Las Vegas Weekly

September 12, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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STYLE RAISING YOUR SPIRITS Las Vegas-born NEAT glasses promise a completely unique drinking experience > DRAWING MOMENTUM Studio 21's Austin Spencer is ready to build Tattoo Fight Club into something big. THE GOOD FIGHT The creator of Tattoo Fight Club wants to build an entire brand around it Austin Spencer gets a lot of ideas. He has one of those including merchandise and apparel and, eventually, a rapid-fire brains. Not all his ideas turn into something, line of art supplies. "I also want to strengthen the live but this one—Tattoo Fight Club—exploded into a pheevent aspect of it," he says, after visiting the Hell City tatnomenon on its own. too convention in Ohio this year to present Spencer and his family own and operlive artist battles. He'll be doing the same ate Studio 21 Tattoo, a popular local ink FEED THE BEAST thing in Calgary soon, too. shop that celebrated its 10th anniversary The Tattoo Fight Club Kickstarter camKICKSTARTER earlier this year. Last year, based only on paign will launch right after Friday's event, PRE-PARTY FOR some fun sketching sessions with another which will feature tons of art from the TATTOO FIGHT artist, Spencer launched an Instagram feed Instagram feed, food and booze, and music CLUB, September for Tattoo Fight Club, basically an interacfrom The Clydesdale's Paige Overton. The 13, 6-10 p.m. Live art tive drawing competition for tattooers to seed money will go toward building tattoofbattles, gallery show, ightclub.com, an online headquarters where hone their skills and get creative. It took , $25 tattoos, food off. Today it has more than 50,000 followartists and others can browse products, trucks, live music by ers, fans and artists who want to battle it listen to podcast interviews with big names Paige Overton, drinks out online, and Spencer is ready to take the in the tattoo industry and follow along with by Sailor Jerry and events and competitions. next step. Hendrick's Gin. Studio "We've created this huge following of It might seem like an ambitious plan, 21 Tattoo, 6020 W. people and now we're kind of forced to do but the interest in and allegiance to Tattoo Flamingo Road, something," he jokes. It's a joke because he Fight Club have been strong since day one. 248-8762. really wants to do something with this idea; "It's kind of intense, and the hype creit keeps him awake at night. ated by social media has been that way, Studio 21 will host a party on September 13 to kick too," Spencer says. "But it's really about artists getting off a campaign to do just that. Spencer envisions an involved with each other's work and promoting each entire brand built around the Tattoo Fight Club concept, other creatively. You can apply it to almost anything." PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTOPHER DEVARGAS BY BROCK RADKE Can a glass change your whole drinking experience? Las Vegans Christine Crnek and George Manska not only believe it can, they believe they've created a product that proves it. It's called a NEAT—Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology—glass. Co-creator Crnek says the shape of the glass helps to dissipate the alcohol in spirits 40 proof and above, leaving the consumer with nothing but the natural smell of the spirit. The glasses debuted in February 2012 and have already been named the official tasting glass of the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Beverage Industry News 2013 Editors' Choice for Excellence Award, the 2013 Santa Barbara Tequila Harvest Festival and, most recently, the 2013 New York World Spirits Competition. Not too shabby for something that started as an accident. Manska, an engineer with Ford for 20 years, became fascinated with glass blowing after meeting Dale Chihuly at a wine tasting and produced several objects during a short-lived class in 2006, all of which he tucked away into a curio cabinet. One night, Manska grabbed one of his failed experiments, poured in some Macallan Cask Strength, smelled it and, according to Crnek, "immediately thought, 'What the heck is this? That's not scotch.'" Realizing he had something unique, Manska enlisted Crnek's help to refine the shape of the glass, get patents and arrange the scientific research to prove the glass' aromaenhancing properties. It took more than five years, but the duo, who formed Arsilica, Inc., to produce and market the product, are starting to see significant results. Just last month, their product began selling at Total Wines nationwide. Still, Crnek says not to take her word for it: Do a side-by-side comparison with your current favorite glass. –Ken Miller 14 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 12–18, 2013 14_Style_20130912.indd 14 9/11/13 1:13 PM

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