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Having a Blast at the 11th Annual Fernet-Branca Barback Games & Expo

Libations

Tod Seelie | November 16, 2017
From historic Fernet-Branca art to live silkscreening to an intense competition, a rollicking good time was had by all.

Find other great libations at Taste | Fernet-Branca

This November saw the ecstatic culmination of another year of intense competition at the 11th Annual Fernet-Branca Barback Games & Expo. The event commemorated more than a decade of one of the hospitality industry’s biggest events, which this year welcomed hundreds of people from outside the trade to join in the fun as well.

The expo featured all kinds of treats, delights, and good times. There were photo booths and neon selfie stations, indoor and outdoor hangout spots for relaxing, and plenty of awesome food, not to mention bartending champs from around the country keeping everyone smiling with custom signature cocktails that were as complex as they were delicious.

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The event also featured an epic showcase of 170 years’ worth of Fernet-Branca art, including posters and photos from nearly two centuries featuring a slew of gorgeous illustrations. And for those who wanted to take home something of their own, there was plenty of great merch on offer — all you had to do was spin a wheel to walk away with your very own Fernet t-shirt, sunglasses, temporary tattoo, or wristband.

For people who wanted a more personal expo souvenir, San Fran Psycho had a live silkscreening station set up, which was so popular that guests were taking the shirts off their very backs to get them printed.

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And then there were the games themselves. Dozens of barbacks who had won their respective regional competitions battled through swinging weight bags and leapt through tires, hauled mop buckets and troughs brimming with ice, counted tips and located bottles at lightning speed, and even climbed into giant bumper balls to race across the stage.

The competition was fierce, the drinks were flowing, the art was inspiring, and thousands of guests spent the night laughing, cheering, and sharing stories. 

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The competition was fierce, the drinks were flowing, the art was inspiring, and thousands of guests spent the night laughing, cheering, and sharing stories. 


Find more fun at Taste | Fernet-Branca


 

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Tod Seelie is a professional photographer who has photographed in more than 25 countries on five continents. He spent almost two decades chronicling the underground nightlife in NYC, which is contained in his book BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York. He continues to travel and photograph, highlighting the unique and unknown people and places he finds.

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