BCB Is Back in Brooklyn!
Here’s what to expect from BCB Brooklyn 2019
All photos courtesy Bar Convent Brooklyn
It’s official: New York City finally has its own destination spirits and cocktail show again! Bar Convent, one of Europe’s buzziest bar shows, held annually in Berlin since 2007, is back for its second year in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on June 11 and 12. While it got off to a modest start for a first time run last year (you can read my recap here), this year, Bar Convent Brooklyn attendees can expect vast improvements—and more to take in. According to a press release from the show’s operator, Reed Exhibitions, “This year’s event will be bigger in size by 35 percent in square footage featuring new activations and brands. The Greenpoint Terminal will also host the new ticket registration as well as a lounge, tasting rooms, and demonstration stages, plus more featured exhibitors and purveyors with additional space allocated in the open air space area adjoining the Brooklyn Expo Center’s Main Hall.”
According to the release, this year more than 4,000 industry professionals are expected to be on hand exhibiting, educating and exchanging knowledge about all aspects of the industry from technique and history to hospitality trends and culture covering both the domestic and international markets. Says Reed, “Exhibitors will include more than 150 purveyors that will showcase a curated selection of premium spirits, mixers, and bar equipment.”
One of the aspects of BCB that sets it apart from many other shows is the option throughout the day to attend onsite bar demonstrations and educational sessions from a range of knowledgeable industry professionals without having to leave the main expo. BCB Director of Education, Angus Winchester, shared some insights into how it will work this year, and how the education has evolved from the last. What remains the same is the unsponsored Main Stage and the 2 Demo Bars, showcasing brand and venue demonstrations from around the world, as well as the Taste Forum to where “more esoteric” spirits and categories are showcased, some with sponsor talks. One major change: “This year we invited a select group of NY based industry professionals to act as a Seminar Selection Panel to improve outreach and diversity of ideas and presenters—especially for the Main Stage,” Winchester tells me via email. “They evaluated and debated the 140 public submissions for the Main Stage to select the 12 talks that made the cut.”
About the seminar selection process: “While last year I very much aimed to reflect the Trade Only nature of BCB and focus very much on bartenders and hospitality professionals, this year we have also included more topics on the social justice aspect of our society and the role played by hospitality staff to improve some of the toxic and harmful aspects of our community.”
In addition, he says: “This year we are working more closely with the WSET to give them their own dedicated area (Taste Forum) to cover spirit tastings and education for all skill levels and to discuss the importance of education and certification. We have also upped the Business Stage to reflect the need for the exhibitors, distributors, and marketers to respond to the growing entrepreneurial bartender community.” What’s also new will be two sessions conducted in Spanish in response to demand for more educational access for members of bar teams for whom English is not a first language.
All the talks are free to attendees on a first come, first serve basis. A list of them can be found here:
Come visit the Alcohol Professor table!
You can also expect to see the Alcohol Professors in action on both days! “We’ve been supporters of the Brooklyn show from the beginning,” says Alcohol Professor and International Beverage Competitions founder Adam Levy. “We’ve been attending the Berlin show since 2014 [the second year of Alcohol Professor], and look forward to participating in Brooklyn this year. BCB brings a valuable trade dynamic to New York, and American bar shows in general, that has been absent in recent years.” Alcohol Professor will have a stand where we’ll be pouring various spirits, and playing a little game. “The medals for International Beverage Competitions, which includes NY International Spirits Competition, are awarded to wine, beer and spirits, blind-tasted by trade buyers, who evaluate them based on how much value they bring to their price point,” says Levy. “So we’re letting attendees taste spirits and guess their price range and what medal they won.”
See you in Brooklyn in mid June!
Tickets are still available. If you are in the beverage industry, you can register for tickets here.