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Beverage-themed dinners can boost business, knowledge

David Flaherty is operations manager and beer and spirits director for Hearth and the Terroir wine bars in New York. He is cider and spirits editor for the New York Cork Report and writes about wine, beer and spirits on his blog, Grapes and Grains.

It's a Monday night in June. Normally, you’d be lucky to have 40 covers on your reservation book and hoping that the 10-top shows up soon so at least there’s a little life in the dining room before your best friend and his wife finally make it into your restaurant.

But tonight is different. By 6:45 p.m. guests are pouring in. You've successfully managed to turn a night teetering on boredom to one filled with anticipation and revelry. Your bar is packed with guests

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