Ladies and gents, mark your calendars — The Bar Awards Bangkok kickstarts the organisation’s 2019 region-wide season to acknowledge the best and brightest of the tippling world 28-31 March 2019. With Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur to follow, look forward to four days of booze-filled festivities. From beer fun runs and masterclasses from industry heavyweights to (for the first time ever) an open-to-public The Bar Awards Party, here’s what going down. See here for the full festival calendar.
28 March, Thursday
We can’t think of a better backdrop this year for the opening party than Above Eleven’s rooftop garden. With steel tree sculptures framing a perfect rooftop view of Bangkok’s luminous Soi 11, sip on tipples from six international bartenders guesting at the same time (you heard that right).
The party kicks off at 8pm, and you’ll wanna be there. Expect regional talents like Ashish Sharma from Kuala Lumpur’s New Bar of the Year, Bar Trigona, and Indulge Bistro’s Grace Tsai. Also helming the bar is John Nugent from Leading Nation, Hong Kong’s Hospitality Ambassador of the Year, and Giovanni Graziadei of Singapore’s Jigger & Pony. Grab a seat by the bar and hang out with the passionate individuals that transform Above Eleven into the place to be for an early TGIF.
Above Eleven (Bangkok) is located at 33rd Floor, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit Sukhumvit Road, Soi 11 Bangkok 10110, Thailand, p.+66 2 038 5111. Opens from 6pm — 2am from Monday to Sunday.
29 March, Friday
Day two starts bright and early at Italian restaurant (with a great restaurant bar) Sorrento along Sathorn 10. Class gets in session at 12noon; the Bar Talks features heavy hitters of the alcohol world, divulging trade secrets (we hope) in a series of free-registration masterclass sessions that start at 12. Indra Kantono, co-founder of the award-winning Jigger & Pony Group (Singapore), will be giving a masterclass on how to build an empire in the F&B industry. Then, get schooled on maximising your food usage and minimising wastage in sustainable bartending with Mark Lloyd (Bootleggers, Sammakorn Cocktail Club, and3 Zero Waste Bar. Taipei’s Grace Tsai then spills the beans in Secrets of Indulge Bistro (also No. 2 of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018).
Start the night with a sundowner at Banyan Tree’s Moon Bar, where a tiki party – courtesy of Bank and Tiki Blinders – starts from 6pm. The trail continues across the Bang Rak neighbourhood, with Singapore’s Jigger & Pony popping up at Vesper, Hong Kong’s Leading Nation behind the stick at Teens of Thailand, and Bar Trigona (KL) at Asia Today. Round up your night at Tropic City, where Giffard and Tito’s vodka will be joining hands to raise funds for the Pimali Foundation, an organisation that provides practical hospitality training to underprivileged youth and orphans in northeastern Thailand.
Sorrento Sathorn is located at Sathorn 10, Bangkok, 73 Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand, p.+66 2 234 9841. Opens from 11am — 11pm from Sundays to Thursdays, and 11am — 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. Moon Bar is located at 21/100 South Sathon Road, Bangkok, Thailand, p.+66 2 679 1200. Opens 5pm — 1am from Mondays to Sundays.
30 March, Saturday
Saturday is best spent in Thonglor and Ekkamai; programming starts at Mikkeller Bangkok on Ekkamai 10 for their signature Mikkeller Beer Run at 5.30pm – there’s a free beer waiting for you at the end of it! Post run, you’ll find bartender Hoang Ngyuen from Angelina, Metropole Hanoi, behind the bar crafting cocktails with Mikkeller beers from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.
Other guest shifts to check out this evening include Taipei’s Indulge Bistro popping up at #Findthelockerroom while bartenders from Ho Chi Minh City (Corked Tales, Drinking & Healing) and Leading Nation (HK) will be taking over Evil Man Blues at 72 Courtyard down the road. All shifts start at 8pm.
Mikkeller (Bangkok) is located at 26 Ekkamai 10 Alley, Lane 2, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand, p.+66 2 381 9891. Opens from 5pm — 12am from Mondays to Sundays.
31st March, Sunday
The Bar Awards Party takes centre stage at Beer Belly (72 Courtyard); doors open at 6pm. For the first time ever, this formerly industry exclusive event is open to consumers. The official crowning ceremony for the winners, the night promises to go on till (very) late — don’t miss out on a glorious night of delicious drinks by the region’s best bartenders, free food, and a whole lot of merrymaking. The party continues with the After Party held at Chow, located at the ground floor of hotel Metropole Bangkok.
The Bar Awards Party will be happening at Beer Belly, 72 Courtyard FL G – 72 Sukhumvit 55 Thonglor, Bangkok 10110, Thailand, p.+66 2 392 7770, on 31 March 2019, 6pm — 11pm. Tickets go on sale for THB 900 (online) and THB 1000. To purchase, click here. The After Party will be happening at Chow, Metropole Bangkok, New Petchaburi Road, 10310 Bangkok, p.+66 2 318 2273, from 11pm till late.
Top image: Ann Pinsuda at Bamboo Bar, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.