The Maryland Bartending Academy has been training and placing bartenders since 1980. As the oldest Maryland bartending school, we are proud to offer our students one of the” best” Bartending courses throughout the country.
The school was founded by Mark Russell, who continues to be Executive Director at the academy. He received the opportunity of a lifetime when he was hired and trained by a well-known bartender/mixologist (Billy Warren) when he lived in Santa Barbara, California. After being able to pay for school with what he learned and earned as a bartender, Mark returned to Maryland.
His goal was to open a bartending school and teach students the same way he was trained – he realized that it was not enough to be able to pour a drink. A good bartender should know why he or she mixes a drink in a certain way. There were plenty of other talents he wanted to pass on to rookie bartenders, and over the years, these skills became part of the academy’s curriculum. It took him well over a year to write his bar guide, create the academy’s curriculum, and complete the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s application process before he was granted approval to open his school.
In the beginning, enrollments were not pouring in as hoped for with this relatively new concept of a bartending school. So, to help ends meet, Mark was hired to teach bartending at several area community colleges. He only did this for a few semesters because the college courses couldn’t offer hands-on training, only lectures and demonstrations. Mark believes that “You really need a lot of hands-on practice making drinks over and over before you can begin to resemble a bartender.”