They’d been invited there by André Pintz, a Jagermeister fellow in Paris in 2016 who knows how it feels to be abroad and even better, how it feels to come back to your home country.
After his scholarship experience and return to his hometown Leipzig his life changed: he opened the bar Imperii which received numerous awards and he became Jagermeister’s national Brand Ambassador.
The four shared a traditional German meal and many stories from their time abroad, all the new friendships they’d made and how difficult it is to say goodbye for they’d quickly found a new family in the bar scene and were overwhelmed by the support and friendship of the local community, or as Ella put it, “The bartender community here is super-welcoming!.
“Three months changed everything about our lives and it was amazing seeing the other two grow as well.”
This year marked a milestone in the history of the Hubertus Circle as Jagermeister’s scholarship went global for the first time. The Hubertus Circle began as an initiative to support the bar scene and its newcomers and it has sent talented young German barkeepers to different European countries each year with the Jagermeister Scholarship.
Over the course of five years, a total of 10 barkeepers have now participated but in 2018 Jagermeister took it to the next level and launched the Berlin Edition, inviting bartenders from all 17 Hubertus Circle countries to apply for the scholarship and spend three months in Berlin learning about the local bar scene and expand their knowledge.
Despite the great team spirit, this year’s three young scholars also had to face some cultural difficulties. Ella had to relearn every cocktail because mixing habits and standards are different in Finland: now she had to stir when she’d normally shake. Christopher faced the challenge of converting ounces to milliliters and Jake actually saw a kumquat for the first time in his life. Also, the absence of closing hours was new to them which, they figured, had quite a positive effect on the guests – none of them had to turn down a customer for being too drunk, unlike their experience in their home countries.
“Germans like a head on their beer, while in Ireland I would get slapped for serving that.” Jake noticed. The amount of low- and non-alcoholic drinks surprised Christopher as well as the different drinking culture.
“In the US you take shots to get drunk, but here you do it for fun, to cheer and to have a good time.”
For them, the Hubertus Circle was “like a second family a long way away from home”. Meeting like-minded people with the same ideals and passion from around the whole world changed them.
The fellows loved every minute in Berlin so much that Jake has even decided to move there in 2019. In his view, the Hubertus Circle is not only great for networking but also for learning more about yourself – “It’s a very personal experience”.
As a farewell, Christopher Blas, Ella Lappalainen and Jake Beaverstock each created a drink which combines the flavors of their hometown with their experiences in Berlin. These creations were presented for the first time ever in Leipzig at the Imperii bar.