Bar Convent Brooklyn returned to New York City on June 14-15 to gather the beverage industry for its biggest year yet in its new home at Industry City. Committed to offsetting its footprint and increasing waste reduction efforts, Bar Convent Brooklyn showcased both – with a few new initiatives never seen before at other bar shows. Their footprint offsetting collaboration effort with Barr Hill Gin distillery and Trees for the Future planting initiatives were a few examples of how they are making an impactful change. In addition, BCB’s ongoing work in reducing event waste through composting and recycling with items like water bottles made of recycled plastic went above and beyond this year.
Bar Convent Brooklyn 2022 grew bigger than ever, with 163 exhibitors showcasing over 50 new products debuting. Over the course of the event, over 3,800 attendees sampled more than 300,000 drinks and spirits across two days. “We were so excited to welcome everyone
to the show’s new home at Industry City,” said Jackie Williams, event director for Bar Convent Brooklyn. “As a result, we could offer more exhibitors for attendees where they can have unique experiences and discover craft and independent brands, including
exclusive first looks at expressions that haven’t been released into the U.S. market yet.”
Each year, Bar Convent Brooklyn works closely with its revolving education committee, consisting of diverse and unique voices of those who work directly in the industry, to curate sessions that will impact attendees, whether relevant to them as an individual or
their careers or as a brand. This year’s education program was collaboratively led by BCB Brooklyn’s new Head of Education, Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack and Beverage Consultant, resulting in 36 panels and tasting demonstrations across Main, Park
Street University, and the new Liquid Lounge stages. In addition, some prevalent industry trends and insights emerged during the two-day program.
Transparency as a core theme was a thread through several sessions concerning sustainability in spirits distillation and operating venues to how to create a modern business model. During their ‘Lost in Transformation’ session, Briana Volk, Mika Ammunet, and Andrew Volk spoke about the importance of being vocal about the why of your specific business model. It can not only add a level of respect within your community, but it also shows your patrons why prices rise, such as increased staff benefits, wages, and equity, and how that leads to better service. Not only is transparency integral to customers, but it also applies to a company’s staff and employees. Open feedback and communication, collective leadership, and peer-to-peer training can result in employee retention due
to shared respect and a sense of purpose.
Alex Francis explored another style of a business model during his ‘A Farm To Glass Model’ Main Stage seminar and helped spearhead the globally renowned cocktail bar, Little Red Door, to a farm-to-table model. This new approach to the restaurant ecosystem could
fulfill the needs of various players, from restaurateurs to farmers. Adopting a model where all goods come from local suppliers boosts the local economy and fosters long, meaningful relationships that circle back to the table. While some cocktail menu ingredients
will need to be sacrificed due to what’s grown locally and seasonality, there are ways to make up those flavors using other ingredients and experimentation. Following this plan can help reduce carbon emissions. Those who were unable to attend the show or would
like to revisit premier education programming from this year can visit the Bar Convent Brooklyn website in the coming days to access the recorded content.
New to this year was Bar Convent Brooklyn and Chilled joining together for the first inaugural Chilled 100 Spirits Awards show at the trade show, culminating after two days of judging by members of the bar industry. The anticipated results were announced at the
Chilled 100 gala on the event’s first evening, where 17 spirit brands earned the coveted The Bartender Seal of Approval medal as standouts in their specific categories.
The expanded offerings and new venue drew praise from exhibitors and attendees alike for Bar Convent Brooklyn, which saw visitors join the 2022 show from 55 countries, and across 42 U.S. states. Tom Baker, Co-Founder of Mr Black Spirits, shared, “We’ve been coming
to Bar Convent Brooklyn since 2018, and this year reaffirmed that we’ll definitely be back next year.”