Updated: Mar 29
This was it, the last bar show of the season, the last final bar event for the year to wrap up 2018 in style & before we all head home to stand behind the sticks in our respective bars for the holiday season. Fibar in located in the quaint town of Valladolid just 1 hour by train away from Madrid & is ran by Beatrix & Juan Valls, a killer husband wife combo, that turned an event with just 500 visitors in total during its inception to having over 2,000 visitors on just the first day in 2018.
Considering the size of the show & generally having visited over 10 different bar shows in 2018 all over the world it usually happens that we see a lot of the same thing or even similar. This is where Fibar completely stood out in many elements of the stands present in 2018. Some of our favourites included:
The Tiki area of the show was peddling rums here there & everywhere but really attracted us was th hand carved wooden Tiki idols being made live in front of your eyes. A wood master from Barcelona had carved over 7 tiki heads over the course of the day in all shapes & sizes.
Stoli Vodka sponsored a common electric donkey carnival game where you have to stay on as long as possible. Although seemingly just a gimmick it was linked to their serve at the bar show, a twist on a Moscow Mule called the ‘Naidushka’, that was served in a copper cup built into a red mule toy. Subtle subliminal signals that create stories we’ll talk about into 2019 for sure!
Then there was the flying Bacardi bike created especially for the Legacy champion of Spain. He was cycling around the entire show in a built in bar with music & a loudspeaker. They say that your legacy only stops when you stop & in this case it looks like his legacy wont be over for a long while. In the end why wait for the show guests to come to you when you can come to them?
The Seminars: Now we spoke about the size of the show or its relative distance from major airports as well as its specific focus on the Spanish talent & the Spanish hospitality industry. Thanks to the efforts of the organisers as well as Francois Monti the line-up is absolutely stellar. From Avery Glasser’s seminar was the use of dangerous ingredients in cocktails, Philip Duff’s now worldwide renowned talk on Genever & Georgy Radev conversations about Tiki from Laki Kane in London.
There wasn’t a major region missed during this show & we at Cocktails For You believe the key for our industry to move forward is collaboration between markets & cultures. After all cocktails did come from the USA but as they spread they changed in what they were, new classics were created & people were being brought together.
Spiritual Finds of the Show: One does not simply go to a bar show & not taste some products on the stands. It would be simply a disgrace if we didn’t try something new that was available to taste. There were a myriad of Spanish local gins, brandies & sherry available on many different stands. A trend we see more & more of is Sherry Bodegas branching out in rum & vermouth with sherry based vermouth being a particular stand out at this time.
Worlds End Falernum - The staple Falernum on the market was always Velvet Falernum from Taylors. This is that product but turbocharged to flavour heaven.
Teeling’s Sherry Cask - Can something be fruity, spicy & smooth at the same time? Like electric silk on the tongue.
Plantation Plastic Bottle Edition - No idea what was in it or where the rum came from. Not even sure if it will ever be released to the public but this bad boy had all the apricot like sweetness up front with all the Jamaican style fun in the back.
- The Spanish Bartender Awards - No annual bar show is complete without a local award ceremony celebrating the industry of the Iberian peninsula. 2018 was a great year for the country with bars like Two Schmucks & Paradiso scoring high on the Worlds 50 Best Bars list as well as winning awards globally at Tales of the Cocktail. So without further ado find the full list of winners below:FIBAR AWARDS 2018 / Night at the Galla! BEST BARTENDER OF THE YEAR: ANTONIO NARANJO - Dr Stravinsky in Barcelona -
BEST COCKTAIL BAR & BEST COCKTAIL MENU: SALMÓN GURÚ - MADRID -
BEST PRODUCT OF THE YEAR: MARTINI BITTER
In the end the last bar show of the year absolutely knocked it out of the park for us at Cocktails For You. We hope to be back next year & spend time again the heart of the Spanish hospitality industry. Check out more pictures below of our shenanigans!