Show preview: Europe’s bar trade heads for Berlin

bar convent

The bar trade from Britain and the rest of the world will be descending on Berlin in October for European industry show Bar Convent.

Taking place on October 7 and 8, it will again host the world’s leading bartenders and drinks experts as well as showcase leading craft brewers and premium spirits and liqueurs.

Now in its eighth year, Bar Convent has consistently grown the number of exhibitors and expanded exhibition space each year, and 2014 is no exception. Some 170 exhibitors with spirits, liqueurs, beers, non-alcoholic drinks and bar accessories will present their wares in the 118,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Station Berlin event centre in the city’s Kreuzberg district – an increase of over 40% compared to last year.

Bar Convent Berlin’s organisers anticipate more than 9,000 visitors at this year’s event, including many from the UK. They are invited to take part in the packed event programme, which includes speakers from Britain’s bar trade, and enjoy tasting sessions and product presentations hosted by exhibitors.

This year, the Guest Country will be the USA. Attendees can visit “Bar USA” to sample American spirits and craft beers and talk to industry insiders. Presenters will include WSET expert Alex Turner at the American Rye and Bourbon Taste Forum, Joaquim Simo from New York City bar Pouring Ribbons, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler from Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon.

The new “Business Hour” get-together is an exclusive networking opportunity for business, gastronomy and distribution decision-makers. The Business Hour kicks off on day two, starting at 9am to give industry professionals the chance to meet exhibitors face to face before the hustle and bustle of the actual trade fair day begins.

Bar Convent Berlin chief executive Jens Hasenbein said the Business Hour was an important innovation. “Bar Convent Berlin continues to expand its position as an international bar and beverages trade fair. The new Business Hour reinforces Bar Convent’s reputation as an important beverages industry convention and contact platform.”

The programme of events will again be held on six different stages. The three Demo Bars A, B and C will host brands and distributors offering tasting sessions or cocktail presentations. In addition, Bar Convent is joining with Mixology Magazine to sponsor two tasting forums and the convention’s central focal point and main stage, the Mixology Stage.

Molecular biologist Rory Lawton, an impassioned home brewer and beer advocate for the past 10 years, will join major craft brewers including Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch and Georg Schneider from Schneider Weisse in a podium discussion on “The State of Brewing in Germany and Abroad”. Sylvia Kopp from the Berlin Beer Academy will team up with beer author Peter Eichhorn to guide attendees through beer sampling sessions in the Taste Forum.

The Bar Convent stages will additionally host presentations on topics such as vegetables in cocktails, led by London-based bartender Esther Medina Cuesta. Marian Beke, the Slovakian-born bar manager at the Nightjar in London, will talk about using Slovakian tea-based liqueur range TatraTea in cocktails. Simone Caporale of Artesian bar at London’s Langham Hotel will talk about creating a world-class hospitality experience.

Cognac Ferrand owner Alexandre Gabriel will join Paul McFadyen, from Instil Drinks Co and London bar Trailer Happiness, and Martin Cate, the owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, to talk about the tiki revival and Plantation rums. Grey Goose global brand ambassador Joe McCanta will team up with Cihan Anadologlu from Schumann’s Bar in Munich and Joscha Henningsen to talk about award-winning partnerships.

Nikka whisky’s European brand ambassador Stanislav Vadrna will present on the Japanese concept of hospitality, Ichi-go Ichi-e. Andrew Nicholls, mixologist and co-founder of Barchaeology, will talk about the Authentic Caribbean Rum programme from the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA).

Other presenters will include Jörg Meyer from Le Lion in Hamburg, Steven Schneider from Employees Only in New York City, Martini brand ambassador Giuseppe Gallo, Midori global brand ambassador Manuel Terron, cocktail historian David Wondrich, Appleton Estate rum’s master blender Joy Spence, Dan Warner of spirits specialist The 86 Company, Zdenek Kastanek of 28 HongKong Street bar in Singapore, drinks historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller, whisky specialist Dave Broom, global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, Joanne Brown of The Botanist gin, Hendrick’s Gin global brand ambassador David Piper, and bar and cocktail specialists Nick Strangeway and Angus Winchester.

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