2017 is moving on – we count down the bar shows you can’t afford to miss this year. One thing’s for sure: It’s gonna be a boozy, aromatic, and vibrant year!
This is the point in the year when the months seem to stretch off almost endlessly. Depending on whether you’re watching politics or the bar industry, that feeling of infinite time may be terrifying or exciting. Either way, trust us, 2017 will be over before you know it. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best bar events in Europe, here are the dates you need to keep free.
Hanse Spirit, Hamburg, February 17-19
Get the year off to a good start with three days of spirit tastings amongst some of Germany’s alcohol experts. You can sample cognac, gin, aquavit, whisky, and more. Tickets start from €13.
Venuez17, Antwerp, March 27-28
This year’s Venuez event is a look at the future of hospitality through the lens of the past. The conference theme is the seven deadly sins and how bars and bartenders can harness these forces to create memorable experiences for their customers. Tickets start from €25 and will be released online soon.
Tales of the Cocktail on Tour, Edinburgh, April 1-5
It begins on April Fool’s Day, but this cocktail festival is no joke. Tales comes to Europe for the first time this year. Over five days, there are seminars on using Scotch in cocktails, Edinburgh’s bar culture, and more. Speakers include top UK bartenders like Ryan Chetiyawardana (White Lyan), Agostino Perrone (The Connaught), and Alex Kratena (ex-Artesian). Tickets come with discounted accommodation and cost $329.
Craft Bier Fest, Munich, May 5-6
If you’re a fan of high quality beer, there’s no better place to go than Munich, especially during the Craft Bier Fest. In a city known for the commercial excess of Oktoberfest, this event aims to be the opposite – a gathering of beer lovers, sampling interesting new brews. Tickets are €15.
Lisbon Bar Show, May 17-18
Make the most of the springtime weather at Portugal’s major bar conference and learn why Lisbon is currently one of hottest cities around. Two days of cocktail masterclasses, tastings, and talks will cost you €23.
Perfect Serve, Amsterdam, May 22-23
For proof that Amsterdam is as good for bars as it is for coffee shops, look no further than Perfect Serve. See the best bartenders the Netherlands has to offer discuss industry trends, showcase new products, and compete with one another. Tickets will be available in April.
Cocktails Spirits, Paris, June 5-6
The premier bar show in France (some even call it the finest trade show in the world) attracts the best of European bar talent and will celebrate its 10th birthday in 2017. But you never need a reason to visit the City of Light. With a strong emphasis on bartenders sharing their knowledge, last year’s show hosted the first ever P(our) Symposium, organised by Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, formerly known as the guys behind Artesian. This year’s schedule and ticket prices aren‘t available yet, but rest assured: This is always a meeting point of the bar world’s Crème de la Crème.
Oslo Bar Show, June 25-27
Oslo showcases the best of Scandinavian drinking culture with pop-up bars and tastings. Plus, the presentation of the Oslo Bar Awards will give you some ideas of where to go after the show. Heading north is a perfect way to beat the summer heat. Entry to the trade fair is free and tickets to the seminars cost 250 Krones.
Imbibe Live, London, July 3-4
The UK’s Imbibe magazine runs this impressive bar industry trade show in the historic Olympia hall. The biggest exhibition of beer, wine, and spirits in the country, this is a place to taste new products and rare bottles. Plus, there are in-depth training sessions run by experienced UK bartenders. Entry is free for anyone working in the industry, so don’t forget to bring your business cards with you.
Great British Beer Festival, London, August 8-12
This five day brew fest celebrates its 40th year this time. The showcase of more than 900 beers, ciders, and perries from the UK and around the world will have you wishing the event ran twice as long. Tickets for a single day cost £11, while a pass for the full five days is £29.
London Cocktail Week, October 2-8
London’s long-running celebration of everything to do with cocktails is one event you don’t want to miss – traditionally ending with the coronation of the World’s 50 Best Bars as the finale grande. More than 200 of the city’s finest bars host tastings, supper clubs, and competitions, as well as offering £5 cocktails to LCW pass holders. Those all important passes cost just £10, and also grant you entry to the cocktail village in London’s old East End.
Bar Convent Berlin, October 10-11
As one exhibitor puts it, “BCB is always the highlight of the year,” and thousands of attendees would agree. Now in its 11th year, BCB is the focal point for the European bar and beverage industry. With a huge exhibition space, demonstration bars, a food court, and all-free seminars from top bartenders and producers, you’ll be spoilt for choice. And don’t forget the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS, presented on the night before the convention, whilst THE MIXOLOGY MARKET, the official opening event the night before BCB, is celebrated at Station Berlin, the trade show’s venue! Last year’s ticket for both days was € 45, the prices for 2017 will be announced soon. Please note: The entrée to THE MIXOLOGY MARKET is included, the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS will require a separate ticket.
Prague Bar Show, October 31-November 1
The best thing to do after Bar Convent Berlin is pop over the border and check out the Czech Republic’s coolest bar show. Some of the world’s best bartenders learned their trade in Prague and they’re only too happy to share their wisdom over two days of discussions and demonstrations. The show moves to a new home this year, a former factory in Prague’s northeast. Tickets for the show last year started at 400 CZK.
Athens Bar Show, November 7-8
With the biggest bar show in the Mediterranean, it’s easy to see why the Athens bar scene has become so vibrant lately. The cradle of modern democracy has grown into a cocktail wonderland, so don’t miss the chance to escape the northern autumn. And don’t worry if a seminar is in Greek – it can be translated into English over headphones. This truly is the UN of bar conferences. Past speakers include the Maestro himself, Salvatore Calabrese. Tickets are a bargain at just € 20.
InterWhisky, Frankfurt, December 1-3
If some other bar shows sound too general for your taste, then InterWhisky may just be perfect for you. Spend three days celebrating whiskies from all over the world through exhibitions, seminars, and of course tastings. The event ends with the presentation of Germany’s Best Whiskey Awards. Tickets start from €17.
There you have it – your event calendar for 2017 is officially full. Now all you have to do is find time to fit in work, life, and maybe a little bit of sleep.
Bildquelle: Photo via Tim Klöcker.