Unmissable spirits exhibitors at Bar Convent Berlin 2018
Bar Convent Berlin returns for its 12th outing next month with a celebration of Italian spirits and an enhanced focus on education.
Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) is back for its 12th annual show, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. For the first time, the event will take place over three days, giving visitors and exhibitors more time to network, soak up new trends and expand their knowledge through a series of educational seminars.
From 8-10 October, BCB will once again occupy every available square metre of Station Berlin and the neighbouring Kühlhaus, with an expected 400 exhibitors showcasing about 1,100 products to 14,000 visitors. The show will retain its key focus on premium spirits, as well as new spirits players, beer, coffee, Champagne and equipment.
This year there will be a special focus on exhibitors from Italy, the ‘official partner country’ of BCB 2018. Around 45 Italian companies are expected to exhibit at the show, some of which will be highlighted on an eye-catching central pavilion. The nation’s representation will include household names, such as Illva Saronno, Compagnia Dei Caraibi, Turin Vermouth and Girolamo Luxardo.
BCB has upped its focus on education for 2018, with a lecture programme curated by new director of education Angus Winchester. One of the confirmed keynote speakers is cocktail expert Frankie Solarik, who, together with Micah Melton, will discuss creativity in drinks. On the first day of the show, the programme will focus on bar operators, while the second will shine a light on bartenders, and the third will be geared towards distributors.
“In general, our supporting programme is even better geared towards the main target groups of the trade fair,” says Petra Lassahn, event director of BCB, who adds that the show is “becoming more international every year” with more than half of all trade visitors travelling from overseas. BCB is also increasing its own global footprint: following its debut show in Brooklyn, New York on 12-13 June, BCB announced its expansion to São Paulo in 2019. The event will be hosted by show organiser Reed Exhibitions Alcantara Machado in Brazil, and Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, the organiser of Bar Convent in Berlin.
“The launch of Bar Convent São Paulo next year is part of our global strategy to be a partner for the industry worldwide,” Lassahn continues. “At Bar Convent Brooklyn we brought together spirits producers, bar owners, bartenders and distributors in their home market of the US. By launching the show in São Paulo we are providing international companies with an essential anchoring point in the Brazilian market – we are strengthening target markets and the industry as a whole.”
Click through the following pages to see the key spirits brands exhibiting at BCB 2018, and visit barconvent.com for more information on this year’s show.
Stand – 7/A08
Super-premium Altos Tequila will be showcasing its range of products at BCB for the second year running.
A wall of photo frames will display members of the Altos Tequila family, including maestro Tequilero Jesús Hernández. Visitors will even be able to feature on the wall themselves through an interactive iPad experience.
The stand will be manned by Altos brand ambassadors and finalists of The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. They will be on hand to offer visitors key serves, such as the Altos Margarita and Crafted Paloma, as well as limited offerings the Spiced Old Fashioned and Mexican Negroni.
Meanwhile, a pop-up truck is sure to draw in the crowds with offers of tacos and Margaritas. It will suggest a €5 donation to support the Huichol Foundation.
Guests should also get ready for live giveaways of Altos Tequila pin badges, flatpeak caps and Tshirts – so leave some room in your suitcase.
Amber Beverage Group
Stand – 7/D15
As its portfolio of brands continues to grow, Amber Beverage Group will use BCB as a platform to showcase the new Cross Keys Gin. Launched this year, the gin is said to “represent the true spirit of the Baltic states”, and contains four key ingredients: camomile, linden blossom, rosemary, and juniper.
In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to sample the herbal bitter beloved by bartenders, Riga Black Balsam, and Rooster Rojo Tequila, which launched last year. The 100%-agave Tequila brand is filtered through Mexican silver to create a “softer and smoother finish”.
In its fourth year exhibiting at BCB, Amber Beverage is seeking to “share its brand experience and introduce a wide and professional audience to its latest novelties, and receive immediate feedback from potential customers”.
The group adds that while it is a leading drinks producer, distributor, logistics provider and retailer, exporting to more than 70 countries, it is “open for new partnerships worldwide”.
Stand – 3/B06
Hot off the heels of exhibiting at BCB Brooklyn, Angostura will return to Berlin with its entire portfolio of brands in tow.
