The winds are changing, and they’re dancing towards the Chao Phraya river at the end of this month. Something great is cooking (or rather, mixing) at its banks. Perhaps you’ve gotten a whiff from the ‘grams of the city’s favourite bartenders, or perhaps you’ve sensed a swirl of spirits quietly heading to a very particular location. The rumours are true and the set-up sounds lit: meet the first ever Bangkok Bar Show.
Taking place this 28-30 June, the Bangkok Bar Show was created by some of the industry’s most beloved figures and is designed to celebrate the city’s thriving cocktail and drinks scene. Located in the charming LHONG 1919 by the river, the three-day festival will bring to Bangkok for the first time an amalgamation of seminars, master classes, tastings, and guest shifts for lovers of the craft to enjoy. You need not be an expert mixologist or bar owner to attend, but an appetite for alcohol (though fret not, non-alcoholic brands are also exhibiting) is a definite plus.
Like any food or furniture or fluffy animal show, the Bangkok Bar Show will see a long list of exhibitors for the weekend of 29-30 June at LHONG 1919. There’s a digital day pass you can get by the very millennial way of a QR code at THB 200, or you can purchase one at the door for THB 300. This pass allows for one complimentary drink at any one of the brand’s booths (and perhaps a sample or two), with the list ranging from Hendrick’s, Caorunn, Patron, Absolut, Monkey Shoulder and Fentimans, over to Roku, Phraya, Chalong Bay, and Issan. The variety is pretty endless, so it’s best to just head over and explore yourself.
Yet beyond exhibitors, what makes the Bangkok Bar Show quite exciting is the number of special expert seminars and guest shifts. Whilst seminars take place at LHONG 1919 over Saturday and Sunday, guest shifts take place at various bars across town. Get the full deets for each day below.
Friday 28 June: Opening Party
Friday sees the opening party for the event, which will be held at none other than speakeasy bar #FindThePhotobooth. It will be hosted by Asia’s 50 Best Bar’s David Ong and Boo Jing Heng, and runs from 7pm until late.
Saturday 29 June: Guest Shifts & Seminars
With Saturday begins the real bustle for the Bangkok Bar Show, with the LHONG 1919 location welcoming guests in as early as 11am, and seminars beginning in the early afternoon.
At 2pm, Sydney’s Maybe Sammy Andrea Gualdi will be conducting a talk called ‘The Art of the Aperitivo’, before Singapore’s infamous Atlas bartender Jesse Vida will be chatting about ‘The Art of Martini’ at 3.15pm. Tequila lovers should head to the talk by Hong Kong COA’s Jay Khan at 4.30pm, entitled ‘Agave Love’.
Come nightfall, the guest shifts about town are plenty. Jesse Vida will be at Vesper from 8-11pm, and Matt Whiley from Scout (London and Sydney) will be at #FindTheLockerRoom from 8-11pm. Over at Rabbit Hole from 9-11pm, Terry Kim from Seoul’s Alice Cheongdam will be behind the bar, whilst Andrea Gualdi will be at Q&A Bar from 9pm-12am.
Sunday 30 June: Guest Shifts, Seminars & Closing Party
Whilst Sundays are traditionally reserved for bed and brunch, those looking to get their tipple on will be happy to find that there is still a full day of events at the Bangkok Bar Show on 30 June.
At 2pm, Terry Kim will be holding a seminar entitled ‘The Fundamentals of a Successful Bar Business’ for those looking to get into the industry. At 3.15pm, Matt Whiley touches on a trend with ‘The World of Foraging’, and sustainability expert Tom Egerton expands on this with ‘Sustainability: The Real Deal’ at 4.30pm.
In the evening, the guest shifts head over to the creative Charoenkrung area, with Tom Egerton behind the Asia Today Bar from 8-11pm, and Terry Kim at Teens of Thailand from 9pm-12am. The official closing party (and also anticipated guest shift) takes place at the vibrant Tropic City, with Jay Khan mixing drinks from 11pm to 2am.
All the right reasons to be saying “chai-yo!” at the end of this month, the Bangkok Bar Show takes place this 28-30 June. More information can be found on the event page.