The beverage industry’s premier trade show is almost here. Bar Convent Brooklyn (BCB) returns to the Brooklyn Expo Center from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2021, and tickets are still available. If you’ve already signed up, you’re in good company: The event will feature more than 300 spirit brands ranging from craft startups to some of the biggest names in the business. If you have yet to snag your badge, don’t put it off too much longer — pre-sale registration is offered at a discount. Even if you opt to purchase entry on site, you’ll gain access to a priceless experience, spread out across 60,000 square feet of convention space.
Here’s a preview of what’s waiting behind those doors:
The footprint of BCB 2021 will be largely defined by its marquee exhibitors. These aren’t mere brand booths so much as immersive activations capable of carrying you to lands far and beyond the Brooklyn cityscape. Indeed, crossing the threshold into the Expo Center is truly transportive. Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whisky, as a vibrant example, promises to showcase the cultural and culinary significance of Mexico’s native crop in a setup that’ll make you feel like you’re in the fields of Tamaulipas. Sazerac will operate a larger booth, measuring 400 square feet, with an “Around the World” theme, highlighting international accents from its global portfolio.
Other activations seek to recreate a scenario perhaps more familiar to your daily routine. “We are taking the show outside with a booth inspired by a summer backyard,” says Neil Grosscup, CEO and master blender of Tanteo Tequila. “It will be equipped with lawn chairs, antique coolers, and Tanteo Margaritas to go. Options include a traditional ‘Marg’ with Tanteo Blanco or a perfectly balanced Spicy Marg.”
Sample cocktails will be in no short supply, of course. Exhibitors typically tap local talent — which, in New York, equates to some of the biggest names in mixology — to craft bespoke preparations for each session. But BCB affords a unique opportunity to quench a thirst for knowledge, as well. Take E. & J. Gallo, for instance. The world’s largest family-owned winery is also a major producer of California brandy. In fact, it’s one of the company’s fastest-growing categories. As the segment soars, so, too, do questions about what defines and distinguishes it. Bar Convent Brooklyn is the perfect platform for the pros to clear up any confusion.
“While at BCB, we will be hosting a seminar dedicated to our California brandies,” says Brandon Lieb, vice president of marketing for the spirits division of E. & J. Gallo Winery. “[We’re] taking a deeper dive into the comparisons between Cognac, what makes California brandy so exciting and innovative, and our agenda to drive the category forward as the first and final great American spirit.”
A floor activation furthers this commitment, showcasing a “Spirit of Gallo” theme. It’s an advanced look at how a diverse stable of liquor brands will be tied together through a singular, overarching approach. For trade professionals and enthusiasts alike, it will serve as an edifying exposition of how grapes are growing well beyond wine.
Across the Expo Center, the halls are humming with all things new and next. Whether you’re eager to learn more about surging spirit segments or product purveyors, BCB hosts both in abundance. For those leaning toward the latter, you’ll be heartened to learn that the trade show dedicates an entire section to emerging brands. Here you’ll find Salcombe Distilling Co., an established gin-maker out of southwestern England that only recently washed up on American shores.
“It has been extremely exciting and important for us to venture into the U.S. market over the past year,” explains Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of the company. “We have a natural affinity with the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and a linked history, so Bar Convent Brooklyn is an incredible resource for us and our U.S. team to really connect with our peers, colleagues, and industry leaders on what they, and in turn the U.S. consumer, are excited about themselves.”
These conversations continue well beyond the end of each session. Oftentimes, the friendship formed and the business established at BCB proves especially auspicious, on both sides of the booth. It’s one of the reasons why so many exhibitors return year after year. From a growing list of 120 activations already confirmed, the majority are repeat — or even three-peat — performers.
“The whole team is excited for our third Bar Convent Brooklyn,” says Kyle McHugh, director of brand advocacy for Samson & Surrey. “This will be our first-ever [event] showcasing our newest family member, Tequila Ocho.” The craft-focused beverage group will also utilize the occasion to debut Bluecoat Gin for Seltzer and unveil a new 10th anniversary whiskey from the FEW Spirits portfolio.
No matter how you choose to navigate your time at BCB, a feast for the senses will assuredly be on full display. And it’s all possible thanks to the uncompromising health and safety guidelines developed by the event organizers; all attendees will need to be fully vaccinated and must show proof of vaccination at time of entry in addition to mask requirements and more safety features. Each day the event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your $65 ticket is just one click away. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to drink it all in.
This article is sponsored by Bar Convent Brooklyn.