Visitors will have the opportunity to sample Angostura Aromatic Bitters and Angostura Orange Bitters, in addition to Angostura rum’s Reserva, 5 Year Old, 7 Year Old, 1919, 1824 and 1787 expressions.
The group will also showcase its herbal liqueur, Amaro di Angostura, which launched in 2014 to mark the distiller’s 190th anniversary. Created using the Angostura Aromatic Bitters as its base, the expression combines additional spices and neutral alcohol to offer notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon and liquorice.
Angostura says: “At this year’s show we will continue our strategy from previous years, which is to showcase the essence and personality of our brands through unique executions in collaboration with our global brand ambassadors, who will be present at our stand.”
Stand – 3/C28
UK-based Atom Brands will allow visitors to “explore the different elements” of That Boutiquey Gin Company (TBGC) at its dedicated stand this year.
Formed by the team behind That Boutiquey Whisky Company (TBWC), TBGC bottles “new and experimental” expressions from some of the world’s most cutting-edge gin producers. The group has also bottled some of its own unique expressions, such as Cherry Gin and Moonshot Gin, which is distilled using botanicals sent into space. As with TBWC’s line of whiskies, each TBGC bottle features hand-illustrated graphic novel-style labels.
With its own devoted stand, the group will provide sampling opportunities to guests and offer on-trade participation.
Atom Brands says of BCB: “We feel this is an integral show for the bartending community throughout Europe, a place where we can educate, excite and have fun.
“We are hoping to raise the profile of That Boutiquey Gin Company across Europe and show the flexibility of the brand.”
BBC Wines & Spirits
Stand – 4/A42
At the show, BBC Wines & Spirits will exhibit its Japanese drinks portfolio, spanning gin, whisky and vodka.
Gin brand Etsu, meaning ‘pleasure’ in Japanese, is created in Hokkaido using a range of botanicals including juniper, green bitter orange peel, yuzu, coriander seeds, angelica and liquorice root. Blended Japanese whisky Fuyu, which translates as ‘winter’, uses liquid aged for a minimum of three years that has been sourced from several distilleries around Kyoto. Eiko vodka, meaning ‘glory’ in Japanese, is made from molasses and Hokkaido water, and is filtered through sand and coal.
During BCB, the group will launch new products, including: Teeda and Kiyomi, two Japanese rums from Okinawa; corn sochu Kaseda; Sumarai saké; and new expressions within the Kurayoshi Pure Malt range.
According to BBC Wines & Spirits, BCB offers a “perfect opportunity” to present its portfolio to a discerning audience.
Stand – 3/A21
BCB regular Borco will use its home turf to present its diverse range of spirits in a new-look area.
The group’s stand underwent a redesign last year, and after receiving “great feedback” will maintain the look for 2018.
But beyond the style there is substance – Borco will take the opportunity to showcase its caraway seed-based Helbing Kümmel German spirit, its 100% agave Tequila range Sierra Milenario, Paloma Lemonade Mango, and its two new mezcal brands, Marca Negra and Meteoro, which joined Borco’s portfolio last year.
“BCB is indisputably our annual highlight, for it enables us to engage with a wide range of people,” the group says. “With spirits lovers, bartenders, journalists, existing and potential new partners, BCB is a great melting pot of intriguing personalities that shape the spirits industry around the world. It offers us a unique possibility to show our diversified portfolio in all its glory.
“As a family business, we believe in the strength of personal meetings and we are also keen to enlarge our network – BCB being the perfect place for this.”
Stand – 7.2/A12
Following its appearance at BCB Brooklyn, Bouvery will give visitors the opportunity to sample its namesake luxury cacao chocolate liqueur.
Made using premium small batch vodka, Bouvery CV launched in the US last year after six years of research and development. The expression can be enjoyed straight, over ice, in a cocktail or in desserts. For BCB, Bouvery CV will be served to guests straight at first before being mixed with rum, mezcal and Bourbon in three cocktails.
“After taking part in various celebrity events such as the Grammys and Oscars and receiving great feedback, we really wanted to pursue industry validation,” says the brand, which exhibited at BCB Brooklyn through its US distributor Park Street Emerging Brands Pavilion, and received “phenomenal” feedback from exhibitors and visitors.
