Texas School of Bartenders

A veritable institution in the US state and beyond, the Texas School of Bartenders is no-nonsense from the outset: refusing to accept that the art of tending bar can be learned via new-fangled online courses where you don’t get your hands dirty, they believe that to be the best you have to learn from the best, and – with good reason – consider themselves to be at the top of the bartending instruction game.

With director and owner Jim Shearer at the helm, and bringing his twenty-plus years of experience to the school and its students, the Texas School of Bartenders (TSOB) has grown from a single classroom in Austin in 1988 to a clutch of schools spread across the state and into neighbouring Oklahoma. The organization now boasts locations in cities such as San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, as well as three schools in Houston, with thousands of students graduating from the bartending program each year. TSOB’s concept is undeniably simple: to teach students everything they need to know to be a successful bartender.

TSOB’s Houston branch is located on the outskirts of the city amidst the hustle and bustle of Cypress Creek Parkway, and surrounded by restaurants, fast food outlets and chain hotels – its ‘bartending training lab’ features dozens of individual work stations equipped with the latest industry apparatus, making it ideal for hands-on, one-to-one tuition. Amongst the bottles, pumps and shakers students will find the state-of-the-art Aloha POS (Point of Sale) computerized system used in countless bars and nightclubs, as the school has partnered with the company to provide the very best for its students in order to give them an advantage over the bartending competition when competing for employment.

In keeping with the company’s streamlined, down-to-earth approach, they offer one course to people looking to enter the bartending world: a comprehensive forty hour program spread over two weeks for $595, which is designed to get you out into the real world with all the skills, abilities and confidence you will need to ‘be the best’. Students will learn how to set up, break down and check out bar, how to make over one-hundred-and-fifty drinks as well as over thirty of the most in-demand shooters, discover pouring and mixing techniques, and learn what it means to tend bar successfully in Houston – from customer service to licencing laws and alcohol awareness. Coupled with the aforementioned Aloha POS training (where you receive certification for using the system), TSOB also offers Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code Certification (TABC CERT) as part of the program, which is essential for people seeking to work with and around alcohol, as well as the final Texas School of Bartenders Certification upon successful graduation.

The Texas School of Bartenders is an award-winning institution, holding titles such as the United Bartenders Guild National Champions and Skyy Vodka World Champions, and is also a member of the Better Business Bureau and the National Restaurant Association. It offers ongoing support to its alumni in the form of its Job Placement Assistance Program, utilizing its long-standing working relationships with many of the best lounges, bars and clubs in Houston to get its graduates into employment, and also offers a ‘Hire a Bartender’ service for events which frequently sees them deploy students and graduates for paid work.

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