Bartending, Beverage Programs and Bar Education in the Wake of Covid-19

Bartenders, restaurant owners and professionals across the hospitality industry are working hard to push bar programs to the cutting edge in the wake of Covid-19.

How can bar programs be more profitable? How can cocktails be more delicious? How can bartenders continue their education and where should those starting out in the industry look for resources?

Diageo Bar Academy (DBA) is the leading training and development provider for bar professionals across the globe. DBA is committed to raising standards, improving careers and shaping the industry through investing in the people behind it. DBA works closely with industry leaders who have shared their insight on where beverage programs have the potential to go next in interviews across HRN’s network.

This playlist is for curious drinkers and bartenders interested in expanding their bartending education. Dive in below, thanks to support from Diageo Bar Academy. Learn more about DBA here.


The Speakeasy Episode 431: School’s In For Summer: Mark Barrett of Diageo Bar Academy sits down with Greg and Sother to talk education, how we can make the most of our now extremely online lives and what we can do to never stop learning.

All in the Industry Episode 288: Adam Fournier, 2021 US Bartender of the Year: On today’s episode of All in the Industry®, Shari Bayer’s guest is Adam “George” Fournier, a LA-based bartender who was named the 2021 US Bartender of the Year by the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo. Adam’s experience includes running the bar program at Steingarten LA, Areal Restaurant in Santa Monica, and the award winning program at Faith & Flower in Downtown, LA. In 2018, he was one of the opening Bar Managers at the new NoMad Los Angeles, helping to lead the team to being named Time Out LA’s Best New Bar in LA, among other accolades. And, in 2019, he made was one of fifteen National Finalists for the Diageo World Class competition. Today’s show also features Shari’s PR tip to be competitive; Speed Round; Industry News Discussion; and Solo Dining experience at Sona at the Manhattan’s Flatiron District. 

Agave Road Trip S2 Episode 41: Maybe Syrup Isn’t All That Simple: Most cocktails call for a sweetener of some type. Maybe there’s a better way to make simple syrup? Learn how to sweeten your cocktail game in this episode of Agave Road Trip! We’re joined by 2019 World Class US Bartender of the Year Katie Renshaw so, you know, it’s not entirely amateur hour.

The Big Food Question Episode 37: How Do We Fix Bartending School?: Bartending has existed since, well…. forever. For as long as people have been drinking, there have been people who have made, sourced, and poured those beverages into cups in front of people for money. On this special episode hosted by Greg Benson (bartender and host of Back Bar and The Speakeasy), we look at education for the bar industry. Greg welcomes Nonna Titulauri, a Diageo Bar Academy World Class Finalist who lives and works in San Francisco. She’s been behind bars since she was a 21 year old college student. They discuss why so many ‘bartender schools’ are so lacking and what resources are available to bartenders who are just starting out or looking to build skills. This episode was supported by Diageo Bar Academy.

Opening Soon Episode 73: Designing a Profitable Beverage Program: It’s common knowledge that wine and alcohol sales have much better margins than food. Building a great bar program not only delights guests but can also really drive profitability. But how does a post lockdown world turn the bar program on its head? Many major metropolitan cities still haven’t opened up bar seating, which challenges the added revenue restaurateurs are accustomed to as diners wait for their tables. Amongst other challenges like dwindling large groups and events, how can the cocktail remain fun and exciting while still driving revenue?

Our guest today is Adam Fournier. Adam is the World Class sponsored by Diageo Bartender of the Year for 2021. This means he will go on to represent the US and compete in International World Class in July. Adam has 15+ Years of hospitality experience, as Bar Manager at awarding-winning Nomad LA, and now Bar Director at Fellow LA.

Back Bar S2 Episode 5: Moscow, Inc.: Capitalism made the Moscow Mule – birthed it, shaped it and groomed it into the superstar it is today. But it also left behind a mystery that took 75 years to solve. What is the Moscow Mule without the copper mug? That’s a question many people over the years have wrestled with. It’s almost as tricky as the mystery of where the mug came from in the first place. Answering that question involved tracking down a failed vodka salesman, a down on his luck ginger beer brewer and a mysterious Russian immigrant from one hundred years in the past. Special guests this week are Moscow Copper Co. Founder JJ Resnick and “Planet Money” co-host Robert Smith.

The Speakeasy Episode 435: Much Anu About Nothing: Seattle’s Anu Apte sits down with Greg and Sother to talk about flipping concepts, non-stop education and designing a cocktail for a 200-year-old flag with squares cut out of it.