“Bar Convent Berlin is especially important for us to exhibit at as we are positioning Bouvery CV as a global brand and are already providing international shipping to our growing base of mixology and consumer buyers.”
Stand – 7/C27
Dutch drinks group De Kuyper has given its namesake liqueurs a new look, and is ready to show it off at BCB.
The range relaunched this year with new designs that aim to differentiate between De Kuyper’s ‘essential’ products – such as triple sec and blue curaçao – and ‘variations’ – such as strawberry and watermelon. Fundamentally, it has been developed as part of De Kuyper’s mission to “own the cocktail”.
Visitors can also try out De Kuyper’s Mandarine Napoléon liqueur, Rutte Gin and Rutte Genever, Cherry Heering liqueur and Bébo – a Cuban coffee liqueur that made its debut at last year’s show.
The group calls BCB “one of the most important platforms to strengthen, renew and make new connections, and also to discover new concepts and trends”.
“Shows like BCB offer unique opportunities to present brands in an environment as you wish them to be seen by your customers,” De Kuyper says. “At the show, brands can be truly ‘experienced’. This is not possible in meeting rooms, retail offices or even in bars around the world.”
Stand – 7/C18
As drinkers become more health conscious and the low and no-alcohol trend gathers pace, a new player has entered the market.
Fluère, meaning ‘flow’ in Latin, is described as a distilled ‘spirit’ with a “balanced floral blend of botanicals” and bottled without a trace of alcohol.
“Unique to Fluère is the pleasant after-bite that is normally generated by alcohol,” the brand says. “Fluère creates a rich experience for a new generation of adult drinkers.”
Its blend of botanicals is based on essential oils of juniper, lavender, coriander and lemon peel, which have been distilled with steam.
“Fluère is the perfect liquid to create the best nonalcoholic long drinks and mocktails,” the brand continues.
Fluère’s brand story dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, when travelling soldiers experimented with the herbs, spices and botanicals they encountered in other lands. Many of these ingredients became essential for their medicinal properties.
Franklin & Sons
Stand – 3/A02
As the gin boom continues and the low and no trend takes hold, premium tonics are sure to be the talk of the town at BCB.
Franklin & Sons will take the opportunity to educate visitors on both its core range and new Dual Flavour Collection of tonics, launched this summer.
The new line, which is “centred on discovery and experimentation”, consists of four unique flavour combinations: Rosemary & Black Olive; Pink Grapefruit & Bergamot; Rhubarb & Hibiscus; and Elderflower & Cucumber. The range “has been designed to bring out the best in a range of premium spirits to suit all tastes and palates”.
Franklin & Sons says: “BCB is extremely important for us; it allows us to engage with the European drinks industry and keep up to date with trends. However, much more than this, attending BCB ensures we can build relationships with key industry insiders and bartenders, helping to spread the Franklin & Sons message throughout Europe and beyond.”
Stand – 3/A13
French liqueurs producer Giffard has grown its offering with the launch of a Caribbean Pineapple expression, which will take centre stage at BCB this year. The product, which launched in 2017, is a mix of fresh pineapples, candied pineapple infusion, sevenyearold Caribbean rum and spices. It was created to capitalise on growing momentum behind tiki cocktails, according to Giffard, a familyrun producer of liqueurs and syrups based in Angers, France. Giffard will also use BCB as a platform to promote its wider premium liqueurs range and “some staple syrup flavours” to the international bar industry. “Aside from meeting people and being inspired by different cultures we want to reaffirm Giffard as a brand of choice in this industry,” the brand says. “Thanks to our legacy we craft highquality products that meet the needs of the most demanding stakeholders of this industry: bartenders and baristas.”
Kyrö Distillery Company
Stand – 3/C22
In line with previous years, Kyrö Distillery will exhibit its products through Business Finland, but this year will also host its own area.
Sure to be a popular spot, Kyrö Distillery’s stand will highlight its gin labels – and also feature a real barrel sauna serving Napue gin and tonics and Koskue with warm apple juice.
