Want to make this bartending thing really work?

You’ll learn world-class techniques, the art of unforgettable drinks, how to create ‘theater’ at your bar…and most importantly, how to go from “just another bartender” to “irreplaceable”

Space is limited. Join the Hands-On Nimble Bar School today. Courses available in Victoria & Vancouver.

A high-performing bartender is kinda like an Oscar-winning actor

There’s more to it than it seems

Why Nimble Bartending School?

The Nimble Bartending School is the most well-rounded, comprehensive bartending course in Canada. Our training takes you through cocktail technique, speed training, guest communication, palate development, menu design, and much more.

You’ll learn from industry-leading and award-winning professional bartenders, bar consultants, bar managers, and cocktail event caterers. Your instructors collectively represent every aspect of the art, craft, and business of bartending. You’ll learn to maximize profitability both for yourself and for the bars you work behind.

“The greatest accomplishment of a bartender lies in his ability to exactly suit his customer.” — Henry Gordon Johnson

Hi, we’re Kyle and Nate, founders of the Nimble Bar Co. We used to think that bartending schools were scams and that the best way to learn was ‘on-the-job.’ Then we took our combined experience in modern, high-performance bars, turned it into a powerful system, and watched the results in our students. Now we know there’s a better way to learn and develop. It’s all right here in the Nimble Bar School.

A few years ago, we started on a quest to find out exactly how top-performing bartenders develop their skillset to a point where they’re magnetic. If you’ve ever seen one of these bartenders, you’ll know what we mean by ‘magnetic’…
Everything seems to be attracted to them — The place they work at, the guests at their bar, the people they work with, and so on…

And we used to think that this was simply a by-product of ‘charisma’ but as we dug into our search, we realized that that was just one small piece of the puzzle.

The REAL things that make a bartender a magnetic force include things like…

  •  An ability to talk to just about anybody…
  • Smooth, easy, and graceful movements…
  • Technical precision…
  • Confident energy…
  • An ability to disarm tricky situations…
  • Etc

They seem like the kind of people you could throw into just about any scenario, and they’ll know how to thrive.

And to us, it’s pretty clear what will get a bartender to that top-performing, magnetic, level.

But try Googling your way to learn how to do it, and you’ll find the same half-baked answers we did when we were trying to figure it out…

Conventional Advice That Keeps Bartenders from Rising to the Top

“You just gotta start from the bottom”
“Read this book, and this book, and this book….”
“Watch videos on YouTube…”
“You just learn on the job…”

It’s just tip after tip that keeps people thinking small. The conventional advice suggests you start from the bottom, and it kind of stops there.

And while a lot of this advice works fine for most people who are merely looking for a means to an end, if you want to become a high-performance bartender, you can leap-frog the competition with a proven system, expert guidance, and hands-on coaching.

Because the simple truth is that if you’re the most valuable bartender in the room, whether you’re just a busboy or a manager, you’re going to rise to the top.

And when your skillset has you rising to the top, you have far more control over the gigs you take, the ways you can impact an establishment, and even your earning potential.

A Look at What’s Possible with a High-Performance Bartending Skillset

There are a lot of bars in the world. In the US alone, there are approximately 63,000 bars. In Canada, there’s about 1.5 bars for every 10,000 people.

Here are some of the cool ways we’ve helped our students help others:

Cocktail catering$2,500/eventEasy
Bar Skill Coaching$60/hourMedium
Bar/cocktail consulting$10k/contractHard
Spirit & Cocktail Writing$500/article (and great for your brand)Medium
Open a bar$500k – $2M+ revenue per yearHard

So if you want to try and “start from the bottom, and work your way up” to helping others in high-impact ways, you can try and figure it out on your own (afterall, that’s what we did and it took us years)…

But if you’re anything like us, you know there must be a better way.

Which is why we created the Nimble Bar School Flagship program — a proven system to rapidly progress your skillset to a high-performance level.

During The Nimble Bar School Flagship Program, You’ll Learn…

Pouring technique

There’s more to pouring than you might think. From free pouring to cutting a pour, mastering methods can make the difference between an amateur and a professional.


Where exactly do you build the drink? Do you build it in the glass to be served? In a tin? In a julep cup? In a mixing glass? In which order should you build your drinks? Have no fear; we’ll cover this, too.

Stirring, shaking, throwing

Learn techniques like cocktail dilution, aeration, and emulsification. We’ll teach you to elegantly guide the ice around the glass with a stir, shake the bejeezus out of a drink that needs to be woken up, and aerate a viscous drink with a throw.

Classic cocktail knowledge and preparation

Master the recipes and preparations of the 50 most important and frequently ordered cocktails. You’ll leave our program knowing how to make these drinks deliciously and with panache.

Efficiency of movement and speed

A great bartender wastes few movements, works at lightening speed, and can make multiple drinks at once. We’ll teach you how through simulated speed trials.

On-the-fly cocktail creation

With the renaissance of cocktails now in full-swing, guests expect custom drinks. Our program teaches you how to easily create unique drinks that customers will love.

Garnish game

Gone are the simple days of lonely wedges and twists. Welcome to the world of swaths, flowers, birds, wheels, planes, and more. Our program will teach you to creatively garnish your drinks and impress your guests.

Wine knowledge

You’ll walk away with a fundamental understanding of important wine varietals and how to pair them with a variety of foods and dishes.

Spirit knowledge

We’ll turn you into a spirited pro. You’ll be able to school your friends on everything from whisk(e)y to mezcal.

Palate development

We’ll help you develop and refine your palate through blind tastings.

