Bar Convent Berlin is the world’s largest drinks trade show, bringing together global bar owners, bartenders, distributors and manufactures from approximately 80 countries.

An impressive 446 exhibitors are bringing 1,200 drinks brands to Berlin, including over 160 gins, more than 100 liqueurs, 90 rums, over 40 tequilas and mezcals, and 69 bitters, vermouths and aperitifs. With such a diverse range of products represented, Bar Convent Berlin is a microcosm of the industry and the perfect place to spot the next big trends. Here are four of the biggest to look out for at the 2019 show.


Rum revolution

With a market 3x the size of gin globally1 and popularity on the up, rum is a key focus for BCB 2019. This year, the Kühlhaus will be transformed into the “House of Rum”, a hotspot for rum makers and lovers where visitors will discover the diversity of the category, and be invited to expand their knowledge through a series of seminars.

Talks will include Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell on the specificities of Madeira Rum and Matt Pietrek, one of the most notable authors in this industry, will host four talks, including his quest for high ester rum, and how the British influenced the birth of Tiki.

On the rise of rum, Ian Burrell says; “There are several reasons for the rise of rum, but the obvious one is the increase in awareness of rum as a category. Consumers are now drinking more quality and premium spirits, and want more flavour experience. Rum ticks those boxes.”


Wake up and smell the coffee

The interest in coffee and caffeinated cocktails continues to pick up the pace, with more bars including coffee on their menus, and a rise in the number of coffee-based products bursting onto the market. Thanks to coffee’s renaissance, the Espresso Martini was named #7 on a list of the World’s Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2019, and ranked in the top 10 for 32% of bars surveyed.

As well as a host of coffee roasters, coffee based liqueurs and coffee machines on show, visitors will discover a wealth of knowledge through the lecture programme on the Coffee Stage in Hall 4.

Timon Kaufmann, one of the leading experts for coffee cocktails will explain how to incorporate this versatile ingredient into your bar menu, and a sensorial appreciation of coffee and spirits will come care of the talk between Timon Kaufmann, Reinhard Pohorec, Hannes Fendrick and Nicole Battefeld. In addition, “Cascara – the banned ingredient” will be the theme addressed by Romyna Robledo y Mendez, while Ali Vogel – the “Latte Art Champion” will talk about the art of milk foam as an eye-catcher for bars.

Commenting on the coffee renaissance, Timon Kaufmann says; “As the third wave has taken hold, bartenders have begun to wake-up to the variety that coffee offers in terms of flavour profiles and how that can be harnessed to create a sensational cocktail. We’ve seen twists on classics and on- tap nitro serves, and I’m excited to see what the bar industry will come up with next.”


How low can you go?

Recent Nielsen data reported that on average 47% of US consumers over the age of 21 are making efforts to cut back on alcohol consumption3. In the UK, ONS data reported that over 20% of adults identify as teetotal4. As a result, the no- and low-alcohol category is undergoing a renaissance, with a host of new products entering the market.

BCB 2019 will welcome 20 no- and low-alcohol brands across vodka, rum and gin and whisky, as well as over 30 soft drink and mixer brands, making it easier than ever to offer an alcohol-free choice to customers without compromising on flavour.

As part of the education program, Distill Ventures Co-Founder & Non Alc Lead Shilen Patel will host a panel of experts to shed light on the rapid emergence of non-alc and what’s fuelling its growth. He comments, “At DV we’ve been predicting this moment for several years and it’s incredibly exciting to see that the time has finally come. In the last 12 months alone there have been 271 premium soft drink launches in the UK and our recent white paper revealed that 61% of consumers now want a better choice when it comes to ‘non-alcoholic’ drinks. The consumer demand is there, and we look forward to discussing takes for brands to be successful in this fast- evolving category and how we’re all responsible for it being more than a passing trend.”

Taking responsibility

The world has woken up to conscious consumerism and the bar industry is no different. At BCB 2019, the show will present a series of seminars that focus on social responsibility and how individuals can make a positive impact on the industry.

Highlight talks include Global Shift: Climate Change & The Bar World, in which Maggie Campbell and Paul Clarke will explore the ways in which the industry can overcome challenges from production and operating process to active involvement in changing public policy.

Social responsibility within the spirits world will also be addressed as renowned feminist and experienced bartender, Stephanie Simbo discusses how former prison inmates can be incorporated into bar operations. Meanwhile, exploring bartending on the basis of one’s identity, sourcing and a responsible ethos will be centre stage for Vijay Mudaliar as he discusses his approach to sustainability at his bar, Native.

Commenting on the trends, BCB Director Petra Lassahn, says: “Each year, BCB captures the heart of the drinks industry. Through our innovative exhibitors and on-the-pulse education programme we are able to showcase the trends that matter to our attendees and that are informing where the industry is going. In doing so, BCB has established itself as the world’s leading beverage trade show.”

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