coffee drinkers. In fact, bottled cold brew is growing in sales worldwide faster than any other bottled, non-alcoholic beverage, according to a study by Euromonitor International.
“Cold brew really brings out all the flavors in coffee…You get different nuances, all the bitterness levels, a little sweetness, and it’s kind of like sipping on wine and finding the different flavors,” explained Izard.
Not only were all the Brew Parlor drinks developed with cold-brewed coffee, but they were also created with the intention of using a different, local coffee at every Wyndham Grand property. “We wanted to introduce local flavors to each and every Brew Parlor,” said Anderson. “And the fact that we can introduce local flavors into our hotels by looking at local coffee roasters really gives it the flavor of the market. The coffee is the nucleus of the recipe, and our drinks will have a different context in Istanbul than it will in Chicago. You’re getting a taste of the craft, and that makes it beautiful and different at every one of our hotels.”
Mix said that this approach really makes drinks approachable for anyone who wishes to partake in the caffeinated happy hour, as well as turns hotel lobbies into a true communal space for guests. “We’re really trying to bring each location to the hotel’s program, and these cocktails really amplify that,” she noted.
Wyndham Grand aims to have their caffeinated happy hour up and running at all 33 of their properties by the third quarter. “It’s good we’re working with caffeinated beverages,” joked Anderson. “We need the fuel to keep up the pace!”