Sydney BarShow 09 Wrap-Up

A Week of Booming Bar Business Dusts off Global Financial Blues

The leaders of the drinks industry, both local and international, descended on Sydney for the eighth instalment of Sydney BarShow; a week of networking events creating Australia’s largest and most respected bar industry trade event!

Standing room only in at the Bar Mixology Stage

Sydney BarShow 09, Australia’s premier trade event for the business of bars attracted 5,609 bar industry professionals to the Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park on 22 & 23 September. Once again a whopping percentage of these visitors travelled from interstate or overseas battling adverse conditions such as last week’s dust storm to attend the show. 

“Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts we still managed to stage our best BarShow ever! Over 5,500 guests attended the two day exhibition along with capacity crowds at all networking events and parties staged during BarShow week,” commented founder and director of Sydney BarShow, David Spanton. “A fantastic result considering that the Global Financial Crisis has made 2009 a challenging year for the Australian bar industry.”


Throughout both days, bar industry professionals sampled products and services that are essential to the running of a successful bar business. Exhibitors at Sydney BarShow 09 included drinks companies, point of sale systems suppliers, bar equipment suppliers, graphic design companies, refrigeration suppliers, audio installers, lighting companies, boutique wineries, craft brewers and much, much more.

 Sydney BarShow has gained a reputation for being the ideal platform to launch new and innovative products into the bar market, reaching a broad cross-section of industry professionals including the hard-to-reach style bar operators and bartenders.

Philip Duff from Amsterdam's Door 74 presents on the Bar Mixology Stage

 Building on previous years’ events, Sydney BarShow offered six innovative seminar theatres that were standing-room only thanks to an impressive line-up of speakers. International presenters included leading lights of the bar industry such as Philip Duff, globe trotting bartender, writer, drinks consultant and owner of Amsterdam’s speakeasy style venue Door 74, Eben Freeman, respected New York mixologist from creative bar consultancy the Mangkut Group, and a trio of Tequila experts; Julio Bermejo, Tequila ambassador to the US, Tomas Estes, Tequila ambassador to the UK and Europe and Australia’s own Mr. Tequila; Phil Bayly from Sydney’s Café Pacifico.  

Simon Ford and Beefeater gin master distiller Desmond Payne present at Beefeater Mixology session

Other international bar industry legends that joined the cast in presentations across the six educational theatres were: Jim Meehan, celebrated bar operator, consultant, and writer from New York’s award winning PDT, Desmond Payne, master distiller from London’s iconic Beefeater Gin, Simon Ford, global ambassador for Plymouth Gin, Austrian born Florian Iro from Mozart Distillerie and Jacob Briars, the 42 Below Vodka Professor.

Smuggler's Den in action

Apart from regular theatres like Bar Tastings, the Bartender Magazine Bar Mixology Theatre and Bar Talks, Sydney BarShow 09 had some all new offerings such as Tequila World; dedicated to one of the industry’s most exciting spirit categories, Smuggler’s Den; an intimate tastings theatre showcasing rare and domestically unavailable spirits and the Twisted Liquid Flair Theatre which offered practical teachings on this ever popular bartending genre.

Julio Bermejo in Smuggler's Den

Phil Bayly was impressed by the success of the Tequila dedicated theatre: “The enthusiasm at Tequila World was overwhelming – both Tom and Julio were amazed at the quality of the audience and their thirst for knowledge about the category.”

Feedback from this year’s show from both visitors and exhibitors has been very positive too:

Whether it’s keeping up to date with the latest products and trends at the exhibition, making new friends at the many industry parties, or getting swept away in the glitz and glamour of the awards night… Sydney BarShow has something for everyone and absolutely cannot be missed!”– Adam Ong, co-owner, Golden Monkey, Melbourne  

“BarShow was excellent for showcasing our new brands and getting them directly into the hands (and mouths) of leading on-premise decision-makers from all over Australia.  We also used the show to canvass opinions on some potential new brands for our portfolio.  There is no other way we could have done this so efficiently and effectively.  Another great event.” – James France, managing director, Vanguard Luxury Brands

 Sydney BarShow 09 would not have been complete without the traditional after-show networking functions which helped footsore exhibitors and attendees unwind and relax after hours of serious business.  These included the highly anticipated Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards on Wednesday 23, which attracted more than 600 industry professionals to the Hilton Hotel for a gala dinner.

  1. a big thank you to all those who attended and exhibited this year making the BarShow week of events the best ever!

  2. Looks like it was a huge show, and congratulations to the award winners!

    I know that the Spanton crew are no doubt very busy during the show, but for an event that is so important to the industry it’d be really great to see some form of live-blogging and more detailed coverage of the people and events at the show while it’s in full swing to give those of us unable to attend a bit of a taste for the atmosphere.  I would have loved to have some smaller posts covering some of the more interesting events and exhibitors in attendance, as well as seeing the results from the awards a little earlier than we did.

  3. Hi Kev,

    Your absolutely right sir! We needed you to do one of your podcasts. Certainly, with 4bars up and running we’ll endeavor to get more content up there for you. We’ve got heaps of photos from the events that we’ll be posting up over the next couple of days too. Everyday Drinking managed to beat us getting something out on his blog and Match Bar & Grill had their media release go out at some ungodly hour of the morning while I was still making my way back from the afterpaty at Zeta!

    There will be further coverage in the November issue, but if you’d like to know more about Philip Duff’s and Jim Meehan’s “Please Do Tell” presentation in particular (I thought it was fab) on running a speakeasy style cocktail bar you can drop them an email on or

  4. Haha the podcast!  There’s never enough hours in the day for it these days, but I’ve had lots of people interested in seeing more from it, so it might be time for a resurrection.

    I gotta say, it was a tense few hours of watching facebook updates trying to figure out from the notes of congratulations who had won what before the 4bars update dropped.  So proud of the Melbourne effort! 

    Everyday drinking is a new one for the RSS reader.  Good stuff there.

    I must get up there next year.  It’s been too long.


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