Canada’s Leading hospitality and foodservice expo announces bar & beverage competition lineup, introduces industry-leading voices changing the bar scene, and much more
The bar and beverage scene in Canada has made significant shifts to stay competitive and address challenges such as labour, mental health, sustainability and supply chain. Bringing together innovation and the solutions to address these challenges as part of this year’s Heart & Hustle theme, RC Show, Canada’s leading hospitality and foodservice expo is brewing up some exciting things at Toronto’s Enercare Centre from April 10-12.
Here’s what RC Show 2023 is serving up this year:
New and Noteworthy Leaders Take The Stage
Due to a new generation of food and beverage enthusiasts demanding an extremely high level of service and quality in 2023, RC Show has lined up insight from some of the industry’s biggest experts to better understand the drivers that will influence the growth of the industry and how to leverage this information to lead positive change.
Michelle Tham, Labatt Breweries of Canada will introduce consumer insights on how guest decision-making for beverage choices is demanding a change in the way we think about product assortment, bar advertising, menu optimization, off-premise sales, and staff education.
A NEW Canada Check-In will bring one wine bar (David Everitt, Paradise Grapevine), one cocktail bar (Scott Rowe, Freehouse Collective), and one brewery (Max Meighen, Avling Brewery) together to offer insight into how each thought leader has brought innovation to their business.
Menus Get a Non-Alcoholic Makeover
With increased consumer demand for non and low-alcoholic options, CGA, Sarah Kate (Good Clean Fun), and Ipsos will share insights on where non-alcoholic offerings should sit within your bar menu, as well as how operators are responding to the demand, and how to creatively adapt and make money with alcohol alternatives.
Learn how to build a non-alcoholic (NOLO) menu with BetterRhodes as well as how to see the elevation in this category with tasting from Free Spirits Milano Spritz, Wander + Found Sparkling Cuvee, Seedlip, Ceder’s Non-Alcoholic Gin, Ford’s Gin Proximo Spirits – Tequila, and Luminara Napa Red Blend.
Thought leaders will also be discussing innovation in the beer space and showcasing how breweries are diving into culinary experiences, and how sports marketing will continue to drive the beer industry even with non-alcoholic options as being a part of the bar experience. Join us in the Craft Beer Pavilion to taste the best of Ontario’s local offerings.
Competitions Are Heating Up
The much anticipated Beyond the Rail Cocktail Competition presented by Beam Suntory, is back, hitting the stage on opening day Monday, April 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. This amazing annual competition brings together Canada’s top mixologists who pair up to showcase their creativity, flair, skills, and showmanship for a chance to win $5,000 in cash and prizes.
Sixteen of Canada’s most talented baristas will showcase their skills, artistry, innovation, and incredible coffee in the National Barista Championship. Competitors will deliver 15-minute performances, serving a total of 12 espresso drinks to a panel of judges who will evaluate taste and technique. The top six will proceed to the finals later this year to compete for the title of Canadian Barista Champion and the chance to represent Canada in the World Barista Championship in Athens, Greece.
Hosted by James Peden, President of Ontario’s Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) chapter, and judged by a panel of top wine professionals, see Canada’s top sommeliers pour their way to the top in the Sommelier Service Competition. This annual service-based final held on Wednesday, April 12, tests the knowledge, poise, and service skills of the country’s top sommeliers for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Champagne, France to visit the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagne houses.
Welcome to Blue Hour, with a twist! Introducing the Twisted Tastes Competition. A food competition presented by Kronenbourg 1664 with curated spices from Club House For Chefs. During Blue Hour, Food Trucks will be tasked to create fused dishes to be paired with 1664 beer. Participants can vote for the dish they feel pairs best with any one of three 1664 brews; 1664 Blanc, 1664 Lager, and 1664 Fruits Rouges. In addition, a panel of judges will also choose their top pairing for each of the three 1664 brews. There is $5,000 in cash prizes available to be won by the top three winners. Blue Hour tastings will take place every day, at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. at the 1664 Blanc Tasting Station in the Truck’n World Pavilion.
Workshops and Masterclasses
RC Show Bar & Beverage Ambassadors Christina Veira and Evelyn Chick, are curating a full day of sessions/workshops on the state of Canada’s bar and beverage scene. Topics include: Building A Healthy Bar Culture, Impactful Digital Design: Marketing For our Bar, How Are We Bar Training in 2023?, New Bar Owner Support Session, Aesthetic and Design, Alternative Bar Techniques With the Team From Mothers, The Cost & Creation of Entertaining with the team from Bar Chef, and Practical Sustainable Initiatives with the team from Bar Kismet and Vintage Provision.
Tap into what is happening in the Wine World with a session dedicated to the business of wine and how to increase revenue for your wine menu, presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS).
Learn about the latest wine trends in this year’s Wine Showcase and enjoy a walkaround tasting with Morandin Wines, Canthesis, Dark Horse Estate Winery Inc., E & J Gallo Canada, Two Sisters Vineyards, Morandin Wines, Scarpetta Wines, and many more.
This year RC Show is also offering a tasting of Champagne from both Charles Heidsieck & Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Houses and a deep dive into the history and styles of both houses with Piper-Heidsieck & Charles Heidsieck Ambassador Philippe Bourat.
And, no experience is complete without coffee. Hone your crema craft and learn the 10 steps to fearlessly brew espresso at the Zuccarini Barista 101. Or join the Latte Art Fundamentals, where the Zuccarini masters will demonstrate the how-tos of pouring beautiful latte art. One workshop every hour in the Zuccarini booth (#1934) taking place in The Coffee, Tea & Sweets Pavilion, presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Popping UP On the Menu
Visit RC’s Pop UP Experience curated by Matt Dean Pettit to see how to maximize your square footage with a Bottle Shop and retail experience that showcases the untapped resources and revenue potential for your business by being able to bring your products directly to consumers. Plus, join us at the Pop UP Bar, curated by RC Show’s Beverage Ambassadors Christina Veira and Evelyn Chick, for drinks and inspiration from Canada’s top bartenders who will be showcasing their unique approaches to curating menus and flavour combinations. Featured bars include:
- Bagheera, Vancouver (from owners of Laowai who won Best New Bar in Canada’s 100 Best)
- Bar Kismet, Halifax (ranked on North America’s Best Bar and Canada’s 100 Best)
- Atwater Cocktail Club, Montreal (recognized by Tale’s Spirited awards as one of the best international bar teams)
For more information, to arrange an interview, or to attend this year’s event, visit www.rcshow.com.