The first round of 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards judges are announced!
Top Bartenders, Mixologists, Bar Managers and On-Premise trade buyers will gather in Chicago for the 6th international Bartender Spirits Awards.
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.
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.
Who are the Judges?
The judging panel consists entirely of top bartenders at U.S restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs. In certain cases, these bartenders can also be cocktail consultants for on-premise establishments or play an important buying role for the establishment.
The first round of 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards judges are:
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 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards’s first round of judges here.
Where do entrants come from?
The leading countries in spirits production are represented at the Bartender Spirits Awards. From whiskey producing heavyweights like Germany, Australia and Japan to gin masters like Spain, Ireland and more are all competing with each other to take home the awards. The competition is home to brands from all over the world.
Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and Bartender Spirits Awards.
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 before October 31 to get the super early bird pricing. Here are some benefits to enter your spirits and how to enter into the competition steps.