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SB Voices: Educating the on-trade

In the age of technology, bartenders should embrace educational opportunities and face-to-face interaction, Nicola Carruthers implores the industry to expand their skills and knowledge.

The British Bartenders Association aims to educate and bring the bartending community together

In just about every industry, there are professional organisations that exist to help foster and grow one’s network and career goals. Within the bartending community we also have a few of these organisations that can help to grow your career goals behind the stick and forge relationships within the industry.

Earlier this week, I attended the fourth meeting of the British Bartenders Association, a new group that focuses on educating the bartending community in the UK.

The founder, Steph DiCamillo, created the group to bring people together on a monthly basis which she felt didn’t exist amongst the industry.

While there are groups that exist online such as the London Bartender’s Association on Facebook, she wanted to create informal meetings which centred on talks from leading industry professionals.

Similarly brands are spending their time and money on educating the on-trade too. Bombay Sapphire is achieving success with its Glasshouse Project, a bartender brand advocacy initiative that is now being taken global. The series of workshops are led by leading figures and designed to “push the boundaries of gin mixology”.

At the same time, consumers are becoming more educated. They’re demanding natural, premium products. We’re told that consumers are drinking less and drinking better, but it seems likely that they’re drinking the same and drinking better.

We all have our phones and social media, but we’ve lost the ability to connect with one another. Joining in with groups are a great way to open up conversations on different topics in the industry, as well as growing your cocktail knowledge – it’s ultimately just a fun way to meet new people too.

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