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Junior Barkeeper

Career in the Bar!

Since the 2011/12 academic year, there has been standardised training (in schools) all over Austria to become a junior barkeeper. Since 2012/13 we have also been offering this certificate course at VILLA BLANKA.

“The goal is to promote students’ interest in the barkeeping profession in order to successfully work in that profession in the future. However, students also learn about dealing with alcohol responsibly and know the score when it comes to the dangers of alcohol abuse” – as the preamble to the course states.

The certificate course ends with a three-part certificate exam (a written component, a sensory component and a practical component). You can find more details about the course here.

We have been running cocktail classes in the school for 15 years and have achieved great success in competitions as a result. At the 1997 Cocktail World Championships in Karlsbad, Angelo Ganner, a former VILLA BLANKA student, was even crowned World Champion in the Pre-Dinner Cocktails category. Students have gone on to secure international successes in Turin, Barcelona, Vienna and even as participants at the European and Middle East MONIN Cup Final in Paris. On the national level, in direct comparison with other participating schools, we always rank close to the top.

The occupational profile of barkeepers/barmen, etc. is not clearly defined. Many barkeepers – especially in high-end catering and hospitality – have undergone professional training and have many years of experience. Often though, skilled restaurant specialists with their school or vocational college training will work at a bar. They can continue their training by attending classes or seminars at private bar schools.

Examples of these in Austria include: The number one Austrian barkeeping school, 1060 Vienna, or the BOLS – Austrian Bar Academy, 1090 Vienna, as well as Austria’s champion barkeeper Kenny Klein with his “Mania Bar Artists”, 4690 Schwanenstadt. The highest level of accredited training in Austria is the examination for a Barkeeping Diploma. Classes for the Barkeeping Diploma are also offered at WIFI Tyrol. The WIFI requires a minimum of 1 1/2 years’ of professional experience working in the Service or Bar industry. Admission requirements for the Barkeeping Diploma examination: Participation in the Foundation and Advanced Classes for the Barkeeping Diploma. There are similar courses in Germany to obtain both “Bar-mixer (IHK)” and “Barmeister/in (IHK)” qualifications. Participants are prepared to independently run a bar business or for the position of an employed bar manager, and also receive the necessary commercial knowledge to do so. The Austrian trade union of barkeepers is the Österreichische Barkeeper Union (ÖBU) and the international umbrella organisation is called the International Bartenders Association (IBA).

The recommended standard textbook is: BAR LEX ICON international, published by Trauner.