Master School of Bartending

Much-respected and the oldest private bartending and table service training school in Canada, the Master School of Bartending – also known as École des Maîtres Barman – has been producing graduates for the hospitality industry since it opened its doors in 1981.

Headquartered in downtown Montreal at the Chateau Grosvenor building – the company also has schools in Gatineau just across the bridge from Ottawa, and near historic Old Quebec – it has been described as the premier bartender, ‘flairtender’ and five star table service school in the country. Its staff, referred to as Bar Chefs, have a wealth of experience and many years in the trade, either as restaurant managers, bartenders, waiters or maître d', and their bilingual (French and English) courses have been recognised for their quality by Quebec’s Ministry of Employment.

The Master School of Bartending (MSB) runs a variety of courses, with everything from intensive, in-depth training for nascent bartenders to fun mini-workshops where you can learn to mix the perfect cocktail. Its Montreal location hosts the majority of the programs, with six courses and two mini-classes on offer – the International Master Bartending Course Levels 1 and 2 is the biggest of the bunch, and for $398 you will learn how to be a professional bartender via a thirty hour program which includes work ethics, handling and setting up apparatus and equipment, preparing exotic drinks, cocktails, shooters and flambés, serving and knowledge checks on wine and champagne, and even distillation techniques for liquors. The course includes real alcohol, materials and a student handbook, and once students graduate they receive a diploma and – unique to the Montreal school – a personalised placement program to help find employment.

An accelerated version of this course is also available for $298, while a $198 ten hour Master Wine Connoisseur program teaches wine growing and tasting, vinification (wine production), varietals and wine categories, and a section on wine classification and a study of the main wine producing countries. Also offered are a 10 hour Table Service Course for $198, where students work in a busy simulated restaurant in order tomaster the art of professional table service, a Flair Master Levels 1 and 2 ($298) for those wishing to inject a little showmanship into their drinks mixing and pouring, and a Speed Bartending course ($98) to keep customers happy and maximise those profits when working.

Montreal has two short courses for students too, with a Master Mini Classic Mixology workshop – for mastering the art of preparing and serving cocktails, shooters and exotic drinks – for $59, while their Master Mini Wine Connoisseur ($79) is a 3 hour taster of the main Master Wine Connoisseur program. Both the Gatineau/Ottawa and Old Quebec schools run the Master Bartending Course Level I & II, and Table Service Course for the same fees.

Along with this array of programs, the Master School of Bartending contains an online bar store via affiliate company BarProducts.com, where a huge array of equipment – from bottle openers to skull-shaped shot glasses – can be purchased.

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