When I first started out in bartending the internet was in its infancy and I was at University (If it wasn’t for becoming addicted to this, I might even have a degree now!). It was difficult to find inspiration from anything more than short trailer clips of DVDs and even VHS videos for the training of bartenders, so there was not much to work with as a broke student.
As Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) who’s background before magic was juggling says, the internet has meant that 12 year old jugglers today are as good as some of the world champions of the past, simply because they can see what is possible online. They don’t have to have the tuition, but they can get ideas online, and that’s what the videos below can give you. These are some of the guys who have inspired me when I started, and others that inspire me today.
Just ask my family, they’ll tell you, this guy was one of the biggest influences for me when I started flairing. He’s silly good.
Tim Flippy Morris
Tim is one of the nicest guys in flair, and one of the most entertaining. If you type world’s best bartender into youtube, you’ll get a whole bunch of videos of him behind the bar at Harrah’s in Vegas. I’ll always remember competing at Roadhouse in London when him and Graham Warner came over to barback for me, both heroes of mine!
Nicholas St Jean
One of the more stylish bartenders in the world, Nic from France made a name with his smooth style and original moves, and not allowing the MC to speak during his routines!
The Bar Wizards
Neil & Neil did a huge amount to popularise flair in the UK with their huge success at Britain’s Got talent (They get a shout out in this week’s Bartender HQ Podcast too http://bartenderhq.com/podcast-episode-7-magic-flair-competitions-jugglers-and-sour-apple-pie/) and I’m proud to have performed for these guys in the Bartender challenge (and shared much Jaegermeister)!
Tom ‘Dangerous’ Dyer
He’s been at the very top of the UK flair scene for longer than anyone else, with a unique style and he supports new bartenders with his Flair Camp program. Nice guy I got to work with on the festival circuit a few years back.
Raging Rob Stevens
Safe to say without Rob I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. He inspired me to join TGI Friday’s back in the day from his service at Bluewater as well as his flair. Seriously one of the nicest people on the planet, so humble.
These were some of the first flair DVD’s that departed from just documenting comps and showed bartender life along with a healthy dose of Jackass style stupidity. I’d warn of the adult content, but as everything is about booze here, I take that as read… NSFW!
Dave ‘Ginge’ Reynolds
Certainly one of the bartenders I enjoy watching the most in the UK right now, Ginge absolutely killed at Masters of Flair 2013 taking the top honours. See the trailer from the 2014 competition here.
Brendan Rodregues is an amazing bartender and magician who I met at competitions many many years ago in Oxford. He’s gone on to improve his skills over the years and is now a bartender I really admire. Great work Brendan!