• By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Just one branch of a rapidly expanding empire, Montreal’s BartenderOne promises its students that they will find more than just a bartending school when they walk through its doors – they will discover real-world bartender training with attitude.

In just over ten years, Canada’s BartenderOne has become one of the fastest-growing group of bartending schools in the country. From its original branch in Toronto, founded in 2005 by industry star and expert mixologist Gavin MacMillan, BartenderOne – affectionately known as B1 in the trade – has recently opened branches in Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Mississauga and now Quebec’s largest city.

B1 Montreal operates out of the B1 Bar in the city’s vibrant Latin Quarter, with courses run by the owners Tony Galdes and Jonathan Homier. Its array of training programs include a comprehensive list of intensive bartending courses, day classes and fun workshops which take place inside this working bar environment – there are no dry classroom sessions or mock bars here. The company’s carefully selected staff are typically hands on, experienced and thoroughly drilled, having undergone a minimum of 132 hours of instructor training, and still work the busy bars and clubs in Montreal which means they are up to date with all new methods, products and trends in the biz. The emphasis, though, is on fun, with the company’s mantra of ‘the three Ps’ – personality, punctuality, productivity – at the core of its training ethos. So successful has B1 training become that an estimated 4,000 professionals graduate from its programs each year.

BartenderOne’s troika of primary courses include the Bartender 101 certification, which for $248 gives a thorough grounding in the arts of bartending across a 24 hour basic course which is spread over 3 days, while the 44 hour/5 day Bartending and Mixology Masterclass is $599 and incorporates ten different in-depth sections where students will learn the secrets to success behind the bar, including ‘High Volume Speed Bartending’ and mastering cocktails, bar tools and essential techniques, which all lead up to a final examination which tests students’ knowledge, speed and accuracy. The last of the three is the Bar Chef International Bartender Certification, an intensive 48 hours spread over ten busy days, which is only open to students who have either successfully completed the Bartending and Mixology Masterclass or who have at least two years bartending experience. This trio of programs are available in a variety of schedules and lesson plans, with evening, weekend and accelerated courses to choose from.

Adding to the richness of the products on offer B1 Montreal has several additional workshops, from the introductory ‘Get Into the Spirit’ workshop where students spend three fun hours learning how to create cocktails, while the next Tom Cruise wannabe can take the ‘Dare to Flair’ shop – flair bartending is the entertaining mixing and pouring of exotic drinks while the bartender flips glasses and bottles as he or she goes. Both of these mini-workshops are two to three hours in length and cost $99.

B1 sells a limited amount of bar equipment – such as 40 piece bartender kits and DVDs – from its physical branches at Downtown Toronto, Yorkville or Mississauga locations, but via its 24 hour online ‘BarStore’ (via affiliate company newly-graduated professionals can purchase anything a dedicated bar worker would ever want or need. Certification is fast, and almost immediately after graduation, and with B1’s unique iPour online support system – described as ‘the planet’s largest social network for bartenders, servers and employers’ – professionals who come through BartenderOne’s system are ready for action as soon as they pass their final examination.