The Barometer Bar Show is one for your bar show diaries: featuring heavyweight speakers and showcasing the innovative, growing bar scene in Kiev. Andrew Wilkin dives into one of Eastern Europe’s biggest bar shows, which begins its second edition today.
A barometer checks atmospheric pressure and can forecast short term changes in the weather. It’s the perfect name for a bar show that sheds light on what’s going on in Eastern Europe’s rapidly developing bar scene right now.
Now entering its second year, based in Ukraine at Kiev’s Parkovy Convention and Exhibition Center, the Barometer Bar Show is one of the biggest events of its kind in Eastern Europe. The show offers a mixture of seminars, tastings, and bar showcases, as well as a chance to explore the dynamic bar scene of Ukraine’s capital city.
Barometer Bar Show Checks the Pulse of Kiev
“We wanted to create an event that’s interesting for professionals as well as people who love bars,” says Kateryna Mykhailenko, organizer of the show. “We unite two target audiences in one place.”
She’s also well aware that, for many, Kiev is still an under-the-radar destination. As well as bar and bartender development for both local bartenders and guests, they are keen to show off Kiev as an interesting travel and bar destination. “Many people are here on their first time to Kiev and have no idea what we have to offer,” Mykhailenko says.
And what’s on offer is a vibrant bar scene throughout Ukraine, from Kiev and Lviv to the smaller cities. What bars does Mykhailenko recommend for the first-time visitor to Barometer Bar Show? There’s the speakeasy Parovoz first of all, hidden in the cellar of the Kiev cinema, and with 15 years of experience serving up excellent cocktails. Then there’s De Bosch – named after Hieronymus Bosch himself – and Hendrick’s bar. Visitors can note down Black Tot, Biancoro and Pink Freud, too. Many will be showcasing their skills at the show itself.
That’s not it. Alongside a strong selection of bars, some of its best bartenders have taken home top honors at world competitions in recent years. Stanislav Mukhin won the main prize at last year’s Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge, while Sergey Alekseev, then head bartender at Parovoz, won the Ultimate Monin Cup global final in Paris back in 2014. There’s clearly a mixology revolution in the air.
Barometer Bar Show’s Dynamic Range
What about the program? Big names first of all. Look out for none other than Naren Young of Dante Bar discussing food pairing, whilst the ever-flexible Angus Winchester will discuss a bevy of topics over six talks, ranging from “Scotch in Cocktails” to the oddly titled “Outstanding personalities win!”
As befits their goal to appeal to two audiences, Barometer Bar Show’s program spans both the practical and the entertaining. Budding bar entrepreneurs should make their way to “Making a Profit from the Bar” or “How to Build a Bar.” We don’t doubt many will enjoy learning about vodka in its regional heartland, with talks on the history of the famous Żubrówka Vodka and the intriguingly named “Vodka Is Not That Simple” talk. “Even if you don’t leave the show, there would be something to do for the three days,” Mykhailenko says confidently about her packed program. “And our terrace has some of the best views of Kiev,” she adds with pride.
From Oslo to Minsk
Visitors also get the chance to visit bar showcases from many of the world’s top bars, which is a new addition this year. Esteemed bars such as Oslo Bar Show victors Himkok (Oslo), Bellboy (Tel Aviv), Danico (Paris), and Mace (New York) are all in attendance. We’re intrigued to see what the lesser known Barmaglot from Almaty and BarDuck from Minsk have up their sleeves.
Putting all this together wasn’t easy work for the Barometer Bar Show team. “The biggest challenge was in inviting bars from other countries, many of whom come from the World’s 50 Best Bars list,” Kateryna says. “Oh, and the speakers – with 74 speakers from around the world, it’s a challenge to get them all in one place for three days!”
Something else to note is that tickets have been separated into Standard and Premium, with the Standard offering guests a more basic program with access to a small selection of seminars and guest bars.
In only its second year of operation, the Barometer Bar Show has built quite the résumé. Looks like the barflies’ diary just got even busier.
Barometer Bar Show, Parkovy Convention and Exhibition Center, 29th September – 1st October, Kiev, Ukraine
Bildquelle: Photo via Baromter Bar Show.