The second Bar Convent Brooklyn took place June 11-12 at the Brooklyn Expo Center. The show clearly expanded from last year: According to the company, the show increased 30% from 2018, with 112 new products debuted at the event. Hospitality and trade attendees enjoyed more than 350,000 samples and cocktails.
One thing that struck me this year and last was the exhibitor booths—they are gorgeous, and the brands go all out. Someone told me that most of the exhibitor had these booths in place for the big Bar Convent Berlin show. That may be—I definitely hadn’t seen them at any other beverage event in the U.S.
The Hendrick’s Botanical Boat Bar (shown atop) was a favorite—the whimsical gin brand is always doing something pretty cool. Another gin brand, Gin Lane 1751, had romantic feel to its booth with silver Victorian-looking wallpaper festooned with faux pink and white flowers. (It also had a brass fountain pouring some pink drink but I didn’t sample it.)
Several brands used flowers to spruce up the spaces. Royal Dutch Distillers, which includes Rutte and Cherry Heering liqueur, had a huge booth with a bank of tulips, while rum brand Brugal had a wall of tropical flora and fauna with its signage.
Diageo’s booth used greenery on the walls and what looked like a reclaimed-wood bar to showcase its many brands.
Bacardi boast an enormous outdoor bar, and Banhez mezcal had a booth inside that looked like it was outside, complete with plants, beach umbrellas and lawn chairs.
A number of the smaller booths were set up as little bars, including Bebo Cuban coffee liqueur, Amaro Montenegro and Beluga Russian vodka.
Campari had a signature red bar setup, while Patron tequila had a fresh white space with arched window openings reminiscent of Mexican haciendas.
I don’t have a favorite booth but I did love the mini pickup truck toting whiskey barrels parked in Brown-Forman’s booth.
What’s more, the truck also had a little sandwich board sign that said: “Act like you don’t want to take a selfie…” Sadly, I did not take a selfie with it.