Friday, August 29, 2014

TIBS/Whisky Live Tokyo 2014 Preview

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
In a few weeks time (September 20-21), the third edition of the Tokyo International Bar Show / Whisky Live will be upon us. It’s the undisputed highlight of the whisky year in Japan so we thought it was high time we spoke to the masterminds behind the show to see what they’ve got up their sleeve.

Nonjatta: Every year, there’s a specific theme. What banner is this year’s edition organized under?

TIBS: The theme/concept of TIBS 2014 is “The Gift from Autumn”. We would like visitors to enjoy spirits from all around the world and bar culture, in conjunction with the nice Japanese food of Autumn.

Nonjatta: TIBS / Whisky Live Tokyo will be held in yet another venue this year.

TIBS: That’s right. Central Tokyo is surprisingly short of quality venues that are both big enough and affordable. We chose Prism Hall at Tokyo Dome City because it was exactly what we wanted - in terms of location, space and convenience.

Nonjatta: TIBS / Whisky Live seems to be reinventing itself with every edition. What is new and worth spotlighting about this year’s edition?
TIBS: As overseas guests, we are inviting Charles Schumann, and Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown. Charles Schumann is based in Munich and he is a leading bartender in Germany. He is the author of American Bar, a book famous among bartenders worldwide. We look forward to quizzing him about new trends on the European bar scene.

Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown are the co-founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail and are known as authors of drink-related books such as Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail and Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink.

The idea is for these guests to provide ‘academic’ seminars – not just the usual ‘cocktail performances’ – and it is our hope that visitors will be able to deepen their knowledge of spirits and their appreciation of the art of the bartender.

On the Main Stage, we will once again be holding the Nadeshiko Cup, a bartending challenge by female bartenders. Also scheduled is a Sherry Cocktail Competition, and that is a first in the history of the BarShow. We’ve also planned a barista-bartender collaboration seminar. We should also mention that TIBS will also be the testing site for the Cocktail Examination, administered for the first time this year.
Detailed information about the various programs and participants will be up on the official TIBS / Whisky Live site on Monday (September 1st).

Nonjatta: Every year there are official bar show bottlings of Japanese whiskies. These are usually instant sell-outs. What can you say about this year’s commemorative bottlings?

TIBS: There are no official bottlings scheduled for the show this year. However, there a few weeks left before we open the doors – and one or two discussion are still underway – so … never say never.

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