An article by Alibek Jaibergenov
World Flair Championship Almaty Flair Open 2014 took place in Almaty (Kazakhstan) on April, 9. 22 bartenders from all over the world (Latvia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland, Uzbekistan, Russia, Armenia and Kazakhstan) participated in the competition. Andy Collinson, Vyacheslav Titov and Sergey Sidorenko were invited as the judges of the technical part of the contest, while the taste panel was in charge of the palatability qualities of the cocktails, prepared by the competitors. The jury panel included the most well-known reputed figures of bartending industry in Kazakhstan.
The competition was divided into two stages: six contestants, who took the best scores in the first round, got into the finals, which saw a hot struggle between the contenders to the title.
Even though many competitors from Kazakhstan made their first appearance on the stage this time, they presented a creditable showing by competing among award-winning foreign colleagues.
Almaty Flair Open became the first large-scale bartending competition ever held in Kazakhstan. For this reason the level of flair contest organization was lifted to the new orbit for this country. Due to the support, rendered by many alcohol brands, venues and city government endorsement, the competition stated 8350 US dollars for the prize money. Assistance from different resources made it possible to host and organize transfer for the competitors, as well as introduce the culture of the hosting city for the guests. We can’t but express our gratitude to the League of Bartenders, who actually made the event possible.
Mass media left positive responses on the Competition, as well as the organizers, who marked the value and high level of this event. We hope that Almaty Flair Open will kickstart new wave in Kazakh bartending development and set off the prospects for more international competitions in this country.