On August 17 and 18, Bar Convent Brooklyn (BCB) will return to the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York City. This year’s bar trade conference will mark the return of in-person events and the first industry conference to take place as a physical show since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Education from this year’s show will be available digitally for those who cannot join in person or prefer to participate remotely. Bar Convent Brooklyn is working diligently with its network of venue partners to create an event where attendees can conduct business safely and effectively by implementing protocols and best practices around COVID-19 response and prevention from public health officials and state and local governments.
In an effort to give back to the industry as it reawakens to the public, Hennessy, a sponsor of BCB, is providing the first 100 bartenders who register for BCB 2021, complimentary one day access to the event. The brand will also be working with Another Round, Another Rally to create 175 full scholarships for BIPOC bartenders to attend the show.
“BCB is all about connections, whether that is through education and learning, connecting with people new and old, or through taste, like sampling new products and getting inspired,” says Bar Convent Brooklyn Event Director Jackie Williams. “I can’t wait to see friends reconnect for the first time in so long.”
The core of BCB Brooklyn 2021 remains the same: premium craft spirits, education, and networking. Since its debut in Brooklyn in 2018, BCB has seen solid growth each year—in the number of attendees, exhibitors, and education sessions—and continually looks to improve itself to provide the best experience possible for its exhibitors and visitors. This year, there will be several noticeable changes.
What’s New for 2021:
This year's education program was selected and reviewed by BCB's annual revolving education committee, which includes; Alexis Brown, the founder of Causing a Stir; Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves, industry consultants and founders of The Cocktail Bandits; Joshua Davis, an industry veteran and founder of Brown and Balanced; Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack and Beverage Consultant; Julie Reiner, author, co-founder Social Hour Cocktails, and co-owner of Clover Club & Leyenda; and Jackie Summers, author, and industry speaker.
Alexis Brown, BCB 2021 Education Committee Member and co-founder of Causing a Stir, "I am so happy to be able to safely gather once again to see and learn from industry friends and colleagues. For this year's show, I am excited to share topics as part of BCB's programming that highlight and amplify the historical context of black labor in hospitality and how those contributions heavily shaped our industry. I am looking forward to people exchanging in dialogue around uncomfortable topics that in turn help us heal and move forward progressively."
Throughout the two-day event, attendees can take advantage of more than 40 sessions including a myriad of new taste forums, demonstrations, and panel discussions with leading industry experts. Talks will cover a range of key topics, including bar design, inclusivity hiring, activism in the bar world, and how to address the two integrated issues of food waste and hunger in the bar and restaurant industry. For those who are unable to join in person or prefer to participate remotely, education from this year’s show will be available digitally via Bar Convent Brooklyn’s website.
“Education has always been a central tenet to Bar Convent Brooklyn. As the bar industry and the world had to change and adapt due to the unprecedented past year, we aim to ensure that we provide our attendees with the right resources and tools that can transform their brand, business, and career to new heights this year,” Event Director, Jackie Williams.
Highlights from this year’s education program include:
Solidarity, not Charity: Strategies and Techniques to Build a Community that Works for Workers
This session will take a look at going beyond the surface level of community engagement a lot of us are used to and create a game plan for an impactful future
Presented by Kelvin Taitt (Social Entrepreneur and Founder, East Brooklyn Mutual Aid), Zac Hoffman (PAC Co-CEO, THIRST Group), Elina Malkin (Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid), Taylor Stessney (Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid), Larisa Mednia, Advocacy Organizer, Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid
The Ethos of Eco-Spirits
Join this panel for a practical discussion on how to implement sustainable practices and start a brand whose ethos centers around waste reduction, bio-diversity, and making the world a better place one sip at a time
Presented by Waluco Maheia, Rum Expert & Assistant Manager, Copal Tree Lodge & Copal Tree Distillery, Guy Brennan (Founder, Procera Gin), Amanda Victoria (Co-Founder & CEO, Siponey), Leslie Merinoff Kwasnieksi (Founder, Matchbook Distilling Co.), Lynnette Marrero (Bar Director & Co-Founder, Llama Inn / Llama San (NYC), Speed Rack), and Tristan Wiley (Founder & CEO, Good Vodka)
Give It Away Now
This panel discussion will examine how restaurants and bars can implement food donation into their operations to not only help reduce food otherwise headed to landfills but also help reduce food insecurity in their local communities
Presented by Matt Jozwiak (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rethink Food)
So You Want to Become/Hire a Brand Ambassador?
How to navigate both sides as a brand owner and brand ambassador broken down to create a successful program and to empower those within
Presented by Elayne Duff (Chief Brand Ambassador, Beverage Brand Ambassador Academy) and Tracey Eden (Bartender & Brand Ambassador, Empress Gin)
The Infused Saloon
An area showcasing international exhibitors who are unable to make it to the event physically
The BCB Shop
BCB will be launching BCB Brooklyn merchandise include hoodies, t-shirts, pins and more, which will be available online and onsite at the event
BCB’s COVID-19 health & safety protocols
Visitors will see larger aisles, increased handwashing stations, more outdoor space, masks, and more.
And more to come. BCB will announce additional initiatives and the final education program soon. Stay tuned for details.
Those looking to attend can purchase tickets on the Bar Convent Brooklyn website, pre-purchased tickets online will be $65 per day, and upon availability, tickets at the door will be $80 per day. For more information about attending or exhibiting at Bar Convent Brooklyn, visit BarConventBrooklyn.com. To learn about sponsorship, partnership, and exhibition opportunities, contact Jackie Williams at Jacqueline.Williams@rxglobal.com