BCB Seminar Recommendations From The Pros

By Neat Pour Staff |

Simply put, Bar Convent Berlin is a beast of an event. With over a 100 educational sessions during the three day trade show, the schedule can be overwhelming. To help make sense of it all, we consulted an all-star team of spirits circuit veterans.

Maggie Campbell (Privateer Rum), Philip Duff (Old Duff Genever), Lynnette Marrero (Speed Rack), ms. franky marshall (Modern Bartender, Educator, Consultant), and Matt Pietrek (Cocktail Wonk) all were kind enough to share some of their seminar picks.

The list compiled by our experts mirrored the show itself. The suggestions offered looks at history and the future as well as practical bar management and conceptual bar design. (Plus, there was lots of love for Imbibe editor Paul Clarke.)

Check out their recommendations below. Picks are identified by initials.

And, if you want more, the full schedule is available here.

Monday, 07.10.2019

12:00 – 13:00, SHAKE OR BRAKE ! BARTENDER TENDING (How to survive the industry- and yourself..) 

Kirsten Holm

“I’m looking forward to hearing what this pioneer of Copenhagen’s bar scene has to say about Bartending” FM


12:30 – 13:15, Getting Rum’s Story Right: Rum and the Media

Paul Clarke

“I think Paul is a true leader in journalism and with rum being such a complex and cultural expression, it takes extra perspective to truly get the story right.” MC

“A huge part of rum’s recent surge in interest is due to journalist telling a much more complete story than white/gold/dark. Paul is one of the best writers on the subject.” MP


12:30 – 13:15, An introduction to WSET’s Level 3 Award in Spirits

Nick King

“The new Level 3 spirits program from WSET is astounding. The textbook alone is priceless. I truly wish something like this had been available when I started!” MC


14:30 – 15:15, PEPPER EXPLORATION – Understand pepper diversity and how to use it in mixology 

Alex Kratena, Thibault Renaudin

“Pepper is a spice that doesn’t get discussed very much. Plus, I’m hoping we get to taste the new range of liqueurs that Alex and Monin just released.” FM


15:45 – 16:30, Flavor Revolution meets Rum Tradition by Alex Kratena and Carina Soto Velasquez 

(Alex Kratena, Audrey Hands, Carina Soto Velasquez, Meimi Sanchez)

“I love rum and I love these creative minds!” LM

[Courtesy Bar Convent Berlin 2018 / Ken Buslay]

15:45 – 16:30, Is creativity gone too far? How to deal with innovation and bar success. London and Tokyo experience with Maxim Schulte and Shingo Gokan

Maxim Schulte, Shingo Gokan

“Two masters of the craft, the Head Bartender of the Savoy London’s American Bar and the owner of Speak Low, Sober Speaker, The Odd Couple et al in China, come together to define the promises and restrictions that creativity offers in 2019.” PD


16:30 – 17:15, Pioneering Spirits 

Lars Williams

“I’m interested in hearing what the folks behind Empirical Spirits are up to, learn more about them, and taste some of their liquids.” FM


17:00 – 18:00, Hiring the unemployable: A guide to hire people formerly incarcerated

Stephanie Simbo

“I am most excited to see Stephanie Simbo speak about her program. It will be the most inspirational session. What she does and has done at such a young age with such passion is incredible.” LM


Tuesday, 08.10.2019

12:00 – 13:00, How the Hell Did I Get Here From There? Advice from the clumsiest bartender to ever live

Tobin Ellis

“Tobin (an old friend) is almost as funny as I am, but many more times insightful. He seee patterns and explanations that elude the rest of us.” PD


13:30 – 14:15, In Search of High Ester Rum

Matt Pietrek

“I’m doing four sessions at BCB, and this is one of two world premieres. It goes deep on rum flavor science, how funky rums are made, and who else besides the Jamaicans are doing it. Some surprises for sure!” MP


17:45 – 18:30, Sherry Uncovered

Nick King, Pawel Gruntowski

“Nicholas King is among the best minds in the spirit world today, and I’d listen to him talk about anything – especially sherry, which deserves so much more attention than it gets.” MP


Wednesday, 09.10.2019

11:00 – 12:00, How Alcohol & Cannabis Stack Up

Warren Bobrow, Christine Wiseman

“Quite simply the biggest disrupting factor in the business of alcohol since Prohibition, taught by the industry’s greatest cannabis expert and author, Warren Bobrow, and one of the best mixologists and bar managers of the new wave of relaxed quality cocktail bars.” PD

[Courtesy Bar Convent Berlin / Gili Shani]

14:30 – 15:30, The Future of Bar Design 

Adam MacDonald, Alexandre Ruas

“I’m excited to see what innovations are coming, especially from a European perspective.” FM


15:30 – 16:15, How we run our Rum Bar – Trailer Happiness London

Augustin Sly

“Sly is another icon leader and his work is truly special. This is certainly worth the time for anyone hoping to capture magic at their bar.” MC

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