Bar Industry makes strong Comeback at BCB 2022
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The bar and spirits world met up again in the German capital for three days to taste the latest drink creations, do business, pick up knowledge or simply meet friends and colleagues from the international bar community. Once again, the top ranks of international bartenders were there: “We are very pleased that so many renowned bartenders from throughout the world have come to actively participate in this year’s BCB – whether at the exhibitors’ stands, as speakers in the education programme or at the evening guest shifts held in Berlin’s top bars. And all this despite the still many challenges facing the industry at present. We appreciate their commitment all the more and are working together for a positive future for the industry,” says Petra Lassahn, Director of BCB.
The event also welcomed a diverse range of visitors: From bartenders and restaurateurs to major spirits brands, retailers and wholesalers as well as hotels and restaurants, a wide variety of trade visitors attended. Alongside the numerous visitors from Germany, many others travelled from the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark. Strong contingents also came from Austria, Switzerland, Spain and France.
Elaborate and creative stand designs once again set the scene across the exhibition halls: Many small brand and bar worlds were created where visitors could marvellously lose themselves: “Our exhibitors have once again outdone themselves with their presentation and corresponding stand designs. You could see and taste how much effort and attention to detail had gone into them. You can really feel how the bar industry won’t let itself be defeated. Which is why we in the BCB team would like to thank all our exhibitors, partners and visitors for their fantastic commitment,” enthused Petra Lassahn.
There was a separate area for the country pavilions – for instance from the USA, Italy and this year’s partner country Denmark. A wide variety of products was presented there, much to the delight of visitors and satisfaction of exhibitors.
A taste of Spain
It was not just the rays of sunshine that contributed to the summery feel: The aperitivo bar care of the ‘14 De La Rosa’ team spread that good-mood feeling briefly whisking visitors to Barcelona, the home of the original bar. Dean Shury and his team created an impressively authentic aperitivo experience amidst the exhibition halls.
As well as demonstrating the popularity of various aperitivo ‘variants’, BCB also highlighted many other trends in the bar scene: like the various brands once again showcasing exciting products and drink creations in the “Low & No” ABV segment. The topic of sustainability in the bar business was also a prominent feature – here the focus was on packaging and plastic alternatives, among other things. For example, visitors could test edible cocktail cutlery or get to know the products of ecoSPIRITS who offer an alternative to conventional disposable glass. The ecoTOTESTM care of this technology company, which has developed the world’s first closed-loop packaging technology for premium spirits and wines, were also used in the Urban Gardening Area.
Off into the bar jungle!
Another hotspot that magically attracted visitors was the Speakeasy Bar. Together with the team from Greek bar ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘The Bar in Front of the Bar’, BCB set up this project with sponsor Bar-Fabric. Visitors coming in search of the mysterious bar were rewarded not only with outstanding drinks but also a unique experience: the renowned bar professionals from Athens provided delicious cocktails and an extraordinary atmosphere throughout – both in front of and behind the curtains.
“BCB is the biggest event for our industry. Everybody from the industry is influenced by BCB – especially in Europe. I was always here as a guest and to be here as a bar serving drinks is more than fantastic for us. Our team is really happy and it almost felt like serving in our bar in Athens. It was a great experience and we would definitely do this again”, says bar owner Konstantinos Theodorakopoulos.
Green thumbs up for the BCB Urban Gardening Area
In the Urban Gardening Area, sustainability and herbalism were the focus for three days – future topics that are currently moving the entire industry. The workshops by Bartender of the Year, Ruben Neideck, who spoke about herb processing, among other things, attracted a great deal of interest. Despite the topic’s very specific niche focus, the crowd was huge: within a very short time, clusters of visitors formed around the stand, making it clear that this topic deserves an even bigger stage. “I think it’s very important that bartenders with a wider reach should properly use their influence within the scene to pass on knowledge. I am very happy that together with BCB we have provided a platform for this important topic. This reflects the event’s excellent approach,” says Ruben Neideck. He is also especially pleased that, in addition to young bartenders, there were also familiar faces in the audience who have been active in the industry for years.
Three days packed with programme highlights
The varied education programme featuring top-class speakers also met all expectations and was curated by the BCB Education Board with Angus Winchester as Director of Education, Eleni Nikoloulia and Damien Guichard. One of this year’s highlights was bartender Danil Nevsky’s talk entitled “You VS the Global Bar Industry”, which drew a very large crowd to the main stage. Also noteworthy was the talk by Jean Trịnh from ‘Alquímico’. He and his team’s resilience and strength in moving to the countryside and setting up a farm deeply impressed the audience. Also entertaining and important was Iain Bell’s talk on nutrition and health – because while bartenders love to look after their guests, some of them are extremely bad at looking after themselves.
Another highlight after the show closed were the many different guest shifts with top-class bar teams featured throughout the city. Visitors to BCB flocked to Berlin’s hottest venues to have special drinks mixed for them by bar scene greats like Jeffrey Morgenthaler or Jesse Vida.
A total of 12,505 visitors from 88 countries and 533 exhibitors from 44 countries travelled to BCB in Berlin. This underlines BCB’s role as an international meeting place for the bar and spirits scene and its pioneering role in terms of trends and exchange. The past three days have definitely left us thirsty for more. We are already looking forward to next year when we once again raise a toast in Berlin from 9 to 11 October 2023.