Oslo Bar Show 2017: What To Look Out For
The Oslo Bar Show kicks off its third edition in the Norwegian capital this weekend. It’s a packed program, but these are the highlights you shouldn’t miss out on.
When Chris Grøtvedt started the Oslo Bar Show in 2015, Oslo was merely an afterthought for the travelling barfly – not anymore. Bars like Himkok and The Thief are receiving international acclaim and the Oslo Bar Show itself will begin its third year on June 24 and 25 with an increasing amount of recognition worldwide.
A tighter, stronger program
Since its inaugural edition, the Oslo Bar Show has aimed to be a meeting point for the entire Nordic region. Grøtvedt explains that he started the Oslo Bar Show to gather the community together, providing an opportunity for bartenders from less populated cities to receive the same standard of liquid education as their big city peers.
Somewhat surprisingly for a third edition, which will again be held at The Thief Hotel, the list of seminars is slightly smaller this year. Grøtvedt explains that 36 seminars in the 2016 edition was too many – resulting in many under-attended talks – so this year he has narrowed it down to 15 key topics.
Oslo Bar Show: Spotlight on Asia
It’s undeniably a more focused program over the two days – Chris says he’s not “trying to please everybody anymore” – one which contains many great seminars, which you can attend for a small fee, additional to the trade hall ticket price.
We’re particularly intrigued by the Dandelyan by Diageo seminar, which comes with the classic Ryan Chetiyawardana tagline: “making tasty mad shit accessible to non-industry people.” Fans of beer can head to Brooklyn Brewery’s “Innovation of Craft Beer” showcase, whilst fans of the Martini can enjoy a “Tasting History of the Martini” discussion with Beefeater and Plymouth Gin brand ambassador, Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge.
But what we are most stoked by is the clear focus on Asia in this year’s program. There’s the “Japanese Bartending and Service: The Secrets Behind it” seminar by the legendary Hidetsugu Ueno, “Nothing for Granted: Running a Bar in South Korea” by Lorenzo Antinori, Head Bartender of Four Seasons Hotel Seoul. There’s also a talk by Zdenek Kastanek from 28 Hong Kong Street, about the “Golden Age of Bartending in Asia.” It’s a clear sign the Oslo Bar Show has set its sights well beyond Scandinavia this time.
Strangers, flamingos and more
The roof at The Thief will provide another epic backdrop for a raft of pop-up bars this time around. Last year’s winners of the Swedish Bartenders’ Choice Awards Barflugan prize, Gothenburg’s Stranger, will be hosting their own party up on the roof, whilst the ever-luxe Elyx House will roll into town, packing flamingo punchbowls, pineapple cocktail cups, and copper-clad interiors. Then there’s the Japanese restaurant Hanami, just opposite The Thief, which will also host a raft of events including a Swedish Midsommar fiesta with Tom Surma from Familjen in Gothenburg and Mattias Borg from Penny & Bill in Stockholm behind the stick.
Capping off the whole shebang is the Nordic Bar Awards – the only specialist bar awards for the entire region – with raft of different prizes given out. Last year, Oslo’s Himkok won two prizes, including best cocktail program, but can Norway defend those titles? We’ll have to wait and find out. See you in Oslo!
Foto: Photos via Jens Bredberg/Oslo Barshow