A series of October rum and spirit festivals in Europe offer liquor and cocktail enthusiasts a myriad of opportunities to sample a world wide selection of fine distilled offerings in Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.
The month begins with the German Rum Festival in Berlin October 5 and 6, featuring a rich program of seminars, master classes and sample tasting events, held at Station Berlin. A vast array of fine rums from around the world will be on display for sampling and for purchase. The event is hosted by Dirk Becker, owner of Rum Depot, one of Europe's most distinguished rum shops.
The Bar Convent Berlin follows at the same location on October 8 and 9, becoming the liquid center of Europe with beverage experts and hospitality entrepreneurs from all over the world in attendance. This year’s Bar Convent offers talks, seminars and tastings on five different stages and tasting zones. Trade visitors will be able to attend sessions (70% in English) covering a wide variety of topics like craft beer, spirits, bar business and cocktail history.
Next, jet-setter cocktail enthusiasts will be off to the U.K. for the annual London Cocktail Week, featuring more than 150 great venues offering world-class cocktails, along with exclusive parties, seminars, cocktail tours, workshops and master classes covering the entire realm of libations and spirits spanning the week of October 7-13.
One of the most notable rum events in the world follows that weekend as Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell's RumFest U.K. returns to The Excel London exhibition center at Royal Vistoria Dock October 12 and 13. Europe's largest and most comprehensive rum festival features extensive samples, cocktails, competitions, live music, exotic food, master classes, cooking demonstrations, food and rum pairings and more.
Before you can catch your breath, England's second-largest city begins a week of cocktails and an impressive U.K. Tiki Festival, celebrating the exotic Polynesian lifestyle of tropical rum libations, with unabashed fun and exciting parties in Manchester from October 14 to 20. The pop up area called Rum Street will attract UK's most famous tiki bartenders, led by Captain Lyndon Higginson of the Liar's Club and Bart Murphy of Hula lounge, two of Manchester's leading tiki bars.
Those still standing will be off to Rome for the second annual Show Rum, the Italian Rum Festival, hosted by master of rum Leonardo Pinto, founder of Isla de Rum. The Spazio Eventi Tirso venue is located in Villa Borghese park, the green heart of Rome. Italy is known for their incredible selection of luxury rums from around the world. The finest rums will be on display for sampling, along with master classes, seminars and parties. In addition to the rum enthusiast consumers, this event attracts manufacturers, importers and distributors to learn and discuss the latest trends of the market.
Robert Burr is the National Rum Examiner. He publishes Rob's Rum Guide and hosts the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise, in addition to organizing the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP).