Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Whether you are searching for mixology classes or bartending classes for Washington DC you have arrived at the best known, longest running, and most acclaimed school to learn these skills. The Professional Bartending School has been providing hands on bartending instruction in the region since 1968. Our graduates are popular and well known bartenders throughout the region, let alone owners and managers of restaurants and bars. Beyond that our graduates include mixologists, regardless how its defined, either old school or current definition.
What is the difference between a bartender and a mixologist
For most of the long history of bartending one would never have considered a difference between bartenders and mixologists. Its only been in the last decade that the art of craft cocktails has begun to spread across the nation accompanied by media and news accounts. Its in that spirit that the two terms have begun to take on somewhat different meanings to those in the industry.
An entire new subgroup of expert mixologists specialize in both recreating the classic popular cocktails of the early part of the 20th century along with exotic new cocktails. These drinks combine a wide array of high quality and fresh mixers and garnishes with an ever expanding variety of specialty liquors and liqueurs. The drinks are expensive, the settings reflect the pricing, and the movement has taken on the name and role of mixologists in today’s media. In a sense they have become distinguished from the 99% of bartenders who mix and pour drinks in every kind of establishment from the neighborhood bar to many of the finest dining establishments.
Yes!! We have grads that are both mixologists and bartenders
One of our favorite grads, who returned to the school to teach after practicing and developing as a bartender is our grad/former instructor, Ron. As an instructor Ron was much loved by his students and received a lot of attention and affection. Our facebook post that referenced Ron drew a huge amount of student/graduate attention.
Ron is now both manager, bar manager, and bartender at Shaws Tavern where he combines his experience, knowledge, skill, speed and efficiency to be both high volume bartender and craft mixologist.
Ron’s mixology skills were highlighted recently in an article about one of his new mixology creations featured at Shaws, Fifties on Fifth. Its a wonderful looking and tasting drink and one of several new cocktails Ron is featuring at Shaws.
We think Ron is a perfect example where you can combine both bartending and mixology and please both large and discerning crowds.
Category Bartenders, Bartending School, mixology classes | Tags: Tags: mixology classes DC, mixology classes maryland, mixology school, Mixology School DC, Virginia mixology school,
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Monday, February 11th, 2013
12 Filtered Reviews for Professional Bartending School
Note: The reviews below are not factored into the business’s overall star rating.
We think Yelp is a terrific website. But for some reason it filters a lot of reviews. In fact if you go to the Yelp page about our DC region bartending school only 5 are showing while these additional 12 reviews are filtered. They cover a lot of years. The nice thing about them, though, is that they have stayed consistently strong over the years.
Two other things: Noah wrote a terrific review about us in 2010 after he graduated. We noticed he picked up a party and bartended at it this past January, 2013. We try and take care of our grads. Also Adam wrote a real nice review back in 2008. Spoke with his employer late last year. Adam is one of their best employees!!! We are glad to see this course helped you guys and can continue to help.
Loved this school! Learned a lot in a two week period, and the instructor was great. Definitely recommend going here if you are interested in learning drinks quickly. You will definitely need to study, as it is a lot of information in a short amount of time.
• Joe S.
This School has sent me some great applicants.
I’ve been running Toscana Grill in Courthouse since summer of 2011 and have 2 great coworkers that have been through this PBS program.
Being located near the school, I’ve gotten to know some of the people runing it.. they definitely take pride in their craft and are active with helping those who’ve attended obtain some good job leads.
If you have restaurant experience this program can definitely tune you up for a role behind the bar.
• W D.
I graduated from the Professional Bartending School in June 2012. I absolutely loved the classes and results they provided.
The curriculum is thorough and comprehensive; the instructors are attentive and extremely knowledgeable; and the school’s placement director is excellent and efficient about placing graduates in jobs.
I made back my tuition — with a profit — within a month and a half of graduating. In fact, my first gig after graduating was a private party that paid me several hundred dollars for a few hours of fun work. I would recommend the Professional Bartending School to anyone.
