If there are any lingering doubts that the bar world has bounced back from the pandemic, the recent Bar Convent Berlin should put them to rest.
The trade show is the world’s largest for the bar and beverage community. This year 12,505 attendees from 88 countries and 533 exhibitors from 44 countries travelled to Berlin for the October 10 to 12 event. Among the crowd were some of the biggest names in cocktails, including Portland’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Jesse Vida of Singapore’s ATLAS bar and Ruben Neideck, the Berlin-based Bartender of the Year, eager to share new ideas, taste new drinks and discuss solutions to the big issues that still face the industry.
“It was incredible,” says The Alchemist publisher Gail Nugent, who attended the conference. “There were over 1,200 brands, and many had amazing installations. Some of them actually recreated entire bars. There was a map booklet to get around the six exhibition halls, and I put it to good use not to miss anything.”
The intricate installations highlighted some of the major trends in the industry, such as the Taste of Spain’s aperitivo bar, which recreated the spirit of 14 de la Rosa in Barcelona often in low- and no-ABV format, and the popular BCB Urban Gardening Area, where guests could explore issues of sustainability and herbalism. Attendees also loved The Bar in Front of the Bar from Athens, proving that the speakeasy trend is indeed back, and likely here to stay.
Then, when the day’s tastings and discussions were done, attendees hit the town to check out Berlin’s dynamic bar scene. “Everyone was so happy,” Nugent says. “It was just energizing.”
The next BCB will be held October 9 to 11, 2023. For information, visit barconvent.com.