Bar Convent Berlin kicks off with a Rematch Bang

Bar Convent Berlin brings together the best in our industry and this year, before the show has even started, we’ve had two big nights.

When you arrive in Berlin for Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) you know that your liver is going to be in for a big workout, with that in mind starting preceding’s by judging a Rematch Beeyatch is a stupid idea. Nonetheless that is where I found myself on Sunday night.

BCB is run by the lovely folk at Mixology Magazine who are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, a great achievement by a great magazine. To celebrate this feat they held a party at one of Berlins newest bars Rocco & Sanny and Paul Mant was on hand to host Germany’s first ever Rematch.

The bar was packed with the great and good of the German bar scene and as soon as Paul was handed the mic I saw a glint in his eye that could only mean he’d been working on some jokes for the local crowd that he should probably steer clear of. Luckily he toned down his usual level of crowd abuse and settled on telling the throng that they weren’t as loud as London…. repeatedly.

The auction in full swing

The 8 contestants had obviously been practicing and put on a great show for their supporters. The times may not have been quiet up to UK, US and Australian standards but the enthusiasm couldn’t be faulted.

Even Helmut Adam, one of the founders of Mixology magazine, oiled up his shaking arm to get involved. For the record he was so slow one of the judges had evolved into a new species by the time he finished.

As Paul ramped up the ‘signal’ (a phrase they failed to understand no matter how many times he used it) to a crescendo the winner was announced. Tosten Spuhn from Modern Masters in Erfurt took out the inaugural Berlin Rematch with a time just shy of 4 minutes.

To celebrate their 10th Anniversary Mixology mag had a clear out of the boxes of booze in their office and combined these with some other goodies to auctioned off to raise money for charity. Jacob Briars got caught up in the bidding frenzy despite the fact he doesn’t know how to count in German so didn’t entirely understand how much he was bidding.

By the end of the night they had raised an awesome 2,785 Euros and everyone was suitably warmed up for the rest of the week.

Mixology Awards

Monday saw Germany’s biggest bar awards ceremony with the Mixology Awards taking place at Berlin’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.

With categories ranging from Best Bar to Best Host (full list of awards and winners below) the black tie attired audience were soon downing the cocktails, provided by a series of sponsors bars around the room, and getting into the swing of things.

Now I must admit at this point my German is not great, in fact on the flight over I realised I had forgotten the German for ‘Hello’, so I didn’t follow the evening entirely. Philip Duff was on hand to keep the English speakers up to date with events using his usual combination of bad jokes and worse jokes but the rest was a mystery to me.

I can tell you that people were very happy to win, and by the looks of a few faces pretty pissed when they didn’t. The celebration of the night went to Die Goldene Bar, Munich who hugged approximately 327 people on their way to the stage when they took out Best Bar.

As we know what happens at the after party, stays at the after party so there is nothing to report from that other than old acquaintances were renewed, friends for life were made (if only you could remember their name the next day) and Amano Bar (who were also celebrating their success of the night) kept everyone well lubricated.

So now onto the next stage of the festivities the actual show itself, and a party of two of course.

Mixology Bar Awards 2013 Results

  • Bar Team of the Year – Amano Bar, Berlin
  • Newcomer of the Year – Harry Glockler, Riva Bar/Becketts Kopf, Berlin
  • Mixologist of the Year – Oliver Ebert, Becketts Kopf, Berlin
  • Host of the Year – Arnd Heissen, The Carlton Club at Ritz Carlton, Berlin
  • Bar of the Year – Die Goldene Bar, Munich
  • Hotel Bar of the Year – Amano Bar, Berlin
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Maria Dolores Boadas
  • Spirit of the Year – Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Triple Sec
  • Bartenders Choice – Green Chartreuse
  • Bar Menu of the Year – Schoellmanns, Offenburg
  • Mixology City Award – Frankfurt