• Adrian N.
I earned my certificate in 2006 and to date (5/2/2012) I have the Professional Bartending School and Moe (my instructor) to Thank for my 6 years of Success, Freedom from the rat race and a solid foundation of knowledge and motivation to be an Amazing Mixologist.
I absolutely recommend The Professional Bartending School to anyone curious about making a career change or just adding an extra steam of income to their life.
I don’t have any experience with the current instructors teaching their now, but if they are anything like Moe (who you can find on youtube “Moe Harris”) then I the training, entertaining and experience is priceless!
*I landed my first job through this school which to date was by far hands down my favorite job, I was on the Spirit of Washington for 3 years and their sister company the Odyssey for a year as well. Their job placement is real and up to date. I now own my own bartending business and I’m happy to say I’m making $25-$35/hour + Tips!
Just to comment on some of the other reviews, again I attended this school over 6 years ago, however yes the school looks out dated but as a bartender with a few good years of experience I can say that everything you need to know you will learn weather the bar is black, white, orange or grey and like many of the bottles, the more they age the better. You don’t need a night club to learn fundamental skills.
As for the waiting time between calls and speaking with someone, I agree 5 minutes is a long time, but for the record, if you are reading this and you call and wait 5 minutes, I would recommend you wait at least 5 more. It’s worth the wait.
*My 2 hour commute from Gaithersburg, MD to Arlington, VA was well worth it!
Comment from Dave O. of Professional Bartending School 5/3/2012
Adrian: Thanks for the nice comments…and very happy to… More »
• Noah S.
Silver Spring, MD
PBS changed my life. A year ago I was delivering pizza for a living (if you could even call it that), and had been for quite a while.
I decided to try my hand at bartending, and signed up for class at PBS. Patrick and Alex were great instructors, and I graduated after two weeks and met J.D., the job placement director, shortly thereafter.
As Janet D. mentioned, J.D. gave me a speech mentioning things to do to try and get a bartending job. But, unlike what Janet said, I think it made perfect sense. You’ll have a lot more of a chance finding a job if you go out and do the footwork as well, rather than just waiting for leads from PBS to do it for you.
So I did my footwork, and found a guy in arlington who said he’d love to hire me, but unfortunately the company currently was having a hiring freeze.
The end of my search? I don’t think so. J.D. had been sending me leads on bartending jobs, and I received new ones all the time. I followed up on one of them, and was hired immediately at the interview. I stayed there for a month, but it turned out the employers were extremely corrupt, and I’m still waiting on my wages, and had to go to the employment commission just to get them to pay me.
So does that mean J.D.’s leads suck? Hardly. I simply hit a bad one. S*** happens. Soon after leaving this job, I followed up on another lead I got from J.D. Once again, I got hired on the spot. This job was great. I wasn’t making a ton of drinks, and the money wasn’t so great, but I stuck around for 4 months, building up experience on my resume. At this point, J.D. alerted me (he’s been really pro-active in talking to me to understand my job situation so that he can help me) that a certain bar in Adams Morgan needed a bartending sub for the weekend. I went, worked my butt off, and the place wound up hiring me. I’m working there now, and I’m making a ton of cash every weekend. Also, now that I have good bartending experience, there’s a Ruby Tuesday’s that
Oh yeah, and J.D. also hooked me up with a private party at one point, where I made quite a tidy sum of cash per hour for it.
So yeah, if you just expect to sit around and have a killer job thrown at you the first time you meet J.D., then maybe it’s not for you. However, if you actually go through the process of finding an entry level job (easily attainable both through your own footwork and through J.D.’s leads), and stick with it for a bit to build up some experience, it will definitely enable you to take a step up to the real deal.
From delivering pizza to making hella-cash in Adams Morgan, within less than a year. I’d certainly say that attending PBS was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. And I see on the PBS facebook page that other graduates are getting hired all the time, some at entry level places, and some at places as good or better than mine.
