Barometer Bar Show in Kiev: A Must-See Bar Show in the East
We’ve got Kiev on our mind as we prepare for our visit to the Barometer Bar Show. Mixology author Andrew Wilkin will be covering the event for Mixology and has found out why you shouldn’t miss the three-year-old event staking its claim as a global bar show.
Fashion has London, Paris, New York, and Milan. Film has Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin. What about our own biz, becoming ever more globalised in the last decade? New Orleans’ Tales is a big hitter, as is our darling Bar Convent Berlin, but there’s a bunch of bar shows still only young battling to take their place in the upper league of influential events.
Barometer, in Kiev, has made quite the rep in the last three years. With its finger firmly on the bartending pulse, it’s by no means a regional curiosity. Also refreshingly, the lineup of shows is totally original.
If you’re tired of watching the same talks at every bar show, Barometer Kiev is the perfect antidote to this. New talks, done by some of the industry’s most prominent figures, in a city with a fledgling and highly exciting bartending scene.
Barometer Kiev – Bartending without borders
They’ve picked a broad, and intriguing theme this year: borders. All discussions are broadly based on the theme, going into the topics of gender, age, and geographical borders. Not just that: the separation of the restaurant and bar.
And even smaller, talks will delve into “borders” in a specific drink: for instance how to avoid mixing too many tastes and ingredients. In their own words: “How to find the courage to exit your comfort zone, and when you shouldn’t?”
Within this topic, they’ve assembled a crack team of speakers. There’s Tristan Stephenson, bar-manager, chef, co-founder of London-based Fluid Movement, a globally renowned drinks consultancy firm, journalist, bestselling author of the Curious Bartender series of drinks books.
He’ll be discussing a “Brief History of Contemporary Gin”. Bartenders include Marian Beke of the award-winning The Gibson (speaking about “Unique Bitters – electric bitter creation” and “Martini throw ages – past, present and future”), Philip Bischoff of Singapore’s Manhattan Bar (“Bar in a Hotel – Transformation of the Amenity Hotel Bar to a Social Hot Spot” and “Breaking stereotypical hotel bar”), and Joe Schofield, the International Bartender of the Year according to the Spirited Awards (“The role of menus in the bars of today”).
With reportedly 15,000 guests attending – nothing to sniff at, BCB Berlin last year had 12,000 – they’ve got a guestlist of speakers to sate the demand.
A world of bars
There’s also the chance to visit a number of the world’s bars – and not just from the traditional centers. Kateryna Mykhailenko, Head of Marketing and PR, was especially excited about this when we caught her for a chat, noting there are 23 bars from 15 different cities.
There’s big names such as Manhattan Bar, Little Red Door, Baba Au Rum, and the Hemingway Bar. Then there’s Door 74 alumni Timo Janse and Tess Posthumus, making appearances on behalf of their newish bar Flying Dutchmen Cocktails.
But I’m particularly excited for the bars of Eastern Europe and Central Asia that will be making appearances, the likes of Embargo Bar Minsk (Minsk, Belarus), Barmaglot Bar and RestoBar 6/45 (Almaty, Kazakhstan), and Simona (Yerevan, Armenia). The bar world really is bigger than London and New York.
To note: all guests should note that tickets are separated into Standard and Premium brackets. Standard offers guests a more basic program with access to a small selection of seminars and guest bars, whilst Premium offers the full shebang.
Kiev’s evolving bar scene
We’re also excited to explore a city of golden domes and Soviet modernism, and has a bar scene – one that’s notably winning lots of Barproof Awards – that’s getting the international crowd excited. Paravoz Speakeasy has been the one flying the flag for some years now and hasn’t dropped in quality.
A closed door at a movie theater hides a distinctly retro spot which has cocktails that delve into the past, but look to the future too. Trendy Barman Dictat has a long steel bar and a deep spirits list, whilst Ostannya Barykada, “The Last Barricade”, is a colorful and political bar referencing the last three Ukrainian revolutions.
Barometer Kiev is a sign that the bar world is on a global march. An increasingly unmissable event, stay tuned for our footage at the end of the month.
Barometer Bar Show, 28 September – 30 September 2018, Kiev, Ukraine
Disclosure: Barometer covers flights and accommodation for the author’s trip to Kiev. Other expenses are paid for by Mixology publishing.