What to expect at Bartenders’ Weekender this June (the program is now live)

With 20 events already confirmed, and more to come, it’s going to be a big three days in Brisbane.

What to expect at Bartenders’ Weekender this June (the program is now live)

It has been a busy few weeks. But I’m excited to let you know that it’s time to take the wraps off the Bartenders’ Weekender site, and give you the first look at what’s in store for this three day long weekend for bartenders and drink nerds.

It’s an initiative I’ve been working on with Penny Sippe — you may know her from Australian Cocktail Month or any number of experiential drinks events over the last decade — and it’s shaping up to be a must-visit event on the Australian bartending calendar. There are dozens of interstate bartenders and industry professionals either speaking or putting on events, and the best of Brisbane will be on hand to show the rest of the world what makes it such a great bar town. I hope you’ll join us there!

Taking place from Sunday 16 June to Tuesday 18 June in the warmer climes of Brisbane, it’s a festival of inspiring ideas, tastings, and parties for bartendery types — and a great excuse to get north for the winter.

As of this morning, we’ve got 20 events already locked into the timetable, with plenty more to be announced once the On the Card sessions — where brand ambassadors shout drinks at Brisbane’s best bars — and our bar collaborations are being finalised over the next few weeks. The events offer a range of experiences, from exclusive tastings (and some very luxury stuff on pour), product launches, networking opportunities — the Jim Beam mentoring session is one for the career-oriented — as well as big hospo parties each night.

Needless to say it’s going to be a big three days.

And we’ve been hard at work getting some of the very best speakers lined up to talk at the Better Bars Summit, a series of talks and interviews on the Monday and Tuesday that aim to inform and inspire, whether you’re at the start of your hospitality career, or a lifer looking to make your next move.

We’ve got a dozen or so speakers already confirmed for the Better Bars Summit, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Here’s who we have so far:

Jason Williams (House Made Hospitality), Natalie Ng (Doorknock, Now & Then), Matt Whiley (RE), Hayden Lambert (Above Board), Evan Stroeve (The Waratah, Rhubi), Stefano Catino (Public Group, Maybe Sammy), Andy Young (The Shout, Bars & Clubs), James Irvine (Merivale), Rob Libecans (Caretaker’s Cottage), Samantha Payne (wine writer, sommelier), and all the way from Singapore, the excellent Sam Ng (Puffy Bois).

Earlybird tickets for both days of the Better Bars Summit are now available, for $45 + booking fee.

And the Bartenders’ Weekender Scholarship Program is now open for applications. We’re offering five scholarships to attend Bartenders’ Weekender — if successful, you’ll get return flights to Brisbane, three nights accommodation, a two day pass to the Better Bars Summit, and $500 in spending money. All we ask in return is that you come, soak up everything on offer, and spread the ideas, knowledge, and contacts you pick up with your bar scene on your return. You can apply now, here.

So save the date, score that time off, check out the timetable, and start making plans for accommodation and flights. I’m excited about this Bartenders’ Weekender, there’s so much in store.

See you there!

Bartenders’ Weekender
The Bartenders’ Weekender is a three day long weekend for bartenders and drinks professionals in June 2024 in Brisbane, Queensland.
The Bartenders’ Weekender Scholarship
We’re looking for five most promising bartenders to bring to Brisbane for the Bartenders’ Weekender.