Their system works, and I recommend it to anyone I come across that’s possibly interested in bartending.
• Jeremiah C.
Taking the two week course at the Professional bartending school in Arlington was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Here are a couple of things you must keep in mind before reading the rest of my review:
-You must have realistic expectations for yourself; you will not graduate from the school and automatically work at the hottest club in DC.
-Face it, if you have trouble finding a job in real life, this won’t be much different. They help you with interview skills and job placement but your own personal track record will definitely repeat when looking for bartending jobs.
-The “in class” portion is to help you memorize drinks and become comfortable behind the bar. Do not attempt to compare the course at the school to looking online at how to make drinks. You can buy the same textbooks they have at top law schools; it doesn’t mean you’ll be a lawyer.
I am in my mid-twenties and recently decided to go back to school full time. I have a great amount of management experience but accepted that working full time while going to school was not going to work out. I have also heard the type of money that bartenders make along with the hours and decided that was the path I wanted to pursue to pay the bills for the next couple of years.
Upon doing research about what it took to become a bartender I soon became extremely discouraged. The bartender you see at your favorite clubs and bars have a ton of restaurant experience, most of them serving and bussing since the age of 17 or sooner. In fact, a good friend of mine served at Outback for 3 years until he was able to bartend. It makes sense, alcohol sales are what keep restaurants and clubs in business. If I was a manager why on earth would I put the fate of my sales in the hands of someone off the street? Also, I like to consider myself a good looking guy but I’m not going to attract crowds like a little hot bodied 23 year old girl would. Personally, I hate serving. Call me a brat but I think serving is far too exhausting for too little money. On top of that I feel that it’s much harder to please your guest as a server rather than a bartender. Based on my experience, I am always happier and tip more to a bartender that gives me 2 rum and cokes rather than a server that has hustled to make sure my meal goes well. I feel like rather than thinking of how great the service is, as patrons we look for reasons why the service sucks. No one wants to piss of the bartender, they control the alcohol. To sum things up, I wanted to become a bartender at a high volume store right away, without serving. DREAM ON! Would be the most common response I got from businesses as well as people that I knew in the business.
I live in Clarendon and always pass by the Bartending School so one day I decided to give them a call. I spoke with Brett and we were on the same page from the beginning of the conversation. He knew my needs and assured me that to become a bartender instantly, attending the school would be the fastest way. I was sold; he was a bartender, bartenders worked there so I decided to make the investment.
Patrick, a former bartender with six years of experience was my instructor. He has developed the perfect way to help you memorize the drinks, the history behind the alcohol, as well as the proper technique used throughout the industry. Each class is just enough information to make sure you are not overloaded. The hour and half of practice every day is the icing on top. Getting the feel for making the drinks right after learning about them helped everything stick in your mind. You have to practice, have a friend of significant other help you when you are not in class.
Upon graduation is when the placement began. JD Klipper, a former corporate recruiter is the placement director. It’s important that you make friends with everyone at the school. Their job is to help you but it definitely makes their jobs easier and makes them want to help when they actually like you. These guys got into this company because they clearly enjoy working with people. If you fight the process you are only screwing yourself. From day one, JD stayed on top of my progress with every job I had interest in. Places I was interested in he called since he had relationships with the management already. JD knew what kind of person I was so it was easier for him to vouch for me when speaking with bar managers.
The thing they preach is not to be too picky with your first job. That wasn’t good enough for me though. I held out to make sure I was able to get something high volume that would provide me with the money and clientele I preferred. JD understood that and stayed with me throughout the whole process. He called to check up several times a week until I reached my goal.
Now I have 2 high volume bartending jobs that people would experience would kill for. It’s a ton of work but well worth everything.
• Nicole A.
As a college graduate student, I completed the course at the Professional Bartending School only with the intent of making more money to support myself through school. Yet, in addition to landing the perfect bartending position only a week after graduation, PBS also provided me with a new level of confidence that I didn’t realize I had before–that is what I value most…THANK YOU!!
• Lovely L.
Oh my where to start… what’s better then the beginning. Before making my decision to attend The Professional School of Bartending, like most, I did my web-search on not only the most beneficial school, but the cheapest. While making my calls, it seemed that the “cheapest” locations lacked what was needed the most and that was the ability to provide enough BASIC information to spark my interest. AS SOON as I called The Professional School of Bartending I was greeted by a very positive, energetic, and friendly voice. That quickly shifted my then irritated mood into an intrigued and excited one, ready to obtain some information on what this school had to offer. I first spoke with BRETT, who not only answered all my questions ABOVE AND BEYOND but also patiently listened to my concerns while I navigated through their website questioning everything listed (which can be very frustrating). After I asked every possible question, Brett then invited me to the school to take a free class to put my mind at ease…BONUS!!
Arriving at the school you can tell almost immediately that the set up is to make sure that you, THE STUDENT, remain comfortable. I was not expecting such a lax environment, but that definitely put my mind at ease to know that there wouldn’t be some overly cocky Bartending teacher with a ruler ready to pop my hands if I poured too much (clearly traumatized from Catholic school). There was music playing…people laughing, learning and some were evening assisting newer students. Before sitting in on the class Brett gave me a little more knowledge of the school. He mentioned the key people who would be involved in my process, a little information on them, and when and how I can contact them. He asked a couple questions about me and my plans if and when I attended/graduated; which was comforting to know that he was willing to take time out to guide me in the proper direction for what it is I wanted to do. Working with office staff all day, everyday, for the last 5 years…he definitely represents the company well and would receive an A+ score in the customer service department!!
Taking the class was not at all what I expected. BACKTRACK….my teacher (PATRICK) was NOT AT ALL what I expected! He’s a character all on his own, that definitely made the irritating memorizing of measurements and ingredients somehow…..fun! He was very laid back, but not too laid back to the point where no one was retaining any information. He made sure to give adequate and precise expectations of being a Bartender and even threw in some pointers and tips that helped him become the established Bartender that he is. It also doesn’t hurt He’s a nice piece of eye candy…especially since his class is from 6-10 in the evening. Watching him test out other classmates (he was going out of town and wouldn’t be able to give me my test) he made sure to put everyone at ease…get them to shake the nerves off. It definitely helped…well for most….some people just REALLY shouldn’t be bartenders, but he made sure to make those, let’s call them “special ones”, feel like they can be one of the best with just a little practice.
After passing…and I did…with amazing grace, style and timing I was then told to contact JD for “Job Placement” (offered to all graduates). Usually you would have to come in during the Job Placement hours, but shortly after testing out JD wanted to do my immediately (I unfortunately didn’t have the time). When coming in for Job Placement, JD was very informative and almost more excited then I was to get ME behind the bar! I was literally in his office for 5 minutes and he not only had two people for me to call (that were NOT included on the contact list that everyone is handed) but already placed a call to get me a gig. I already have a regular 9-5 so I was looking for a specific type of Bartending job, amazingly JD paid close attention to those needs and was able to place me at my current bar job the very next week. Want to talk about amazing placement…that was my FIRST bar job in SEPTEMBER…I AM STILL THERE!!
I could go on and on about the school, its staff, the environment, literature, teaching tools, and the fact that the hands on experience alone made me want to take the class, but bottom line: The school itself was not only amazing and resourceful but the staff and team were like a second family for the two weeks I took the course. They brought everyone together in my class and we were all able to learn together and grow together! If you are looking to become a bartender or just want to take the class for fun and have a license under your belt…HANDS DOWN….I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ATTENDING THE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL OF BARTENDING!!!
• Ali R.
This place is great! I am graduating today and I am so glad I picked this school. All the instructors and managers are always willing to help and answer questions. I had both Patrick and Alex and they are hilarious and great instructors.
I know so many drinks…. but I could learn that from a cocktail book and there is no such thing as a bartenders license, so why did I take the class? Because it is the easiest way to get into the bartending world! Alex and Patrick are bartenders still, they tell you what you need to expect in real life and the tips and tricks of the trade plus i got TAM certified and know how to properly pour as a bartender, all the right glasses, garnishes, and things that I need to say to get a job.
PLUS there is job placement. If you don’t want to spend months as a barback or cocktail waitress waiting for a bartender to call in sick or leave their job just to become a bartender then the $600 dollars is worth it.
I had a friend who went here and graduated and said she made all her money back in one night! It’s so worth it!
• Adam F.
I went to the professional bartending school in Arlington,VA. (MD, Washington, D.C. suburbs) since I wanted to become a bartender. I had some experience before but it had been a while so I thought it would be best to get myself “refreshed.” The school offers 1 week, 2 week, and weekend classes. I decided to take the two week class since I thought craming everything into 1 week was too much for me and the weekend classes were spread over a month and I wanted to graduate and work as soon as I could. The school is set up like a bar so you actually feel you are in a bar/restaurant when you practice. Each day we learned a lesson and then actually practiced making drinks. The instructors were great, making the classes fun, yet learning a lot. During the course we also got TAM certified (alcohol awareness), which a lot of restaraunts/bars look for when hiring someone. You really get out of the course what you put into it. I got there early everyday and stayed til the end practicing as much as I could, while others just stayed for the required time then left. I learned an incredible amount in the two weeks. I felt comfortable after the two weeks that I could bartend somewhere without any problems. They also offer work placement through the school, for life!! So anytime you are looking for a job, they will assist you in finding one. They have something like a 99% sucess ratio according to the person in charge. After you graduate you meet with the placement woman and she walks you through finding a job and gives you advice. And if you don’t like where you work they will help you find another job. This is a great benefit that I don’t think people realize how much this is worth. I got a job, through the school within two weeks of graduating. In the first 4 days of working, I made back what the school cost doubled, so for me the school paid for itself immeadiately, and I am still working making money. Also, I am allowed to go back to the school anytime I want to practice, this is also for life. Quite a few people in the classes I was in were people returning to practice. I can say, if you are thinking of becoming a bartender, then you should defintley go check out the school. They offer you a free class to see if you like it, no obligation. I had just signed up since I knew this was what I wanted to do, but you for those who aren’t sure you can sit thru an actual class to see if you like it or not. Several people did this during the time I was there, and they all ended up signing up for the course.. Even if you don’t end up bartending, you will learn things that are cool, and you never know if you will ever want to use these skills in the future. I know this review sounds too good, but I really enjoyed the course, learned alot, and got a job that paid me back more than double already so I really am just writing about my experience. If you have thought about bartending at all, go try the free class and see for yourself. I have a feeling if you go, you will sign up for the course, and I hope enjoy it as much as I did.
• Kevin B.
I attended the Professional Bartending School last week. I signed up for the week long class. There are other options as well. They also offer a two week long class and Saturday classes. I wasn’t sure how much I would learn by cramming everything into one week but the teachers were excellent, the atomosphere was relaxed and I retained it all.
One thing that certainly becomes apparent while you’re there is that once you join you become family. It seemed that everyday a previous graduate came by to practice or check up on job leads. I have yet to use their job lead program as I just graduated but I talked to many past students who had used it and all found jobs easily. If you graduate medical school you are qualified to be a doctor….if you graduate from The Professional Bartending School you are qualified to be a bartender.
If you’re looking for a possible career change or want to have the ability to pick up a fun PT job. I highly recommend this class.
• Donna K.
This class was terrific. I never expected so much for such a short term fast program. Not only was the program fast and thorough but the teacher was great and funny. He made the class a blast. If you can get Moe as an instructor go for it. He is amazing.
