There's no business like show business!

To be honest I hadn’t given Bar10 (or London Bar Show as it is more popularly known) a lot of thought this year. I had rather assumed that it was business as usual. I had heard they had moved back to the Business Design Centre in Islington, the smaller venue where Bar began it’s life, but other than that I assumed that not much would be different.
Then out of nowhere I saw a few threads on facebook with outraged bartenders complaining about the ticket price… ticket price?… that can’t be right! Bar has always been a free to attend event.

It's not all fun and games... honest!

I was chatting with a couple of friends the other day who are not in the drinks industry. It's always funny to see their reaction when they ask what I'm up to, but this time when I told them I had been invited to Leeds to judge a cocktail competition for Cazadores tequila, I was surprised by what they had to say. One thought I was joking and didn't really believe that bartenders have competitions and the other said that it must just be a thinly desguised excuse for a piss up. Now I can understand the reaction, but it got me thinking about how important competitions really are to the drinks trade.


I guess even from an outsiders point of view there are some obvious reasons for comps. I mean from a brand point of view it is a no brainer. You can create a good buzz around your products, potentially get new drinks on menus, maybe grab some column inches in the trade press and most importantly get bartenders using your brand.


On the most basic level all a brand needs to do is throw some stock at a bar, invite a select few bartenders to come up with a couple of new drinks that fit whatever criteria you want to set, line up some judges, invite the journalists and line up a good prize. The result is several weeks of bartenders talking about the fact they are in your competition, trying out new recipes on customers and co-workers, and promoting your products to anyone who will listen. After the comp they will still sell their signature drinks, maybe even add them to their next drinks list and they will most likely reach for your brand over one of your competitors when they can.


tequila time

It has been a little while since my last blog, so I thought I had better do a quick update before getting back to the grind stone.


Tequila and Jager up for grabs


A quick word about the competition I announced last time. I will be putting a section up on the website which will be dedicated to Gregor de Gruyther and will have some of the drinks he came up with as well as some drinks made up in his honour.