Napue gin is made from 100% Finnish rye and contains 16 botanicals that embody the terroir of Finland, including sea buckthorn, cranberry, birch and meadowsweet. Koskue is also a 16botanical gin but with an additional process of maturation. It has been aged in new American oak casks for a few months, and has a slightly different botanical recipe to Napue. Visitors also won’t want to miss sampling Kyrö’s Juuri rye new-make spirit, single malt rye whiskies and rye-based amari.
“BCB is the number-one trade show in Europe for us,” the distillery says. “It’s a gathering of people from all walks of the industry – from bartenders to distributors, marketing professionals to producers. It offers the best of both worlds – an extensive exhibition during the daytime and many fun parties in the evenings.
“There’s simply no better place to meet new people and catch up with old friends.”
Stand – 7/A16
Italy’s Molinari will bring its two main products – Molinari Extra Sambuca and Limoncello di Capri – to Berlin. In its third year exhibiting at the event, Molinari will showcase modern ways of enjoying the brands – traditionally consumed as digestifs – through a range of long serves and cocktails.
“BCB is important because, on the one hand, it gives us the opportunity to meet professional bartenders from all over Europe and learn about their interests,” the group says.
“On the other hand, it’s also an event that allows us to propose alternative ways of consuming our products and speak about their mixability.”
BCB comes towards the end of a busy year for Molinari, which was recently appointed distributor for Rémy Cointreau in Italy.
The agreement is part of Molinari’s strategy to “further strengthen its position in the Italian market” by entering into new categories.
Molinari Sambuca Extra was created in 1945 by Angelo Molinari. Today, the brand dominates the Italian on-trade for sambuca with an 85% share, according to Nielsen data.
Royal Danish Embassy
Stand – 4/B42
In its first year exhibiting at BCB, Nordic Spirits can be found at the Royal Danish Embassy stand highlighting its innovative Herbie Gin.
The range includes: Herbie Gin Export, distilled with juniper, Danish apples, camomile flower and citrus; Herbie Gin Pink, distilled with juniper, Danish apples, raspberries and cranberries; and the alcohol-free Herbie Virgin, distilled with juniper, Danish apples and lavender.
The group will also bring its Skotlander Rum brand to BCB, a product made from molasses fermented in the Danish climate for four weeks and then hand-distilled in small copper pots. Both Skotlander White Rum and Skotlander Cask Rum, matured in Pedro Ximénez Sherry barrels, will be showcased. Visitors will also get a first glimpse of new brand Queens of Denmark, a range of small-batch Danish fruit liqueurs.
Nordic Spirits says of its BCB debut: “Germany has big potential for us. We find that the interest for handcrafted spirits, especially gins, is growing in the market, and Berlin has become a hub for bartenders to network and take in the latest trends.”
Stand – 1/B52
Ian Macleod Distillers-owned peated Scotch whisky Smokehead will make its debut at BCB this year, complete with a new image and “even bolder attitude”.
The new packaging design for the Smokehead series now features a more “dominant” skull logo on the bottle’s label, with smoke blowing through the skull to create an “element of defiance”.
At the same time, the brand unveiled an “intense new expression” – Smokehead High Voltage. The whisky is said to have peat, smoke, maritime air, porridge oats, vanilla and toffee aromas. On the palate, it delivers flavours of smoke, nuts, brine and citrus with an oily texture that becomes creamier after some time. The finish is said to leave the mouth “almost in shock, numb and tingling”, with sweetness, fading smoke and a salty tang.
“We’re so excited to showcase our brand at such an influential event,” the company says.
Thomas Dakin Gin
Stand – 7/D04
Making its BCB debut will be Thomas Dakin Gin, owned by Quintessential Brands and named after the founder of the “world’s first quality” English gin.
Thomas Dakin Gin is the work of master distiller Joanne Moore, and is distilled in a baby pot still using a secret recipe of 11 botanicals, including juniper, orange peel, English coriander and red cole, otherwise known as horseradish.
Its inspiration is Thomas Dakin, a young entrepreneur from 18th century northern England, whose “inventive and enlightened outlook paved the way for gin as we know it today”.
“Thomas Dakin will be at BCB for the first time, and what better place to showcase our heritage and rich distilling history,” the brand claims. “BCB will also be the perfect opportunity to let people from the industry taste and find out for themselves why we have won the Master medal in The Gin Masters 2018.”