European bar shows are growing bigger than ever. With so many events to choose from, your calendar is packed tighter than a well-stocked bar fridge. That’s why we’ve picked out the European bar shows you don’t want to miss in 2018.
If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of years, it’s that the news cycle keeps on spinning. From the royal wedding to the World Cup and the Winter Olympics, the upcoming year is packed with headline events.
European Bar Shows 2018
And that’s particularly true in the bar industry. Here are all the European bar shows – from trade fairs to beer festivals – that all bar industry pros should make sure not miss in 2018. Buckle up, there’s a humdinger of a year ahead of us.
Venuez18, Antwerp, March 25-27
New discoveries abound at Venuez, which in its eighth year is still focused on showcasing the hospitality of tomorrow. And not just within the Belgian market – this trade fair has its eyes on the whole globe. For the first time, Venuez will take place over three days, to include an even bigger array of talks from European bar industry experts and more time with exhibitors.
Tickets usually start at €25 and will be released soon.
Lisbon Bar Show, May 15-16
Lisbon’s a city that’s on everybody’s lips right now, including European bar industry aficionados. When the weather’s warm, you never need an excuse to head to Portugal, but it helps that two days of cocktail masterclasses, tastings, and talks are on the cards for the Lisbon Bar Show.
Tickets are available now until May 10, costing just €23 for both days.
Perfect Serve, Amsterdam, May 27-28
Take the chance to see the beautiful Amsterdam as spring segues into summer. Perfect Serve offers up a variety of brand showcases, seminars, special events, and competitions. The title’s apt – it’s the perfect event for bartenders aiming to network.
Organized by Timo Janse – now owner of recently-opened Flying Dutchmen Cocktails – Perfect Serve has evolved into one of Europe’s most important bar shows. Tickets and prices will be available in the next few months.
Cocktails Spirits, Paris, June 3-4
This truly is a trend-setting European bar show. As with the last two years, expect another edition of the P(our) Symposium. Last year, the discussion looked at gender, with Carina Soto Velasquez retelling the story of her personal struggle as a female bartender in the industry. Cocktails Spirits is a hip and innovative barshow, and a great opportunity to visit the City of Light and its outstanding bars too. The full program and ticket prices are yet to be confirmed.
Nordic Bar Show, Oslo, June 17-18
Previously known as the Oslo Bar Show, there are many changes afoot at Scandinavia’s top bar show – moving to the city center from its previous location at hip hotel The Thief. It’s also happening one week later this year, in order to avoid a clash with Midsommer clash.
Entry in previous years was free, with seminars – which last year included the likes of Hidetsugu Ueno and the ever-innovative team from London’s Dandelyan – costing just 250 Krones (around €26).
Imbibe Live, London, July 2-3
UK bar magazine Imbibe runs this major bar show. Imbibe Live is the biggest exhibition of wine, beer, and spirits in the UK, and Europe’s largest on-trade to boot. Training sessions run by bartenders entertain the 12,000 drinks professionals in attendance, not to mention the rest of the packed schedule.
The best bit? It’s free for anyone in the European bar industry. Time to book your flights to London for July.
Barometer Bar Show, Kiev, September/October
Ukraine’s premier industry event is rapidly becoming a must-see of all European bar shows. Himkok and Danico came to Barometer Bar Show last year for showcases, which also offers the perfect chance to explore Kiev’s fledgling bar scene – including Parovoz Speakeasy, which won Best Cocktail Bar at last year’s Barproof Awards.
The dates for 2018 are still being determined, but last year the show ran from September 29 to October 1, so expect something similar this time around.
Moscow Bar Show, September 4-6
Russia’s hippest bar show is back. Last year, the Moscow Bar Show made the move to St. Petersburg, a place they describe “city of free artists, gloomy poets and reckless musicians,” and they are staying there for their upcoming edition, but keeping their old name.
Ticket prices aren’t out yet, but keep an eye on their website for updates.
London Cocktail Week, October 1-7
The whole beverage community then congregates in London for the eponymous London Cocktail Week, which ends with a glitzy ceremony announcing the World’s 50 Best Bars.
A wristband, costing £10, includes entrance to their special Cocktail Village in East London, as well as more than 200 bars hosting events. With bespoke cocktails from the likes of Untitled, The Gibson, Oriole, Trailer Happiness and the new Bar Termini Centrale, there’s enough events packed in for a whole year, let alone just one week.
Bar Convent Berlin, Berlin, October 8-10
The attention then switches to Berlin and its beloved Bar Convent Berlin, which 12 years on, continues to grow exponentially. This year, for the first time ever, BCB extends over three days at Station Berlin and the Kühlhaus.
Alongside the labyrinthine show, with its bevy of exhibitors, seminars and tastings, don’t miss out on our very own MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS the night beforre BCB. Last year, you could purchase either a €45 day ticket, or two-day ticket for €65. Tickets also sold out nearly a month before the show for the first time, so make sure you have yours booked early this year.
Prague Bar Show, October 16-17
The beautiful city of Prague is fast shaking off its associations as a tourist city, with a dining and drinking scene of high quality. Visit the Prague Bar Show, a European bar show aiming to raise level of gastronomy in the Czech Republic – but one with lots to offer the international visitor too. Watch out for their specialist coffee area, with its eyes on the growing market for coffee cocktails.
They’ve kept quiet on dates and ticket prices up to now, but it’s worth noting that last year the bar show ran from October 31 to November 1, with a two-day ticket costing 550 CZK (approximately €21).
Athens Bar Show, November 6-7
Our final pick of the year takes us to Athens, the ancient city on the Mediterranean that isn’t so keen on sleeping. Led by the likes of The Clumsies and Baba Au Rhum, the city’s bar scene is booming.
The Athens Bar Show, held in the city’s Technopolis, showcases around 500 products and offers a diverse program for the professional or the bar curious. Tickets last year cost €20 for the whole shebang. It’s the perfect end to a full year of European bar shows!
Bildquelle: Foto via Bar Convent Berlin 2017 / Gili Shani