What Separates a Great Bar School From a Good One

By Toronto Bar School, 6/5/2023

Learn what separates a great bar school from a good one, focusing on skills development, real-world training, and comprehensive curriculum.

Bar schools – they’re a dime a dozen, right? That can create the impression that it doesn’t really matter who you give your $500 to, as long as you can learn how to make a martini right away.
Like all things in life, there are good bar schools and great ones, so it does indeed matter who you give your $500 to. This article will go over the factors that separate the great bar schools from just the decent ones.
After all, as I say, anyone can make a margarita, but not everyone knows how to do it properly!

Strives To Build Skills

A good bar school can help you connect with your inner mixologist, while a great one will help you do more than connect. You’ll develop exceptional bartending skills

Your inner mixologist is in there. You just have to let him or her out.
A good bar school can help you connect with your inner mixologist, while a great one will help you do more than connect. You’ll develop exceptional bartending skills.
The best mixologists know their bar like the back of their hands. If a customer comes in asking for an obscure brew, this mixologist doesn’t bat an eye. They know exactly what the customer wants.
They’re up for the challenge of whipping up the latest drink or customizing cocktails. They make stirring and shaking look sexy and effortless.
The mixologist I’m talking about could be you! It all depends on the bar school you select.

Doesn't Only Focus on Classroom Training

You need to get out there and make drinks yourself. And yes, you will screw up in the beginning, but that’s okay. It’s how you learn to improve, by remembering what not to do.

If you wanted to learn how to dance, would you read up about it in a book and watch YouTube videos? Maybe a little bit, sure, but not exclusively.
The only way to learn how to dance is to apply the lessons you learned on the dance floor.
That’s why I find it strange that so many bar schools only offer classroom learning components. You can listen to people talk about making drinks all day long, but there’s only so much you can glean from that.
You need to get out there and make drinks yourself. And yes, you will screw up in the beginning, but that’s okay. It’s how you learn to improve, by remembering what not to do.
That’s why the best bar schools combine classroom learning with bartending components. You can practice what we’ve preached. You’ll truly be on your way to becoming a master mixologist.

Offers a Varied Curriculum

Mixologist training includes many components. A great bar school will provide a detailed yet varied curriculum so you can expand your knowledge as much as required for you to successfully work as a bartender.
Here’s some of what you may learn.

Bar setup: Master mixologists know when and how to count inventory. They’re innately aware of where everything in the bar is and can always access what they need. Until you’re a master yourself, you can learn the ins and outs in a bar setup course.

Product knowledge: From pilsners to pale ales, all the varieties of wine, and every liquor under the sun, you’ll glean all the knowledge you need to always grab the good stuff (and the right stuff) when your customers request it.

Bar tools: The tools of the trade as a mixologist include strainers, jiggers, shakers, and glasses galore, from shot glasses to wine glasses and everything in between. You’ll learn what to reach for and when, as presentation matters when everything we do is on social media.

Taught by Real Bartenders

Since a great bar school is all about supplying you with the real-world experience you need to get out there, do your thing, and make a lot of money doing it, you’ll want to learn from real bartenders in the field.

I don’t know about you, but if I want to learn something new, I prefer to learn it from seasoned veterans. These people have the experience in the field that I want for myself someday, and they have the battle scars (figuratively, at least usually) to prove it!
A teacher who has field experience can share more than knowledge, but anecdotes and stories of what life is really like when tending a bar, because I have news for you, it isn’t always what you expect!
I mean that in the best way, of course.
Since a great bar school is all about supplying you with the real-world experience you need to get out there, do your thing, and make a lot of money doing it, you’ll want to learn from real bartenders in the field.
Accept no substitutes!

High Quality Equipment

Working as a bartender means making drinks in all sorts of environments, from standard bars to cramped restaurant bars to outdoor and indoor events at catering centers, festivals, the whole nine.
While these circumstances mean you’ll use equally varied equipment (of potentially differing quality), you want to learn using the best.
A great bar school will supply you with a high-quality bar to work with. You’ll use quality glassware, potent spirits, and all sorts of equipment to emulate the experience of tending bar.

Hires You On

Most bar schools have a conveyer belt system of students. New ones come in, graduate, and then that’s it. You get all the assistance you need in learning mixology, but no help when it comes to finding a job. You have to land on your own feet and figure it out.
A great bar school will offer you a job opportunity to work at various bar events throughout the area. After all, if the school taught you all you know and made you a master mixologist, why wouldn’t they want to utilize those skills and keep you around?

So, Are You REady to See What Makes a Great Bar School?

If all the above sounds good to you, there’s only one bar school you’re looking for, Toronto Bar School.
We teach you how to do way more than make a vodka cranberry. You’ll become a mixologist, but in an unconventional way than how most other bar schools do it.
The impetus for our company began after our bartender rental service in the greater Toronto area experienced several years of unparalleled success. We hired many bartenders over those six years and realized that many of them needed better training.
We decided to offer that better training and then staff events across Toronto with the mixologists we train. That’s what makes us different from your average bar school.
Well, that and our dedication to building the best mixologists we can using hands-on training and in-class components. And it works! You can just ask any of our students. To learn more or register now, contact us today.