Berg has made a reputation for himself as far as bartending and bar consultations go. Our first encounter was at the annual “World Class Cocktail Competition” event by Diageo, where he was one of the facilitators and trainers. His insights and experience have in their own way shaped the careers of several bartenders in the city, as Berg is renowned as being a major player in the beverage game with an enviable career that has culminated in his latest venture, Bar Mechanics.
Bar Mechanics is a bar consulting company that Berg spearheads. The vision is to bring a fresh and innovative outlook to beverage serving in Nigeria. Is Berg up to the task? Boasting an incredible track record, Berg has his eye on bringing a refreshing quality to the business. Over the years, he has carefully won the hearts of his growing fans, one cocktail at a time. As he launches Bar Mechanics, we can only expect a reinvigorating impact on the hospitality industry.
We catch up with the gifted Berg in this piece as he shares a few nuggets on what might be called the “Berg way to bartending.”
What is one trend in the industry you are excited about?
Innovation: always looking for new techniques and creative concepts in the art of elevating bars. In a world where we are constantly looking for the next big thing, we need to be one step ahead of the game.
How do you meet the emotional demands of working the bar?
by having a physically and mentally balanced lifestyle.
How did you find your “why”? What inspired you to become a professional bartender? Why is it important to you?
Interacting with people and making cocktails are my inspiration. Seeing that perfect smile and happiness on people’s faces after each sip—that feeling is unique to me. An endless experience, awakening them to a different world for a brief moment where we build memories and experience flavour, culture, and passion, is my why.
How does it feel to be sought after, and has it changed anything for you?
It’s amazing; my new forged identity gives me recognition and has allowed me to take things to a whole different level, bringing my craft to life.
We heard that you want drink menus to be just as highly regarded as food menus, so how do you create the drink lists for the bars you work at?
Depending on the concept and the budget, I start by picturing the place, brand colours, food menu, its clientele, our target, and all other details, which gives me an idea of how to create a perfect sustainable menu to blend with its brand story.
Is this what has given birth to Bar Mechanics?
Well, yes, but much more than that. Bar mechanics look to do more than just drink menu engineering. Among other things, we provide bar design, equipment sourcing, bar design, and staff training.
Do you have a certain philosophy when it comes to what you put in your drinks?
My goal is to satisfy the senses of the consumer. I combine flavours, aromas, colours, and glassware to match the unique style of the consumer. I would call it the philosophy of beauty and taste.
What is your signature cocktail, and what is the cocktail that everyone has to try?
The Martini has been a favourite drink, and everyone has to try it out. The Martini has been enjoyed by stars for years, and it has kept them captivated by its many twists. The PornStar Martini is fitting as my drink of choice. If you enjoy being the centre of attention, just like the drink, you’ll take life shaken, dirty, or with a twist.
What would you say has been the most memorable experience in the industry?
I can’t choose a particular moment in my career. Every day behind the bar and every cocktail made creates a memorable experience.
What predictions do you have for bartending as an industry in general?
Apart from the next generation of cocktail menus and RTD, there is a lot to look forward to, but if I had to pick one, I would anticipate seeing more bartender performance art and provocative theatre.
Essentially, to excite and elicit a reaction from customers. Bars and bartenders are starting to add theatre to the cocktail experience, leaving a strong impression on patrons.
Would you encourage someone to pursue a bartending career?
With a bit of patience, an artistic or creative mindset, and the desire to learn. Not to forget, working on holidays. (laughs) Yes, I would encourage anyone to pursue a bartending career.