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Raise Your Spirits: The Ultimate Showdown at Bartender Spirits Awards 2024

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17/01/2024 Mixing Excellence: Bartender Spirits Awards 2024 Unveils Top-Notch Judges and Global Spirits Showdown

The 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards is all set to happen in May in Chicago and this year brings America’s top bartenders as judges. This celebrated award helps spirits and distilleries be noticed and become a favorite choice for bars, restaurants, clubs, and on-premise establishments within the United States. 

The awards are currently accepting entries for domestic and international spirits and the early bird entry deadline until January 31, 2024. 

The Competition has worked in the last few years to build up the pedigree of its judges and to ensure they all have direct buying responsibilities and understand the disciplines by which certain spirits are chosen to go on drinks or cocktail lists or not.

Using the tagline “Judged By Bartenders, Bar Managers, and Off-Premise Managers For The On-Premise Industry,” the Bartender Spirits Awards will recognize, encourage, promote, and celebrate excellence in the U.S. drinks industry for the 6th time.

Who are the Judges?

The judging panel consists entirely of top bartenders at U.S. restaurants, bars, clubs, and pubs. Here are a few of the names that will be judging the 2024 event:

KATIE RENSHAW, 2019 US World Class Bartender of the Year.

RENATO M. TONELLI, 2023 US Bartender of the Year and Founder at Sustainable Bartender.

JULIETA CAMPOS, Beverage and Bar Operations Director at The Fifty/50 Group, Chicago.

DAMIAN LANGARICA, TOP 100 World Class 2023, TOP 50 World Class 2022, Bartender at Next of Kin, Philadelphia.

MIKE RYAN, Global Beverage Director, Acurio International, Chicago.

TRUDY THOMAS, Corporate Director of Beverage at Southworth Development, Spirits Educator and Mixologist, Nashville.

ABRAHAM VUCEKOVICH, Beverage Director Meadowlark Hospitality, Chicago, Meadowlark Hospitality.

MAKENZIE HELEM, Top 30 bartenders in the US for USBG World Class 2023 and Bartender at Spilt Milk, Chicago

GUILLERMO BRAVO, Beverage Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Chicago.

DANNY SHAPIRO, Founding partner in Scofflaw Group, Chicago

EMILIANO VAZQUEZ PARRALE, Head Bartender, Moody Tongue Brewing Company, Chicago.

CHRIS BARNA, Bar Manager at Proof, 2022 Top 50 US World Class 2023 Top 30 US World Class, Charleston

ARIEL NEAL, Vice President United States Bartenders Guild- Chicago Chapter, Chicago

JENEÉ CRAVER, Award-Winning Beverage Director, Chicago

JARED GIVENS, Director of Restaurants, Bars, and Events at The Thompson, Hyatt Hotels, Dallas

FATIMA BUTLER, Founder at Rooted in Hospitality, Chicago

VALERIE CAO, Director of Operations & Beverage Director, Le Colonial, Chicago

MICHAEL DZIEDZIC, Bar Director at Aruns Thai Restaurant, Chicago

ELLIOTT ERNST, Country's Top 100 World Class Bartenders and Mixologist, Rockford.

MARK GALLAGHER, Experienced Sommelier and Mixologist, Chicago

DON JEWELL, Creative & Mixologist, Chicago

TIMOTHY KING, President, Bar Consultant at Prohibition Bar Group, Cincinnati

JONATHAN PIZANO, Beverage Manager at The Hoxton, Chicago

BRYSON RYAN, Bar Manager at Fitness Formula Clubs, Midlothian

ANNA THORN, Bar Manager at BOKA, Chicago

TOSHIO UENO DIPWSET, Vice President, Sake School of America, Director of Sake Specialist at MTC, El Monte

LEE ZAREMBA, Owner, De La Nonna and Enzo Discoteca De La Nonna, Los Angeles

You can see the full list of the 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards’s first round of judges here.

The aim of this international spirits competition is to provide independent and honest reviews for brands targeting the U.S. bar trade. The judging panel consists of some of the most renowned names in the U.S. bar industry, all of them with extensive expertise within the on-premise industry. The result will be a relevant and practical source of reference for bartenders, bar managers, bar owners, and other industry professionals when making purchasing decisions for their establishments.

What comprises the awards judging process? 

The spirits are judged on the five broad categories of mixability, balance and versatility, taste, value, and packaging. The judges consider two key aspects while judging spirits from around the world at the competition, whether they will add great value to a bar’s existing spirits inventory and become an integral part of a mixologist’s everyday life behind the table. In essence, the focus of the Bartender Spirits Awards is to find and reward spirits that we will enjoy drinking on the rocks or as a part of the cocktail and bartenders will love pouring at their establishments.

View 2023 Winners here

Brands looking to enter into America’s leading spirits competition for the on-premise should enter now to get the bird pricing. Here are some benefits to enter your spirits and how to enter into the competition steps.

A unique opportunity to present your spirits to America's top Bartenders. Final submission deadline is April 24, 2024. Enter Now.