[Live Blog] Bar Convent Berlin 2016

What’s the buzz? Join uns on our walk through Europes leading trade show. Our author Marianne J. Strauss will keep you up to date with her live blog from Bar Convent Berlin.

[Tuesday, 2:29 pm] Let’s start with some fruit!

Kick-off for the Bar Convent Berlin! Happy faces, beautiful people and the world’s best spirits: It’s bartenders’ Christmas again! For the 10th time Berlin is opening its gates to bartenders and connoisseurs from all over the world, who are already strolling, tasting, chatting, connecting and drinking… Let’s first head to Taste Forum B, where sommelier Billy Wagner is holding his talk about fermentation and fruit wines behind the bar – tasting included. The place is packed and we’re starting with a crisp Danish rhubarb wine. The surprising sweetness is purely natural – no sugars added! The perfect aperitif. Billy is presenting three apple ciders, one cherry wine (remember Kir?!) and one spectacular black currant wine from Denmark, France and Italy. Fruit wine as still unfamiliar category turns out to be a topic with super much potential, still young, still a long way to go, still to max out!

That’s how we love BCB – let’s head for the next highlight!

[Tuesday, 4:58 pm] The Cocktail Mount Rushmore on Stage

Wow, now that’s a 10th birthday party! The venue, Station Berlin, is so crowded the security won’t let anybody in anymore – for the first time in BCB history! We’re happy we made it before the big rush and heading to Mixology Main Stage, where we find the 2016 version of Mount Rushmore: Jörg Meyer, Charles Schuman, Phil Duff and Robert Simonson talking about the “band of bartenders that saved the civilized drinking world with modern classics”. All seats are taken, half of the audience is standing and sitting on the floor listening to the lively discussion. “I always prefer a strong drink to a lousy drink!” says Charles, and Phil is underlining how BCB showed the industry how to build a brand: “Slowly, healthy, without allowing the big players to spoil your baby with disco beats and energy drinks!” Famous names are dropping like confetti from Mixology Stage sky. London, Munich, New York and all the other bar legend building hot spots are mentioned, accompanied by spontaneous applause .. The tribe is growing. And hungry. Let’s get some Kimchi in the Food Court!

[6:21 pm] Beertails in the Year 2016

Did you know you can mix stout with orange marmalade – and it’s actually yummy?? We do now, after tasting a bunch of beer cocktails with Gabor Németh, who came straight from Budapest to Berlin Bar Convent. “Basically it looks like a beer, smells like a beer, but it is a cocktail” – sounds like a warning… Highly concentrated Gabor is pouring lemon juice, Monkey 47 Gin, tonic bitter, brown sugar syrup and American pale ale into his mixing glass, stirs one, two times slowly: Done. The audience is amazed and just as fascinated as Gabor himself! We spend the last 30 minutes with Irish red ale with almond, Four Pure Shapeshifter with apricot liqueur and Crate stout with spiced rum and nutmeg syrup. This BCB gets better and better. Time for the next talk!

[7:12 pm] Go West!

Join us for American craft spirits! At packed Demo Bar B we’re first tasting a version of Vesper cocktail – purely mixed with hand crafted spirits like Aviation Gin, Death’s Door Vodka, La Quintinye ex vermouth and some dashes of celery coconut bitters, followed by a twist on Moscow Mule made from Mitcher’s Rye Whiskey, Osocalis Apple Brandy, lime juice, ginger syrup and orgeat which immediately switches our taste buds into Christmas mood… fits perfect to that special time of year! And – big news – did you know rye whiskey jumped 90 % in sales in 2015?! And the distilling continues: Creative minds in the States are distilling everything you could possibly fill a still with. From maple syrup to doughnuts (yeah, doughnuts!). Inspired, happy and a little bit tipsy we’re checking out. See you tomorrow!

[Wednesday, 4.13 pm] The Beauty of the Simplicity

Hi there, bar lovers! You’re ready for another day full of sparkling bar talk and crisp news from Berlin Bar Convent? Join us for our first highlight with Ben Belmans and our favourite couple Jared Brown and Anastasia Miller! Four years ago they already talked about simplicity at BCB, and now they’re rolling up this exciting topic again. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” Jared is starting. The three bar titans are talking with well known verve and humor about simplicity in bar design (always face the bartender) and in the menu (keep it short), about the beauty of the simple spirit, simply prebottled cocktails and simple mottoes. “Truth is beauty, beauty truth” – so true! Let’s head for some beautiful simple champagne in Mixology Lounge.


Foto: Nils Wrage