What is the future of flair bartending competitions?

Flair bartending competitions, worldwide, have been very similar ever since there conception many years ago. This isn’t a bad thing, far from it, it has seen the rise of a very talented and highly competitive flair bartending community – however, progress is progress and a new format of flair competitions is certainly progress. This is exactly what the Roadhouse has been pushing in recent times and particularly this year with the addition of the Tandem Flair competition.

By introducing different formats of flair competitions such as Tandem Flair, Chicks with Flicks, the Battle Comp and Bottle Tin is King, it allows bartenders who aren’t necessarily suited to the typical format of flair bartending competitions, to get involved and compete for those top places. This is exactly what we have seen with Chicks with Flicks, Bottle Tin and the Battle comp, with the the top 6 finishers varying largely from the top 6 you will see at most flair bartending competitions.

The Battle Comp went down not long ago (catch up on that here), with Chicks with Flicks to come in September, Tandem Flair in July and Bottle Tin is King just 2 weekends away (June) – so lets see what to expect from the next two to come at the Roadhouse:

Bottle Tin is King #BTiK

One of the most popular events in the bartending world, BTiK is the definition of turning the typical flair bartending competition format on its head. It is loved the world over as the bartender is only allowed to use two objects to flair with at one time, therefore levelling the playing field between those bartenders that are masterful with multiple objects and those that aren’t. Every flair bartender should be able to do bottle/tin, it is after all a bartenders bread and butter. This of course means more competition as with only two objects that are less ways to impress the judges and move up the scoreboard. That is why creativity and originality are paramount in this competition.

It isn’t clear where this love of BTiK has come from, some say it is due to Tom Dyer’s performance at the Roadhouse World Final where he was encouraged by Jumbles St Pierre to step up to the stage and do a routine with only a bottle and a tin. Really, however, it is nothing new. Classic bartenders such as the likes of Oliver Pluck and Nicholas St Jean have been unofficial ambassadors for bottle tin for many, many years – the Roadhouse and in particular Tom Dyer’s performance simply propelled that essence of what is great about bottle tin, around the world.

You can see why it is one of the most popular events with flair bartenders but also audiences. Sometimes it can be hard for a novice audience or the general public to follow all of the subtle techniques and impressive moves that flair bartenders pull off on stage, partly because there are so many variables at play. With Bottle Tin is King, there are only two objects to work with, it is a very simplified format that anyone can pick up within minutes.

Date: 10th June/ 6pm – The Roadhouse, London

Link to the event: https://test-wfa-vs4.pantheonsite.io/events/rwf-bottle-tin-king-june-heat/


Tandem Flair

A brand new addition to the Roadhouse World Flair calendar this year, the Tandem Flair competition is making a long awaited comeback. Last year we put out a post on social media to try and understand whether there was a desire to have a Tandem Flair competition on the rota – all we can is the response was quite overwhelming, so here it is. Tandem flair has been growing in popularity over recent years, with the likes of Tomek and Marek, Ivars and Martins, Niko and Miika and others performing at events around the world. Tandem flair competitions aren’t a new concept, it is just one that hasn’t been seen in a good few years.

We are very excited to be bringing it back, as are the general flair bartending audience. Tandem flair adds another element to the joy of watching flair, synchronisation. When someone performs a difficult and impressive action with their body or an object on stage, then of course the audience loves it. When two bartenders perform these actions together, in synchronisation people love it even more. There has always been something entertaining and fascinating about watching two people perform in perfect synchronisation and with tandem flair, it is no different.

Date: 29th July/ 6pm – The Roadhouse, London

Link to the event: ​https://test-wfa-vs4.pantheonsite.io/events/rwf-tandem-july-heat/​