A review of the biggest international trade show for the world of spirits, beverages, bars and bartenders - all coming together in Rome, Italy.
The debut of the Roma Bar Show, just a few short months prior to Covid was conceived in 2019 by Andrea Fofi along with partners Fabio Bacchi, Giuseppe Gallo and The Jerry Thomas Project founders: Leonardo Leuci, Alessandro Procoli, Antonio Parlapiano and Roberto Artusio, in its most recent year. And each year growing still.
The 2023 edition, being it’s third, found all of the success and praise as previous years and then some. The numbers are in, thanks to Samantha PR SC Comunicazione, the new Public Relations firm who handled the event this year: With over 14,000 admission, 200 participating companies, 100 international guests, over 2,000 brands, more than 200 accredited journalists from all over the globe, and some very special world-famous guests. One of which I was particularly starstruck with being a native New Yorker – Julie Reiner bar trailblazer and founder of some of my favorite bars in my old hometown city. Also featured at the Roma Bar Show 2023 were 20 tasting rooms, 6 training seminars, the RBS ceremony, and the RBS Educational Academy with bars spanning all continents – some of which were featured on the coveted World’s 50 Best Bars list.
Dedicated to the world of spirits, beverages, bars and mixology, the RBS 2023 appeals to businesses and consumers alike. With products ranging from small batch spirits and liquors to some of the biggest brands and already established key players. The Roma Bar Show was designed for those both working within the sector and those who are just fans - celebrating the culture of cocktails and drinking through education, entertainment and events. This trade show also served as a celebration of the close-knit international community who managed to - together - come out of the most difficult and darkest periods we have ever seen in the industry since the Prohibition.
The Roma Bar Show Side Show featured some of the best bars and bartenders in Italy (but not only) by way of bartending guest shifts and takeovers at select bars across the Eternal City. Among some of the parties were from Blue Blazer (a guide to Italy's best cocktail bars) who organized two separate evenings – first at Culto and the last at Freni e Frizioni Draft - with a full line up and drinks from bars in almost every region of Italy.
Kicking off the celebrations officially was W Roma – the first W Hotel in all of Italy with an exclusive party featuring some Italian all-stars like Italicus and Giacomo Giannotti, Margarita Sader and team of Paradiso in Barcelona, number one last year on the World’s 50 Best Bars.
The two-day event at Palazzo dei Congressi in the EUR district of Rome concluded with the last competition of the final 3 for the Diageo World Class and the reveal of the “Best Bartender in Italy – winner Michele Filip of Rome’s own Freni e Frizioni.