Learn how to become a flair bartender with WFA Gradings

A lot of you will have come across the WFA Grading System by now. Established to provide a predefined structure for bartenders to improve their flair bartending and cocktail making skills, thousands of bartenders around the world have completed one or more levels of the WFA Gradings. Starting with Yellow Grade, the WFA Grading system gets progressively harder as you progress from Yellow, to Orange, Green, and then Blue.

Having received a lot of feedback on the WFA Grading System we have decided to introduce a new curriculum for each of the grading levels, starting with Yellow. As a result, new routines, new moves and new tests have been developed to ensure that the WFA Grading system can add value to the skill set of any bartender, new or experienced.

We have upgraded the free pour test, included more current and classic cocktails to the speed round and made sure the flair round encompasses all aspects of flair bartending. A certain percentage is scored for each section of the test with a benchmark percentage given overall as the pass mark. Score high enough on each of the tests for the grade and you will be awarded your WFA Grading Level, which can live proudly on your CV forever more.


wfa gradings


After the four WFA grading levels, further accolades can be earned via taking part in WFA Grand Slam Competitions. If you have passed your WFA Blue, then you are ready for on stage performances if you so please. 1st-3rd in a WFA Grand Slam receive Black Level and 4th-6th receive Purple Level. We speak to our Head of Gradings here at the WFA, Tom Dyer, to find out more about these changes and why they have been made:

Why have we made these changes?

“The Grading system will always be updated every few years as we keep it in line with what is happening in the world of bartending. It is important that the WFA Gradings teach transferable skills that any bartender can take directly into a new bar role, or perhaps to impress in an interview. At the moment what we are seeing in the world of bartending is the emergence of both flair bartending and mixology coming together. The new WFA Yellow reflects this, introducing more cocktail elements and more working flair and craft flair moves. The flair taught at this level has been redesigned to be a lot more accessible and geared towards being used behind a bar, rather than on a stage. We hope this will make the WFA Grading system more attractive to all bartenders and now just competition flair bartenders. 


wfa gradings

What can the bartenders expect to learn?

Any bartender undertaking WFA Yellow level can expect to learn a mixture of working flair, exhibition flair and craft flair. We believe this represents a more well rounded bartender as it demonstrates all disciplines of working behind a bar, whether that is working behind a small bar, out in the open at an event, or entertaining on stage! The cocktails that you will be required to make for WFA Yellow Grade are all classics and cocktails you would expect to find around the world. As you can imagine they start more simple at Yellow level and become more complex as you progress through the grading system.

As well as this, when it comes to flair bartending you can expect to be learning moves from some of the greats and current flair bartenders such as Tomek Malek, Nicholas St Jean, Luca Valentin and Christian Delpeche”.


wfa gradings

How can I start?

Upon completing your WFA Grading you will receive a coloured shaker to represent the level passed, a certificate and your profile on the WFA website will display a digital badge for any grading level you have passed. These can also be used on your CV to impress future potential employers.

Please email the WFA at info@worldflairassociation.com to discover where you can start your WFA Grading journey. Check out our video on WFA Yellow Level to find out what it entails: