FIVE! FACTS ON BAR CONVENT BERLIN 2016
Ten years BCB. Ten years international trade fair. Ten years of an industry get together for bartenders and drinks professionals. The MIXOLOGY team is extremely excited for fall and we’ve gathered the most important information pertaining to Europe’s leading bar fair below.
The digital sphere can definitely sense that it’s almost autumn. Posts hashtagged with #BCB16, #BarConvent, or #BartendersXmas are slowly showing up on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and anticipation for Europe’s largest liquid industry get together is growing. This year, we don’t just plan on quenching your thirst for new, innovative drinks and outstanding classics. No, no – your appetite for knowledge shall also be extinguished with these FIVE! facts around the BCB.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE BAR CONVENT BERLIN 2016
Some Bar Convent Berlin regulars function according to the age old adage – “after the fair is before the fair” and book next year’s hotel rooms and flights on the Thursday morning following the bar revelry. But some of you approach things more relaxed and have only realize that the annual meet & greet is approaching once summer vacation is over. Basically, the’ll journey towards the autumnal bar capital spontaneously.
For those spontaneous folk, the Bar Convent has got some extras up their sleeve. If you’re arriving via Deutsche Bahn, book your tickets with a special rate. Same goes for Lufthansa group flights. We’ve also got a guide with hotels that are located directly by the fair grounds and a booking service for accommodation. All information can be found on the Convent’s homepage.
If you’re traveling to the international fair for the first time, you’d do better to leave your car at home. Though two car parks are situated close to the Station, Berlin is easiest navigated via its well developed public transport system. Needless to say, there will be many cabs waiting outside a fair in which alcohol is freely poured. Apparently, word has even spread to the notoriously brash and unreliable Berlin cabdrivers that every autumn a party-loving crowd of gastronomers descends onto Berlin who are only too willing to explore bars located in the most remote of Berlin boroughs. And that’s how it’s meant to be. Don’t drink and drive!
HOP BOMB BREW BERLIN
In 2011 the first beer exhibitor showcased their wares at the originally spirit dominated trade fair. Others quickly followed and two years ago Bar Convent presented its first subsidiary: Brew Berlin. Last year this segment already called itself proud home to its own space as well as own stage. According to information from the Covent, Brew Berlin grew so exponentially over the last year that beer will have its very own hall in 2017.
But let’s stay in the present. Like last year, you can find Brew Berlin in Hall 3. This time around, a larger stage will be home to discussions around the booming craft beer scene as well as tastings, like the Hungarian mixologist Gabor Nemeth’s progressive beer cocktails. Brew Berlin’s exhibitor list is growing more and more diverse and international. Besides the Italian Elav Brewery, the American Brewers Associations will be exhibiting, as well as the Californian Stone Brewing, who are set to open their humongous European dependance in Berlin-Mariendorf in September.
LIQUID GUEST COUNTRY GREAT BRITAIN
Brexit and a quiet liquid exit? On the contrary! Bar Convent Berlin is proud to welcome one of the world’s largest liquid drinks nations as this year’s guest country. The program’s quality alone is mouth watering. David T. Smith, of the Gin Guild UK, and Dave Broom, of Whisky Magazine, will discuss topics like “The New Breed of British Gins” and “The Best of Non Ate Statement Scotch Whiskys” for the Taste Forum. Our eponymous MIXOLOGY stage will host “The Curious Bartender” Tristan Stephenson, who stirred things up by opening his whiskybar “The Black Rock”.
Additionally Lewis Hayes, from London’s Merchant House, will hold a lecture on building a bar program from scratch, aptly titled “From the Bottom Up: Planting Seeds”. Brew Berlin’s beer stage in turn will be home to true heavy hitters of the traditional and progressive British beer scene: You’ll find John Keeling (Fuller’s), Kerry Allison (BrewDog), Andrew Smith von Partizan Brewing, and Sam Smith (Samuel Smith) at the “British Breweries Talk”. London’s Savoy does coffee and Martink Hudak (three times champion at the Hungarian Coffee in Good Spirits and two time vice world champion at the Coffee in Good Spirits) will prove that on the coffee stage in Hall 7 during his “Coffee in Cocktails” talk. Cheers!
OPENING HOURS, TICKET PRICES, AND THE MIXOLOGY BONUS
When the Bar Convent Berlin first changed locations to the Station by Gleisdreieck we expected some visitors, following tradition, would turn up at Postbahnhof in the city’s East. Though we definitely recommend intended and unintended trips through our beautiful bar city Berlin, we can’t draw your attention to the most important data often enough:
The fair takes place on October 11th and 12th 2016. Opening hours are semi bartender friendly, from 11 to 19 o’clock on both days. Now that Reed Exhibitions is in charge of the organization, there’s no need for visitors to grab a coffee while they wait in the queue to gain entrance to the Station. Nope, admission now runs like a clockwork. If you haven’t already bought your ticket, you can purchase one at the box office, as long as you’re able to prove your industry affiliation. Tickets are 55,- Euros for both days, single day tickets are not available.
If you’ve got time to invest ahead of time, buy your ticket online and print it out or download it onto your phone. Tickets are available through the BCB website and cost 45,- Euros. MIXOLOGY subscribers once again profit from the partnership between our magazine and the trade fair. Indicate your customer number while buying a ticket and it’ll only cost you 25,- Euros. Unfortunately, we’re unable to offer a discount for MIXOLOGY subscribers at the box office. If you’ve misplaced your MIXOLOGY customer number, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll verify your account activity (if it’s currently active) and, if that’s the case, will happily hand out another customer number. As the owner of a BCB ticket you’re able to partake in the fair’s complete program and lectures, workshops, and seminars are free of charge.
THE BARTENDERS’ CHRISTMAS KICKOFF
Once again, we’ll be hosting the MIXOLOGY MARKET. The kickoff to the BCB will take place on October 10th 2016. Last year’s event attracted so many bar professionals, that many of you unfortunately had to wait a while to gain entrance. Which is we we recommend that you show up early. The space in which the market is held has a admission restriction and can only hold between 800 – 1.000 people. The market opens at 8pm.
Most of Berlin’s bars will be opening their doors for the thirsty BCB visitor on that specific Monday. Potsdamer Platz is close to Station Berlin, where you’ll be able to enjoy a great drink or two at MIXOLOGY BAR AWARD’s winner Arnd Heißen’s bar. If you’re headed west, pay the classic Victoria Bar a visit, as well as bar and restaurant Panama and Tiger Bar. As most of you know, you’re not far from Lebensstern at this point either.
The 10th of October 2016 is also the 10th anniversary of the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS. This year we’ve added four European awards, creating a more international kickoff to bartender’s Christmas. Tickets for the awards are already being sold. Those of you, who want to celebrate with the best our industry has to offer, should buy his or her ticket now, while we’re still in the early bird phase. The 120,- Euro ticket price includes a festive gala dinner with champagne reception and the finest cocktails. Hope to see many of you there, cheers!
Translation by Liv Fleischhacker.
Foto: Photo via Tim Klöcker.