786 Bartend

Urging prospective bartenders to join them and become a rockstar behind the bar, Miami’s 786 Bartend goes all out to prepare its graduates for the heady yet challenging world of bars and clubs in the southeast US city, where the nightlife is fast-moving and the clientele fun but often demanding. People here want the best, and 786 strives to make sure its students become just that.

Established in 2008 by master mixologist Isaac Ergas, who himself is a renowned industry expert with over two decades in the trade and the current title-holder of television’s Ultimate Miami Bartender, 786 Bartend operates out of establishments in the Midtown area of the city and allows its students to get to grips with working ‘behind the wood’ in a variety of real nightclubs, bars and lounges. State licenced by the Florida Department of Education and with staff who each hold over twenty-two years’ experience in the hospitality industry in the region – so they know what it takes to succeed – the school’s courses are a mixture of hands-on, intensive and immersive programs for nascent bartenders looking to reach the required level, coupled with fun and engaging mini-courses and workshops which are perfect for friends, colleagues or amateur bar enthusiasts.

The school’s forty hour state licenced ‘Ultimate Bartending Course’ is the biggie and forms the backbone of the company’s body of programs – for $495 students receive instruction about everything they will need to know to tend bar via a comprehensive training schedule, taught over two weeks (albeit one week accelerated courses are available, as well as a weekend option), with five to eight hours of lessons and practical work each day. Subjects taught are many and varied, and include basic bar management, wine seminars, prepping garnishes and pouring/measurements, as well as mixology, juice preparation, alcohol awareness and customer service. The aim is to get students confident and comfortable behind the bar, and nothing is left to chance. Fees include all manuals, supplies and equipment, and the course culminates in a taxing written examination, a practical cocktail making exam, and a free pouring test; only upon successful completion of these exercises will students graduate and become a State of Florida certified bartender. For an additional $30, students can add the National Restaurants Association’s ‘ServSafe Alcohol Certification’, which can either be studied online or on site during the course.

Other courses offered by the school include a four hour ‘Cocktail Workshop’ ($99) which has both day and evening slots during the week and is open to everyone, from individuals to groups, bachelor parties and office get-togethers – the emphasis here is on fun while uncovering the secrets of making the perfect Mojito to serve your friends. The Flair Bartending Course – for budding bottle jugglers and glass spinners who want to earn mega tips – has three tiers, beginning at ‘Introductory’ level for $85 and on to ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Exhibition’; prices increase accordingly but the length and content of the courses do likewise. Advanced Mixology is perfect for established bartenders to improve their skills and take their art to the next level, while the Bachelorette Party Cocktail Workshop is excellent fun for a ‘girls’ night out’ where you will learn to make over a dozen of the best martinis and cocktails; pricing for this workshop is subject to class size.

786 Bartend has teamed up with online store BarProducts.com which provides a massive selection of bartending equipment, from novelty bottle openers to clothing lines, while ‘Ultimate Bartending Course’ alumni are allowed to return to the school for unlimited refresher classes whenever they want, or if they feel the need to catch up with some of the latest drinks crazes or mixing skills.

A huge bonus with training at 786 is their Event Staffing: they already have over one thousand staff rostered and available to work concerts, corporate events, trade shows and sports tournaments across South Florida, with new staff trained and added daily – so the contacts, opportunities and work are already in place for graduates as soon as they obtain their state certification.

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