FlairBartendingTV was developed with a single mission in mind: to help people learn to flair bartend. We focus on not only learning the techniques of flair bartending, but mastering the skill of using it appropriately for your guests, to always give impeccable service and to use the lessons learned here, when appropriate, to increase guest satisfaction, bartender tips, repeat business, and everyone’s enjoyment.
FlairBartendingTV grew out of a blog I started in 2007 mostly to entertain myself and my friends with bartending stories. One day I uploaded some instructional videos to YouTube to help some friends who were learning to flair and was a bit surprised when bartenders from Sweden and Thailand emailed me to say thanks.
My name is Chris and I’m a bartender. My journey to get here has been a long one. I originally attended the Minnesota School of Bartending in 1997, a two week course after my first year of college, mostly because I thought it would irritate my parents. I landed my first job as a bartender at a country club in ’98 and I continued to bartend at a comedy club throughout university. I completed my Bachelors degree in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin in 2000. I tried my hand at a couple of other jobs after college, but nothing quite thrilled me, entertained me, paid me – nothing quite satisfied me like my job behind the bar. I threw myself into learning everything I could about bartending, from drink/spirit knowledge to dealing with people to bar management and history. It was fun research. In 2002, after a year or two of flipping bottles haphazardly on my own, I joined the Flair Bartenders Association. A few months later, I went to my first flair bartending competition. Convinced that I hadn’t seen anybody in my town that was better than me, I psyched myself up to the point where I was already planning what I was going to do with the $2000 winnings. I placed dead last. But I met so many great flair bartenders and learned so much that I was determined to get better.
A few months later, I started working at Kahunaville in the Wisconsin Dells. I was lucky enough to be trained by some of the best flair bartenders in the country. And over 2 and a half years there, I grew to understand what it meant to be a working flair bartender, to entertain your guests, to put on nightly shows, to rip out drinks in a busy club, to deliver flair without sacrificing service, and to work with some outstanding flair bartenders.
After that job ended, I took a job closer to home and focused on teaching flair bartending to others. I taught classes independently to local bartenders. Later, I taught a few 8-week training courses to a handful of TGIFridays in my state. I ended up adding some flair tutorials to my blog, ChrisTheBartender, just so that my students would be able to review the material that we learned in class. Ten thousand subscribers and 4 million YouTube views later, I decided it was time to build a website completely dedicated to learning how to flair bartend. And so began FlairBartending.TV.
In the meantime, I’ve also been fortunate to achieve some level of success in the bartending world. In 2010, I competed in Boston at the US Stella Artois Draught Master Competition – and won. I went on to London, representing the US in a global competition against 30 other countries and ultimately won the competition, earning the title of Stella Artois World Draught Master and bringing home the trophy as the best pourer of Stella Artois in the world. I was fortunate enough to get to travel all over the world judging the 2011 Stella Artois World Draught Master competition, from Beijing to Brussels, from Argentina to Australia, teaching people the Stella Artois 9 Step Pouring Ritual. It has been an amazing experience and, because of it, I am fortunate enough to work from time to time as a beverage consultant for a company out of London called F&B Partnership. And I can honestly say that I would not have won the title if I had not put a little “flair” into my routine. Seriously, checkout the 2:27 mark of my qualifying round to see what I mean.
Flair Bartending has brought me some amazing things in life. It’s not always been easy but nothing worthwhile in life ever is. If you practice hard, practice smart, teach others, are kind-hearted and humble, you just may find some of the same benefits of flair bartending that I have enjoyed. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to contact me anytime and let me know how you’re doing. I also love it when people send me links to their YouTube videos – or better yet post your video as a video response to one of my tutorials.
If you own or manage a bar and are interested in private training please feel free to contact me. I have designed lesson plans for various types of clients and would be happy to customize a plan to fit your needs. I offer personalized, effective flair training that is designed specifically to help you increase your nightly sales, build repeat business, improve employee morale, increase ROI, and create brand equity.
Thanks for stopping by FlairBartending.TV and don’t forget: practice, practice.