Liquid Letter No. 2: P(our) – The modern Bartender

Dear friends of the liquid world

It is happening. And I am proud. Two years ago I was with Alex Kratena at the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen. It is for chefs. Organised by great people. It’s less about brands and products, and more about creativity, philosophy, gastrosophy. We met Jim Meehan there too and all fell in love with this MAD idea. To think beyond today. To inspire people. To make things. And we knew we wanted to do something like this for the bar industry.

So, we founded P(our).

We is Monica Berg, Alex Kratena, Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana, Xavier Padovani, Jim Meehan and me.

P(our) is a non-profit organisation committed to sharing knowledge within the global drinks industry and moving promising ideas from theory into action.

And now it is happening. And we cannot thank Eric Fossard and Thierry Daniel from Paris Barshow Cocktail and Spirits enough. For giving us the opportunity to give birth to P(our) at Cocktail and Spirits.

It’s around lunchtime, and guests will show up in 60 minutes. It’s like when you open a new bar. Everything is not set yet… but it will be when the doors are open. We have so many volunteers here, helping us, giving us their personal time for something higher than all of us. I can see the passion in them. And it’s on us now not to disappoint.

The Modern Bartender is the first Headline for our first Symposium. Over the last days we started to publish some great essays from great bartenders from all over the world about their thoughts for The Modern Bartender. These are on our website now: www.pourdrink.org

But it’s not that we have a fixed opinion yet on the modern bartender. We are going to share and rethink and inspire. The fact is that our profession has changed very much in recent years. And that is good. The fact is also, that now is time for us the rethink the Modern Bartender. So we are starting here. Today. In Paris. Part of the Paris Bar Show.

I’ve checked the local wifi here: it’s tricky. I bought some data sim’s in Paris but there is no reception in the building. I wanted to share everything happening here with the you and our community. And I still will try. But I promise to collect us much as I possibly can and upload it. Tonight. Tomorrow. Over the next few days. I will mainly do this on my Facebook page. Please follow me if you want to see what’s happening – it is www.facebook.com/jrgmyr

P(our) handles are:

www.pourdrink.org (read the essays!) – Twitter, Instagram and facebook: @pour_drink (we will stream live on periscope !)

But now – my take:

The Modern Bartender – needs a Modern Bar Owner as well.

So, what is my take on the modern bartender? Well, for me, a real bartender is always related to a bar. A bartender without a bar is a tender. Finally a mixologist, a drinkssmith and whatever. And we need them as well. And the media needs them even more. But I have a selfish interests in bartenders who connect with a bar. I am an operator, I own several bars. And if I learned some important lesson over the last years, it is this: You cannot do it on your own. You need great bartenders, you need a great team, and you need to give them the opportunity to grow with the bar.

In the last years our profession made major steps. The Modern Bartender is so much different from what was bartending was 10 years ago. Many thinks good better. But also many thing started to struggle. I spotted that Bartenders and Brands team up. But not Bars and Bartenders. That is a very big mistake if you ask me. First of all, it should be Bars & Bartenders. That will give both a very strong background. If they do it right, that would in my opinion would help both of them. In personal branding, longevity, serious business.

Today, many bar owners complain. It is hard to find good stuff. „If you find some and you give them a platform – they very easy start moving again…“ This is what I hear. And this is what I don’t like on us bar owners. Complaining. Like little kids. Bullshit.

It’s on us to create an environment which makes bartenders loyal to your brand of your bar. We have to give good people great opportunities. And take the bad selfish ones out. To the health of your team.

I have a personal mission. I want to create great working environment in all of my bars and bartenders. Pay them well and fair, But much more important: I want to give bartenders great opportunities. I want to support them growing personal and us growing as a bar brand. I want to challenge them. And I am still on the beginning of the journey. But also Bartender must rethink their position. They are personal brands already. Personal Entrepreneurs even if they haven’t founded their company yet. The need the look behind the next 1000 $ for the next barshow trip they work to promote some brands. They need to invest in longevity, in their personal brand.

Immanuel Kant is a gentleman I loved to read during my school days. I still love and respect his thinking. „Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity“ So all your bar owners and bartenders. Stop complaining – change the situation. Bring bars and bartender together on the right track. It will be a benefit for all of them. That the way, the Modern Bartender and the Modern Bar Owner should start acting today.

Let me know your thoughts !

Cheers

Joerg Meyer
www.jrgmyr.net/liquid-letter

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