Funkin Ambassadors take Bar Convent Berlin!

Bar Convent Berlin is unlike any other bar show. With over 14,400 visitors from 79 different countries, it is truly unmissable for cocktail aficionados such as ourselves.  We used this as an opportunity to show off our new dried fruit garnishes as well as making delicious tasting cocktails using our Coconut Puree, Apricot Puree and our unique Beetroot Shrub, the first to be made commercially available.

In between all of their hard work, we asked our Ambassadors to immerse themselves in to BCB, sample a few cocktails and to let us know what they thought would be the newest trends to keep an eye out for in the next year. Here’s what they found…

Vermouth and Aperitif

Aperitif, Vermouth and other liquor brands enjoyed a much greater presence this year at the bar show. For them, it was important to drive awareness and create more ‘occasions’ for their serves to be used. A good example of this was Noilly Prat who delivered their serves with a food pairing which went down a treat. Definitely one to keep an eye out on in the next few years.

Rum vs. Gin

Rum has been tipped to be the ‘next Gin’ for quite a while now and this probably explains why there were so many boutique Rum brands this year at BCB. However, amongst the smaller rum brands fighting to be noticed at the show, Havana Club successfully showcased why it will continue to be a top choice for bartenders and rum cocktails with the launch of their ‘Professional Edition’ - made with bartenders, for bartenders. Following BCB, we would say that a ‘Rum Revolution’ is still on the cards.

For us, there were too many Gin brands at BCB which meant that the smaller brands got lost in the noise of the show and struggled to promote a point of difference. Beam Suntory’s Roku Gin however did hit the nail on the head, celebrating their botanicals and making beautifully presented, great tasting cocktails.

Low and No Alcohol Serves

Much like the anticipated ‘Rum Revolution’, low and no serves is something we expected to be a heavy feature at BCB and it did not disappoint. Some exhibitors at BCB offered a low/no serves alongside their full strength serves to give consumers a taste. We definitely think the number of low/no alcohol spirit brands is likely to continue growing.

As part of the prize for being crowned our 2018 Innovation Champion, Shaun Hall spent a couple of days exploring the show with the Funkin team in Berlin. Here’s what he thought...

Favourite new brand: 'St-Laurent Gin Vieux, an aged Canadian gin-heavy on the umami notes from seaweed.'

Most exciting trend: 'I attended talks by The Aviary, Chicago, and BarChef Toronto’s Frankie Solarik on the multi-sensory approach to guest experiences. Both talks had great suggestions for bridging the gap between the bartender and the guest and for how to bring the engagement directly to the table. Some suggestions were really simple, such as using a cloche to ensure smoked cocktails only release the aroma to customers rather than on their way to the table.

Other suggestions were really inventive. Frankie found a way to use temperature as a means of symbolising seasonal serves. He placed fresh pine into liquid nitrogen to preserve the foliage and decrease the temperature. When presented with the drink the customer felt a cold breeze.'

Going back next year? 'Absolutely!'

It’s safe to say that the Funkin team crammed as much as possible in to the three day bar show in Berlin and they returned to our HQ full of new ideas - so watch this space!



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