Bartenders, managers and venue owners from across the Scottish trade were out in force at this year’s Boutique Bar Show in Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket venue.
More than 20 exhibitors featured at last month’s show, promoting over 60 drinks brands to guests while a range of events ran throughout the day, including cocktail competitions, drinks seminars and a signature serve bar run by staff from nine of Scotland’s top cocktail venues.
Kicking off with a management development workshop from bar and restaurant training firm Watershed School, this year’s Scottish Boutique Bar Show also played host to the final heat of the Gabriel Boudier Wizards Competition and the inaugural Bar Hero competition with The Drink Cabinet as well as a number of drinks-focused workshops including sessions hosted by staff from Parisian cocktail bar Little Red Door and London cocktail bar NightJar, and a foraging session hosted by Scottish forager Mark William from Galloway Wild Foods. Glasgow-based training firm LA Group was also at the event, running a “sensory bar lounge” throughout the day.
A range of cocktails was also available at the Boutique Bar Show’s signature serve bar. Guests were able to sample serves created by mixologists from Aberdeen venues 99 Bar & Kitchen, Orchid, and The Tippling House; Edinburgh bars Bramble, Clouds & Soil and The Bon Vivant; and Glasgow venues Guy’s Restaurant, The Kelvingrove Cafe and The Finnieston.
Boutique Bar Show organiser Andrew Scutts said he was “delighted” with how this year’s show was received.
“It’s been two years since we’ve been in Glasgow,” said Scutts.
“We were delighted by the show, the quantity and the quality of the guests that we got through the door.”
Scutts said that almost 400 people attended the event over the course of the day, adding that the quality of bartenders competing in the day’s competition was “excellent”.
“The quality of the entrants was the best we’d seen,” he said.
“It was very challenging and difficult.”
In addition to highlighting boutique drinks brands and cocktails, the event was also considered successful in bringing bartenders from across Scotland together.
“I think if you bring a lot of like-minded people together in a room that can generate a lot of business opportunities,” added Scutts.
“Our industry is very network oriented so there’s a lot of opportunities [at the Boutique Bar Show].”