This year we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS. On October 10th 2016 we’ll be honoring the best bars in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. One big difference to previous awards: this year we won’t be ignoring European counter artists and watering holes.
It’s been almost ten years, September 2007 in fact, when those four magical words (“and the winner is”) were first called out at the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS, which were initiated by MIXOLOGY – MAGAZINE OF BAR CULTURE. It was a mostly improvised awards ceremony on Bar Convent Berlin’s main stage, though the audience filled every last available space, and the winner was handed a bulky steel trophy. Thus was the atmosphere at the very first incarnation of what today has become the most important distinction of the German-speaking bar scene.
The awards that followed the next year were already held at a separate event space. Each year the ceremony grew and more categories were added. Categories like “Bar Menu of the Year” and “Hotel Bar of the Year”. Eventually the heavy steel awards were replaced by sleek, black glass shakers reminiscent of the 1950s and handblown by the Zwiesel Kristallglas AG’s manufacturers.
As the awards grew, the ambience became more and more festive. In 2012 the standing reception turned into a festive sit down gala dinner, for which tickets sold out quickly. On the 10th of October 2016 the awards will take place at the Maritim Hotel for the first time. Around 600 guests are expected and the amount of awards handed out, 16 this year, have also cracked a record.
A European Framework for European Awards
The most important news though, are the four new categories: the EUROPEAN MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS. “Bar Convent Berlin grew out of MIXOLOGY’s readership and traditionally, the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS gala is the BCB’s official kick off event. Today the BCB is considered Europe’s biggest and most important bar fair. About half of the visitors come from other European countries. Presenting European awards is the next logical step,” says MIXOLOGY publisher Helmut Adam. “Though well thought out international awards programs certainly exist at this point in time, we believe that there’s something missing. One awards program that showcases the European continents’ cultural diversity. After all, Europe is the birthplace of the bar and many of the most important bar products are manufactured here.”
New Jury for European Awards
Four European awards will be presented this year. They go as follows: Best European Bar, Best New European Bar, Best New European Spirit or Bar Product, and European Mixologist of the Year. The nomination process is the same as for the German, Austrian, and Swiss awards. The Long List is produced by the jury advisory council, which is made up of bartenders, restaurant and bar owners, journalists, bloggers, and members of the beverage industry. Around 120 council members from all over Europe contributed their votes over the last couple of weeks.
“We’re planning on expanding, and improving our European awards on a yearly basis in hopes of giving bars and bartenders from lesser known regions and cities a platform to gain wider recognition.” – Helmut Adam (Publisher MIXOLOGY – Magazine of Bar Culture)
In each category the ten nominees with the most votes and mentions make it onto the Long List. The jury, members all experienced gastronomers and publishers, select five nominees per category from the Long List. Those make up the Short List. The winners are then determined in one last, secret round of votes.
The European Jury is made up of these fine folk below:
Arnd Henning Heissen (Germany, Fragrances & The Curtain Club at The Ritz-Carlton)
Ben Belmans (Belgium, Bijou)
Dimitar Kosev Dimitrov (Bulgaria, ByTheWay)
Erich Wassicek (Austria, Halbestadt)
Fernando Castellon (France, Castellon Consulting)
Kirsten Holm (Denmark, K-Bar)
Lubos Rasz (Slovakia, Barkultur)
Patrick Pistolesi (Italy, Caffé Propaganda)
Thomas Huhn (Switzerland, Les Trois Rois)
Vladimir Zhuravlev (Russia, Clabaratory)
The Long List with ten nominees per category is published in early August, followed by the Short List with five nominees in the beginning of September. The winners of the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS will be announced on the evening of October 10th in the Maritim Hotel. Tickets for the awards gala, which will be held in both English and German, are available from the beginning of August. During the early bird phase tickets will cost 120 Euros. The regular price is 140 Euros per person.
Bildquelle: Photos via K. Hiendlmayer