Damien Guichard grew up in the south of France and lived in England for a few years before moving to Berlin eight years ago. He studied translation and for years wanted to become a teacher. In the end, however, he was won over by bartending, which he has been practicing as a full-time employee for 7 years. He met the world of bars in Berlin, finding it to be much more creative and interesting. Damian is the Ambassador of Bar Convent Berlin since March. Let’s see in more detail what his role is, along with some additional information about this year’s BCB Pouring Digital event.
What does your role include?
I like to see this role as a translating job. I’m here to ensure the proper communication between our bartending community and BCB as a company. BCB cares a lot about being present and relatable to the community so it was important for them to have someone on board that could help them stay in touch with the current concerns, challenges and topics of the bar community.
Will you have an active role during this year’s Bar Convent Berlin “Pouring Digital”?
I won’t have as much of an active role as what we had planned before the corona induced restrictions were put into place but I will definitely happily be there to answer all questions anyone might need to ask.
As a bartender what was the most challenging thing for you the past months with the bars closed?
Obviously, the financial aspect wasn’t ideal but to dive a little deeper into it I would say the social aspect was quite difficult. The bartending world brings us a lot of social interactions and confirmation which went missing as the bars closed. I had to question a lot what brings me validation and motivation in life and refocus my priorities in life.
As a bar manager who is working on a specific project that includes flavors, are you disappointed not to be able to feel, smell, taste, new brands and products? As tasting is a big part of the show, how can we do this, this year?
It is, of course, a little sad no to be able to try the thousands of different products available at the physical show. However this year we have the option to order one of the special tasting kits available on our platform in order to discover new products. You will then be able to log in for free and be able to follow an online tasting!
How are you involved with the Bar Convent Berlin in this year’s BCB “Pouring Digital”? What can a French guy for a worldwide event based in Germany do?
I feel like my path is actually a very modern Berlin story. Berlin is a very international and multicultural city. Being Berliner is a lot more than being born and raised here. I might not be German but I do feel like I represent the challenges and privilege of being an adopted Berliner. I have also been here for 8 years and travelled enough to say that I have both an insightful position while having enough distance to stay objective. Obviously, my role will be more in the background during the digital event as unfortunately, nothing on-site is happening but I’ll be proudly answering questions if need be.
Bar Convent Berlin is a meeting point for bartenders, businessmen/women and companies, meeting friends and colleagues from all over the world. How can they do this, this year without missing the educational, informative, and fun parts?
This year will have to be a little different but we’re still proud of what we brought together – with all the educational content being online, and options such as the matchmaking platform or the tasting kits, our online visitors will have a lot of content to dive into. Of course, nothing digital can replace a real hug or the usual warmth of BCB but it’s safe to say that we have done more than just the strict minimum!
Lots of people could not have a physical presence at BCB the previous years. Do you believe that BCB “Pouring Digital” concept would be the reason for those people, to visit/attend this year’s special version? Why would you suggest to someone to visit this year’s BCB “Pouring Digital” event and would it be possible to create a new “fan base”?
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, nothing can replace the usual magic of the physical show. However, BCB Pouring digital is definitely a good way to peek into what the physical show has to offer- It’s also been an amazing opportunity for the BCB team and myself to work on a version of BCB that can potentially be continued in addition to the physical show for the future ones to come.
Give us three tips for this year’s BCB special event. What should no one miss?
Hard to pick just 3! I’m mostly excited about all the amazing educational content that was put together by the team and Angus Winchester – strong content ahead!
What is your favorite Greek spirit and how would you mix it in a cocktail?
Not very original but I love Mastiha! I’ve always loved barky and piney flavours. I once made a drink with Mezcal, lime cordial and Mastiha that was delicious!