Their job placement program worked well. I picked up a couple of parties immediately and got a job right off their jobs lead. I made the money back quickly and the work was fun.
What was neat was that an old graduate took a refresher class while I was in school and he hadn’t bartended in about 5 years after taking the class a long time ago. It made the class more real as he traded bartending experiences with Moe.
The killer was I moved back to my home state a while ago and the insights they gave me on how to find a bartending job anywhere worked beautifully and fast. What a great payback…and such a fun extra job. Thanks guys.
Category Bartenders, Bartending Jobs, Bartending School, Uncategorized | Tags: Tags: bartending school reviews, NoVA bartending school reviews, reviews, yelp bartending school reviews,
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Retired Officer Chooses a Different Career Path
A Fascinating Perspective
We received a fascinating testimonial from a recent graduate of our bartending school, a just retired military officer with 25 years service in the United States Army. His career path and choice are unique and offer a point of view different from most. After finishing the program he recieved job placement assistance and within a week found his first bartending job. Currently he is splitting his time bartending between a fine dining establishment in Maryland and another high end restaurant in Washington DC For privacy reasons he decided to stay anonymous with regard to this post. We respect that.
The Professional Bartending School located in Arlington, Virginia is an absolutely First Class, professionally organized and operated learning center, which teaches a high-demand, lucrative trade in as short as one week’s time. As a retired military officer with 25 years of service including the training of literally thousands of soldiers, I give this school my highest personal endorsement with respect to its teaching methods, quality of instructors and the execution of its training program. In either the one or two weeks program (your choice), the instructors will teach all willing students how to prepare 150 popular cocktails and certify that each student is able to correctly mix 12 of those drinks randomly chosen by the instructor within 7 minutes.
Once the student is certified, the school’s endlessly helpful staff will kindly and effectively assist him (or her) with finding a job employing those newly acquired skills. I was hired within a week of my graduation, and I am now averaging more than $35 per hour doing something that’s easy, stress-free and quite frankly, a lot of fun. When I work catered parties, my salary is much higher – even jumping as high as $70 per hour (I’ve worked a number of weddings and special events that have lasted no more than 5 hours including clean-up and walked home afterwards with $350 not counting my Shift Pay). In the Northern Virginia-DC-Maryland area there is more than enough work in this field and how would you like to work a 25-30 hour week and go home with $1,000 – $1,750? I can tell you from experience that it feels pretty darn great!
Aside from what I think anyone would consider excellent pay for what one is expected to do and the abundance of free time I enjoy, I think the greatest aspect of this line of work is that I never have to take my job home with me. Someone recently suggested to me that because of the rank at which I retired taking this kind of work was a “step down” for me, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I don’t know too many of my former colleagues who make the kind of money I now make working the same amount of hours and without their Blackberries and iPhones ringing off the hook bringing problems and issues for them to solve at all hours, 7 days a week. Many of them have impossible deadlines to meet, already restrictive budgets to reduce even further, ridiculous demands from clients and bosses, and sadly, shattered marriages and family relationships because of the stress and hours they endure. When I walk out the door with my day’s substantial pay, I go home and spend the remaining carefree hours with my wife and kids. I wake up late and go to bed early. I never miss family events anymore and I’ve even managed to lower my blood pressure considerably. Who could ask for anything more than that?
The school is very friendly to the military and will help all willing students reach their goals in this field. I know that finding this school and taking a chance in enrolling really did help me change my life for the better. I sincerely hope many more people including my fellow brothers and sisters in the service will visit the school and attend the free orientation class and then decide to follow its path to a rewarding, enjoyable career – remember, somewhere in the world it’s 5:00 right now and Happy Hour is just starting – so come and join the party!
We appreciate the sentiments. What do you think?
Category Bartenders, Bartending Jobs, Bartending School, Placements | Tags: Tags: bartending career, bartending in DC, Bartending School, Career Change, Careers for Vets, Improve your lifestyle, maryland bartending, Military Jobs, Veterans jobs,
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