From Coffee Convent to Brew Berlin: BCB 2017 has so much to see and do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. To help with those difficult decisions, we’ve put together a list of our personal highlights at this year’s Bar Convent Berlin.
BCB 2017 is just around the corner. By now, you’ve probably seen the full BCB 2017 program, but take it from us: there’s always more to see. Here are some of our top tips and highlights for this year’s Bar Convent Berlin.
BCB 2017: MIXOLOGY Lounge Honors Sasha Petraske
Seminars and masterclasses are all well and good, but if you feel like something a bit calmer and more intimate, stop by the MIXOLOGY Lounge and say “hi” to the team. We might be biased, but we think the lounge is the best place at the show. As well as comfy couches, cool tropical wallpaper and issues of MIXOLOGY to read, we’ve got some special events lined up at the lounge, too.
On Tuesday, October 10th at 3pm, we’ll have a book signing of Sasha Petraske’s posthumous love letter to good drinking, Regarding Cocktails. Copies will be signed by co-author, and Petraske’s widow, Georgette Moger. “Regarding Cocktails is a true labor of love,” says Moger. “It is a collection of some of the most requested and beloved Milk & Honey cocktails, with the stories behind each drink told by some of the industry’s best and brightest bartenders.”
Moger is looking forward to meeting BCB visitors and sharing the spirit of the book. “Kicking off the signing and meet & greet with a festive daiquiri toast to Sasha is also sure to be a highlight of my time at BCB,” she says. Both the English and German editions of the book will be available at BCB 2017, so come down to the MIXOLOGY Lounge to celebrate one of the cocktail revival’s leading lights.
We’ll also have all the MIXOLOGY TASTE FORUM winners from the past 12 months available for you to sample. The MIXOLOGY TASTE FORUM is an independent drinks tasting panel, which comes together for each print edition of MIXOLOGY, to sample and rate drinks in a blind taste test. Each forum focusses on a different category, and the panel is drawn from a pool of respected bartenders, journalists, and other industry figures.
The only drink BCB visitors love more than something alcoholic is something caffeinated. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive! Whether it’s in liqueurs, cocktails, or coffee-flavored stout, coffee and booze can be undeniably good together. While BCB has included sessions on coffee before, this year, we decided to expand our focus and create Coffee Convent.
Just like Brew Berlin does for beer, Coffee Convent will have its own stage and stalls for exhibitors. Lavazza coffee is hosting seminars on the latest trends in coffee for the hospitality industry. And Tia Maria is bringing together two bartenders and a coffee roaster, to show you how to expand your coffee cocktail repertoire beyond the Espresso Martini. Meanwhile, stalls at Coffee Convent will be packed with all things coffee, featuring roasters from around Europe.
France is the Country of Honor
It won’t be hard to spot the French influence on BCB 2017, with French spirits, brands, and bartenders taking over both days of the show. One of the speakers we’re most excited about is Joseph Akhavan, from Paris’s “cocktail den and rum empire” Mabel. For starters, he’ll take you behind the scenes at his bar, to share his insights on running a rum-focused venue. Later, Akhavan will host a tasting of his favorite examples of rhum agricole.
An often-overlooked part of France’s industry is its beer industry. With a long history of artisanal breweries, France is as dedicated to beer as it is to wine. So why doesn’t it get more recognition? That’s the question Dirk Hoplitschek – the co-founder of Berlin Beer Week – is hoping to answer, when he hosts a panel discussion with French brewers, both traditional and modern.
Speaking of beer, the Brew Berlin program is better than ever this year. In addition to the panel discussion on brewing beer in a wine country, Brew Berlin will be looking at beer trends around the world, including the fast-growing craft beer market of Bulgaria.
And as always, there will be plenty of brewers from around the world showing off their beers at Brew Berlin. In amongst the tastings, be sure to keep an eye out for a unique style of beer that’s only recently been saved from extinction. As recently as 2014, Berliner Weisse was listed as an “endangered culinary cultural heritage” by the Slow Food movement. But the last few years have seen a resurgence of this style of top-fermented sour beer, which can only legally be produced within the city of Berlin. Craft breweries and beer drinkers are flocking to Berliner Weisse once again. If you get the chance to taste some, don’t pass it up!
Sustainability Behind the Bar
Sustainable and eco-friendly bars are popping up all over the map, from Native in Singapore to Les Grand Verres in Paris. Of course, the trailblazer for many current zero-waste bars was London’s now-closed White Lyan. But you don’t have to run a radical bar like those to make a significant different to your bar waste.
This year, two bartenders began touring the world, talking to bar managers and showing them how to make delicious tiki drinks from bar waste. Going without citrus may be too tricky for many bars, but that doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to a bin full of used lemons and limes every night. Trash Tiki is the brainchild of Kelsey Ramage and (Team Lyan right-hand man) Iain Griffiths, and we’re so excited to have them speaking about reducing bar waste and sharing simple sustainability tricks at BCB this year.
There you have it – just a few highlights from a packed program at BCB 2017. Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.
Bildquelle: Photo via Tim Klöcker.