Inspired by his own experience learning flair bartending at Flair Camp 2013, Mathias Daa Lofquist has gone on to create his own flair bartending infrastructure in Denmark; allowing Denmark’s bartenders somewhere to socialise, train and further their bartending skill set with classes and WFA Gradings. We spoke to Mathias to discover his journey up until this point and to find out a bit more about what is happening in Denmark right now:
“My journey started at EBS Barcelona, where I learned the basics as a youngster and developed a real passion for bartending. My first real experience of flair bartending was at Flair Camp in Portugal in 2013 where I was being taught by the likes of Tom Dyer, Pedro Garcia, Tomek Malek and Marek Pozslusny. I can still remember my first experience of competitive flair bartending from that Flair Camp. It was a freestyle, no music, not bottles, nothing. Just 1 bottle and 1 tin, so I went behind the bar and went for it – I remember thinking, I’ve never had so much fun!”
“In my 2nd competition, also on the same day at Flair Camp, I managed to come 2nd and that is when I thought flair bartending could be something special for me. While at this Flair Camp I was also able to do my WFA Yellow and Orange level and received the award for the Most Improved Bartender. For me this was a huge deal, to get recognised by the likes of Tom, Pedro, Marek and Tomek – it really meant a lot to me to know they thought I had talent.”
“Since then I have gone on to be awarded National flair champion in Denmark three times (2014/15/17), with my first recognition coming just 6 months after that flair camp. This is when I really recognised that with enough time, passion and skill – any bartender can become a successful flair bartender and I wanted to help others on that journey, that in truth, I am still on. I have also been to some international competitions in South Africa as well as others, although there were no big wins – it was all fantastic experience. I am now running my own bartending company in Denmark, which you can find out more about in the video below:”
Flair bartending in Denmark…
“The scene in Denmark is certainly still developing. We have one big national competition every year, but that has been it for many years. On this front I think introducing new competitions to Denmark can only be beneficial, so this is something myself and the team are working on. Competitons are a great way to get people involved and raise awareness around what flair bartending is. That is what we ultimately want to achieve in Denmark. There are many skilled bartenders across Denmark, flair bartending is starting to become more and more common in the bars in Denmark. It is just about giving these guys and girls enough confidence to get up on stage and compete. That is why we have created Denmark’s first flair practice rooms and classes to help further your bartending skills through WFA Gradings”.
The new flair rooms…
“I run my own bartending and catering company, we do everything from mobile bars, to cocktails and everything in between. We operate out of two cities in Denmark as well as London in the UK. We have a new office in Aarhus (Denmark’s second biggest city) with another office planned for Copenhagen soon. Our new office doubles up as a flair room, here we can offer a sanctuary for flair bartenders – a place to socialise and meet other flair bartenders, learn from each other, practice your moves and routines, and take classes.
Through allowing bartenders to come and use this new and well equipped space, we hope to give them the tools and confidence they need to go on and compete. Tandem flair is very new to Denmark and there is a festival coming very soon in 2018. We will be taking 10 of our bartenders to compete and make a big show, finishing with a battle between 4 of the bartenders – all of which will be quite new to any form of flair performance.
WFA Gradings in Denmark
WFA Gradings will be available through Mathias and www.getbartender.com – keep an eye on their website or contact @mathiaslfquist for more details on how to undertake your bartender training in Denmark. If you would like to know more about how the WFA Gradings system, works, how it can help you in your career and more then please check out our article on just that, here.