The new BARSmarts Wired program goes live on Saturday, August 1. You sign up and pay $45 that gets you not just the course workbook but also the bag of bar tools like shaker, strainers, muddler, etc.
The course was developed by the folks from the B.A.R., some of the biggest names in the industry- Doug Frost, Steve Olson, David Wondrich, Dale DeGroff, Andy Seymour, and Paul Pacult.
Unlike the BARSmarts Advanced that I took, the Wired version has no live testing component. Instead it has an online "drink builder" application that you use to select the spirits, quantities, methodology, garnish, and glassware to each of the drinks you need to know to complete the course- about 30 of them. I believe you have two months from the beginning to the end of the course to complete it. The first part of the course is four modules of reading in the workbook, and then additional videos and testing online. The last module is the drink builder test.
The course is sponsored by Pernod-Ricard, so the bottles you're choosing in the drink builder tend to be Pernod products, but they're not exclusively. As David Wondrich said in an online preview of the course this week, "We use the brands we need to teach people."
If you take the course seriously and practice making the drinks, it's a really good not-so-basic level of spirits education and bartending skills. Though I would definitely recommend the Live session for bartenders if it comes to their city, the Wired version could be of great use to bartenders in other cities and enthusiasts everywhere. If I hadn't taken it already, I would definitely sign up.