Bar Convent Berlin has become famous for its programme of industry-leading demonstrations, speakers and seminars and 2019’s line-up will not disappoint. For three days, eight stages will present over 120 hours of expert panels, tastings and discussions across a variety of subjects, led by some of the industry’s biggest names. The 2019 programme has once again been curated by BCB’s Global Director of Education, Angus Winchester. The renowned drinks expert has been active in the industry for 30 years. A bartender, educator and passionate consultant, he says: “You never meet as many creative minds under one roof as you do here and this is why I am extremely proud of our list of speakers this year.”

Cutting edge bartending on The Main Stage

The Main Stage in Hall 5 is the centrepiece of the show. Here, the programme will offer visitors a wide variety of topics, from bar operator and author Jeffrey Morgenthaler on how much ground has been covered to reach the current state of Bartending Today, to the handling or avoidance of dangerous and illegal ingredients and techniques explained by Camper English.

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. This bar operator always focuses on local character – at his own bar, Native, everything from the ingredients and tableware to the furnishings are local and come from the surrounding region.

Samples at the Demonstration Bars

At the Demonstration Bars expert speakers and brand ambassadors from all over the world will offer spirits tastings and cocktail demonstrations as well as a practical take on daily operations. Speakers here include Alex Kratena, a multi-award-winning bartender and cofounder of the non-profit organisation P(OUR), and the spice expert Erwan de Kerros. As co-presenters they will discuss pepper and its varieties, and how it can be used to add just the right spicy flavour to cocktails.

With the support of Schweppes, Javier de las Muelas, the expert when it comes to taste optimisations and one of the world’s best-known cocktail masters, will show visitors how to take any cocktail to the next level.

Inviting visitors to a trip to Greece will be world-famous rum and cocktail influencer Thanos Prunarus, winner of the Greek World Class 2013 Thodoris Pirillos, and bar owner and gin specialist Dimitris Kiakos. They will explain how they joined forces with a group of ten Greek bartenders to re-invent the drink tsipouro in the form of O/PURIST supporting a nonprofit organisation in the process.

A Trip to Mauritius via the Kühlhaus

Golden beaches, blue lagoons, breathtaking reefs and full-bodied rum: Mauritius is this year’s guest country at Bar Convent Berlin, turning the Kühlhaus into a “House of Rum”, hosted by Ian Burrell. A seven-time International Brand Ambassador of the Year nominee, Guinness World Record Holder for the largest rum tasting event, and jury member for competitions on seven continents, Ian is perfectly placed to host the programme on the Rum Stage, and will present talks about the specificities of Madeira Rum and the secret to the double-ageing process.

Matt Pietrek, one of the most notable authors in this industry, will host four talks, including his quest for high ester rum, a special form of rum predominantly manufactured in Jamaica, and how the British influenced the birth of Tiki. Maggie Campbell, founder of the Denver Brewer’s League and Vice President of the Spirits Judging Committee, will talk about the “élevage craft”, a process applied by rum distillers all over the world to bring “excellence” to the glass.

Wine & Spirit Education Trust

The WSET Forum invites visitors to embark on a voyage of discovery into the world of spirits. WSET Product Development Manager for Spirits and Sake Nick King offers a special tasting of gin, agave spirit and Baijiu in various categories before Natsuki Kikuya, as Sake Samurai, sommelier and instructor, describes how to start a career with Japanese rice wine. Pawel Gruntowsky, founder of the Berlin Wine School, unveils the secrets of sherry while Liam Scandrett organises a cross-category blind tasting to understand the scaling, techniques and descriptors of the systematic WSET approach.

Know-How for Business

BCB has once again partnered with Park Street University to present the Business Forum in Hall 5, which will be host to a programme aimed at visitors who want to expand their business. In an expert panel, Jaap Kras will provide an overview of the flourishing cannabis business and the associated cross-over products and trends. A former lawyer from the Netherlands he is one of the world’s leading landscaping specialists and an international consultant for the emerging cannabis industry in the European Union. In a panel discussion Gabe Barkley will explain why there is more to communicating luxury products than price. CEO of beverage importer, distributor and licensed service provider, MHW, Gabe will impart first-hand knowledge of how experience and targeted focus make for successful positioning and communication.

Learning from the biggest mistakes of the beverage industry will be the topic dealt with by founder of comms agency LDR CREATIVE, Louis de Rohan, who looks back on 20 years of experience building consumer brands in the beverage industry, with help from a panel of drinks entrepreneurs and distributors. Co-founder of Non-Alc-Lead, Shilen Patel will describe how and why his company became successful on a global scale, and how he has already helped dozens of start-ups reach their full potential by asking provocative questions and introducing convincing strategies.

One bean, 1,000 flavours

Those wishing to know how coffee can be successfully incorporated into their own bar concept will discover a wealth of knowledge through the lecture programme on the Coffee Stage in Hall 4This forum is focussed on imparting basic knowledge such as the use of espresso as an ingredient in coffee drinks, but also about inspiration. Timon Kaufmann, one of the leading experts for coffee cocktails will explain how to incorporate this versatile ingredient. A sensorial appreciation of coffee and spirits will come care of the talk between Timon Kaufmann, Reinhard Pohorec, Hannes Fendrick and Nicole Battefeld. “Cascara – the banned ingredient” will be the theme addressed by Romyna Robledo y Mendez. Next to coffee, tea is also being increasingly appreciated in bars. Explaining how to create tea-infused cocktails will be Raymund Peters, while Ali Vogel – the “Latte Art Champion” will talk about the art of milk foam as an eye-catcher for bars.


For the complete programme go to

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