Beer knowledge

Learn which beers are top vs. bottom-fermented, why that’s important, and other key hoppy insights.

Effective guest communication and assertiveness

By knowing how to communicate proactively and effectively with guests, you can confidently manage any situation. We’ll teach you how.

Menu engineering

Learn how to put together wine, beer, and cocktail menus that stand out and drive more sales.

Functional flair

Dazzle your guests with flips and tricks that enhance experience without wasting time.

Responsible alcohol service

We’ll take you through the ins-and-outs of BC liquor laws. You’ll be able to complete BC’s serving-it-right certification.

Bitters and tinctures

Commonly known as cocktail seasoning, bitters and tinctures are an integral part of cocktails. We’ll show you how to use these effectively in your drinks and even how to make your own.

Maximizing profitability

We’ll get you thinking not just like a bartender, but also like an entrepreneur. You will learn how to add more value to the establishments you work at so that you will be a sought-after team member who can demand a higher wage.

“The time I spent with Nimble Bar Co, both as their customer and eventually as their coworker, was an invaluable asset to me as a young bartender. Their methodology regarding how to move and work quickly and efficiently in a high volume cocktail bar is unparalleled, as is their encyclopaedic knowledge of spirits and cocktail history. They were extraordinarily creative when it comes to cocktail creation, a trait that they pass on to anyone they work with, and most importantly they are patient teachers who will take the time to make sure that you actually learn the skills you need to be a great bartender.”

Avi Kunen, Professional Bartender

“These guys get it.”

Chris Thompson, Forty Creek Whisky

Here’s what’s included in the Nimble Certified Bartender program

Instructor-led Training

Our instructors are award-winning professional bartenders, bar consultants, and bar managers. We’ll guide you on your journey as you become a bar wizard.

Nimble Bartending Certification

Recognized by Vancouver Island’s best establishments as the premier bartending qualification, the Nimble Bartending Certification will help you stand out from the competition.

Nimble Bartending Manual

The Nimble Bartending Manual is a culmination of over 40 years of bartending experience and knowledge presented in a fun and easy-to-read way that will expedite your professional development.

Access to Private Group Google Drive

You’ll become part of an inner-circle of Vancouver Island’s leading professional bartenders. Our private Google Drive includes resources like menu templates, custom cocktail recipes, training manuals, and more.

Nimble Signature Barkit (Optional Add-On)

We’ve spent years testing hundreds of combinations of different bar tools, and we’ve gathered the best in the Nimble Signature Barkit

Proof That This Stuff Works

Proof That This Stuff Works

“This is a course that is an antidote to the classic bar school stigma. Courses are comprehensive, fun, and challenging with homework and fieldwork designed to help round out the skills and knowledge gained in class. Both Kyle and Nate have an incredible skill sets and a wealth of knowledge which they are enthusiastic to share with everyone. Would highly recommend to anyone who is interested from a complete beginner to current bartender.”

“Much, much more professional and comprehensive than I had expected, from the bar skills to the liquor knowledge and palate development. Quite hard (in a good way). In many ways as challenging as any university course. Very impressed.”

“First off, they really did earn this five stars.

Taking this course was easily the highlight of my summer. Kyle and Nathan are very knowledgeable and energetic instructors, and so learning in their “classroom” was both fun and engaging. As someone with no bartending or service experience, I was a minority during this course. This lack of experience was in no way an hindrance, as Kyle and Nathan were able to guide me along without slowing the pace of instruction. This course helped me to develop the skills needed to rock my home bar with confidence.”

“I don’t have to work doubles anymore. It’s changed my life”

Emily Pollock, Professional Bartender

From cook to high-earning professional bartender in 1 year. “You just have to dive in and do it.”

Sebastian Lopez, Professional Travelling Bartender and Radio Host

“I don’t have to work doubles anymore. It’s changed my life”

Emily Pollock, Professional Bartender

From cook to high-earning professional bartender in 1 year. “You just have to dive in and do it.”

Sebastian Lopez, Professional Travelling Bartender and Radio Host

Getting Started is Easy

We’ll be in touch within 5 hours

Choose The Best Nimble Bar School Package for You

You Might Be Wondering…

Will you help me find a job?

While we can’t guarantee employment, our certification is recognized by Victoria’s establishments as the industry-leading bartender training. We’ll teach you the best ways to land a role as a bartender in Victoria and beyond.

Isn’t it best to learn these skills ‘on-the-job’?

Before we founded the Nimble Bartending School, we’d say ‘Yes, you’ll learn best on the job.’ But our program offers students something no job can: a compilation of almost 40 years of professional experience packed into comprehensive training. Our program will catapult you past those who have 3 – 5 years of experience ‘on the job.’

What is the schedule and when does it start?

The next session is coming up!

Feb 3 – 8, 2020 | Victoria Intensive Course | Monday – Saturday | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Feb 22 – Mar 29, 2020 | Victoria Weekend Course | Saturdays & Sundays | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Feb 23 – Mar 30, 2020 | Vancouver Evening Course | Sundays & Mondays | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Apr 4 – May 10, 2020 | Victoria Weekend Course | Saturdays & Sundays | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

We have additional dates and locations not yet listed in 2020. Contact Us and let us know when you were hoping to attend.

How much does it cost?

The course is either a one-time investment of $750.00 or 4 equal monthly payments of $200.00.

Can bartenders actually make great money?

Yes! Full-time bartenders can reasonably expect to earn $60,000.00 – $80,000.00 per year.

Are there any additional fees for supplies?

All supplies are included. There may be some additional out-of-pocket expenses for palate development programs, but they will be minimal (and optional).

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