Fernet-Branca Barback Games

Words by Difford's Guide

Photography by Fernet-Branca

The Fernet-Branca Barback Games return to the UK for a second year and challenge courageous barbacks to battle it out in a lively competition.

Launched in 2007 by Italian digestif Fernet-Branca, the games were first held in San Francisco and have since become one of the largest touring bar events in the world.

This year’s Barback Games will once again host a series of tough but entertaining tasks while challenging the UK’s daring barback professionals to bring their game, skills and team spirit.

Online entry is open until 31st August 2019. Enter your fearless team here for your chance to win a trip to Bar Convent Berlin.

How do the games work?

From hauling crates of bottles and glasses to dragging hefty barrels, the Fernet-Branca Barback Games will see barbacks and their accomplices put to the test and cheered on by a throng of industry friends. Bars wishing to join the camaraderie can RSVP for tickets online here.

Following online entry, eight teams will be chosen to compete in the UK final which kicks-off on 29th September 2019 at London’s Village Underground. At least four of the eight teams will be from outside of London. The finalists will face three knockout rounds on the day. They’ll be tested on their barback skills and endurance through a series of physical challenges, followed by their knowledge and passion for Fernet-Branca.

The winning team will go on to compete in the European final which takes place during BCB Berlin in October 2019.

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Who qualifies to compete?

Any bar stocking Fernet-Branca or another Fratelli Branca brand can enter a team. Your team must consist of one competitor and one coach. The competitor in the team must work in a role which includes barback duties. That includes all those working in a pub, bar, restaurant or club who may step into the role of a barback at times.

The coach could be considered a bar manager, owner, friend or even mentor – anyone who has helped the competitor during their career.

Your team won't find out what challenges you’ll be facing until the day of the competition, so be ready for anything. However, competitors are warned that they’ll need to be fit to meet the physical challenges.

For those who are looking to attend the games rather than compete, please RSVP for tickets online here.

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How to enter

Competitors are invited to enter the games until the 31st August 2019. The finalists will then be announced on 8th September 2019.

Enter your team here. Best of luck to all and shall the bravest win!