The Roadhouse hosted this year’s edition of Bottle Tin is King (#BTiK) recently and it was certainly a Roadhouse World Flair Heat to remember. #BTiK is always a popular event, mainly due to the differences it has to many other flair bartending competitions. With the bartender only allowed to use 2 objects at any one time, the whole playing field between the competitors is considerably flattened with the key to standing out coming down to the flair bartenders originality, creativity and showmanship more than anything else.
Often seen as an excellent stepping stone for flair bartenders who are starting out on the competitive scene, #BTiK provides a great oportunity for new flair bartenders to get on the Roadhouse stage. With only two marks given, one for flair and one for entertainment the whole format of #BTiK is simplified, allowing for a great show that all audience members can understand and follow regardless of their flair bartending knowledge.
This year was no different, the audience were loving it – as were the judges – and the result was certainly an unexpected one! Roadhouse favourite and long serving UK bartender Tony Mallin took his first win at a Roadhouse competition in 9 years in what was a well deserved and excellent final round. Tony took home the most sought after trophy in flair bartending (the Roadhouse glass globe) and £850. Second place went to Jean-Marc Pothier as well as £250 with 3rd place going to Bryan Levato who also took home £150 prize money.
The Competition & The Competitors
We caught up with Tom Dyer (@thomasdyer-3) to find out his thoughts on this year’s competition as well as his most memorable moment:
“As we have previously spoken about #BTiK is much easier for the crowd to digest than a lot of other flair bartending competitions, that really comes down to how much more simple the routines and the scoring are due to the limitation of only 2 objects at one time. As there is a score for flair and another for entertainment, the bartenders really have to put a big focus on entertaining the crowd during there performance. This of course makes it more appealing to the crowd but also more appealing to the bartenders. As the competition is more simple, most bartenders find they don’t have to train as long and as hard as they might for some of the Grand Slams for example.
The entertainment factor certainly played a large part this year with both the competitors and the crowd on fire! The routines were excellent and the Roadhouse broke their target sales for the night – so all in all the night brought good vibes and good energy.”
“We had a lot of bartenders in the building, the Be At One team were representing, as were some of the Savoy bartenders. I must say a big thank you to all the competing bartenders who brought their teams down with them too, it was excellent to see all the different factions in the Roadhouse again.”
“As for the competition itself, we saw a lot of new faces this year – which is always a pleasure to see. Just to top that off the new faces brought with them a lot of promising talent, we hope to see these guys coming back and competing more over the coming months. It was great to see Bryan Levato stepping up his game, Ivan Calvo also caught the eye with an entertaining and clean routine. We also had a new female flair bartender, Charlotte Copley, who was rocking it for the girls – we look forward to see what she adds to this year’s Chicks with Flicks. We also had a big French contingent come over from the continent, supporting the competing French bartenders. It is great to see these guys back with their unique and fluid style”.
Most memorable moment?
“Tony wont mind me saying this but he is known a bit for his erratic style of flair bartending – not everyone gets it and for me his performance in the final is when I really started to understand it. It was great to see him in the zone and absolutely killing it on stage, it was as if it was his last ever competition and his entire heart and soul was in that performance. In the words of Jumbles at the time ‘That’s how you start a final’. Tony gives a lot to the Roadhouse and it was great to see him getting something back”.