Thirst Bar Academy (TBA) is a training and consulting institution based in Johannesburg, with additional training facilities in both Cape Town, and Durban.

Founded in 2005, Thirst has since its inception trained well over 20 000 bartenders in South Africa and a multiple of other countries on the continent. We have a large database of professionally trained multilingual bar trainers necessary for the large and diverse African market.

Thirst Bar Academy has a wide variety of courses available to the public. From short courses that teach you everything you need to know to start working a shift behind the bar of your local watering hole, to more intricate curriculums for more experienced bartenders that are ready to take on the international bar scene. Our courses have all been designed by in-house professionals with many years of international experience.

Diageo Master Bar Academy Programme

Thirst Bar Services carries out bartender training throughout Africa. This is through the Diageo MBA (Master Bar Academy) programme.

Diageo is a leading premium drinks company with a wide assortment from spirits, beers and wines. Diageo stands for celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

The concept behind MBA (Master Bar Academy) is to raise the bar behind the bar, by educating and training students on brand knowledge and bartender skills. Over 15 000 bartenders have been trained throughout Africa in the following countries Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania,Mozambique, Namibia, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

TBA Courses

Thirst Flagship Bartender Course

Pre-Requisite: None
Qualification: Bartender
Cost: R7 000 pp
Duration: 5 days (9am – 4pm)

An intensive course designed to give bartenders the necessary skills to work a bar under a fair amount of pressure whilst making cocktails.

The course will run from Monday to Friday. Pass Certificates will be issued at the end of the course with the following pass criteria:

  • Theory test completed with a minimum of 90% achieved.
  • Practical free pouring test has been completed with a minimum of 90% achieved.
  • Cocktail practical test has been passed with a minimum 90% achieved.

If the student does not pass all the criteria above we can either issue a certificate of attendance or the student can come back and complete the tests until passed.

Course material covers the following. Booklets with all course info are included in the price.

Module 1 – The Role of a Bartender
Module 2 – Tools of the Trade and Glassware
Module 3 – Pouring techniques
Module 4 – Customer Service and Responsible service of alcohol
Module 5 – Managing time more effectively and efficiently behind the bar
Module 6 – Introduction cocktail making techniques and introduction to classic cocktails

Course Dates

Johannesburg: February 19th – 23rd
Cape Town: March 26th – 30th


Want to apply for a course?      Sign Up