USBG Announces Competition to Determine Best US Bartender
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United States Bartenders’ Guild Announces Competition to Determine Bartender of the Year


The United States Bartenders’ Guild Presents World Class competition will be back in person this year. (Photo: USBG)

United States Bartenders’ Guild on Thursday announced that its USBG Presents World Class Competition to determine the U.S.’s top bartender will return for the 10th year. The competition, sponsored by Diageo, will will test “the skill and talent” of the nation’s top 15 regional bartenders at the National Finals, according to a news release.

From June 19-22, the leading bartenders from the country’s Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West regions will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, to face off in four bartending challenges. One bartender will come out on top to represent the U.S. at the World Class Global Finals, which will be held in September in Sydney, Australia.

“We’re excited to be back in person for this year’s USBG Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo Competition and welcoming all the amazing finalists into this one-of-a-kind program that instills the relevant training and mentorship for hospitality professionals,” USBG Executive Director Aaron Gregory Smith said in the news release. “It has been amazing to see how the USBG and Diageo partnership through the World Class program has evolved over the years and to be part of the incredible growth and success of the bartenders who participate.

This will be the first year the U.S. finals have been held in Nashville. The challenges at this year’s finals will include:

  • Spirit of Don Julio: Competitors will explore the history of Tequila Don Julio and its founder Don Julio González to develop two unique serves that pay homage to the brand and founder.
  • Taste the City: Finalists will select one of Nashville’s popular dishes and create a signature cocktail using any Diageo Reserve Brand to pair with it.
  • Home Brew: Competitors will find a unique type of home brew — whether tea, coffee, beer or kombucha — from their own community to use in two different cocktail styles with Ketel One Vodka.
  • The Showdown: The finalists will compete against the clock and each other to create eight different cocktails in eight minutes.

“The enthusiasm and passion exuding from this community is inspiring, especially as we return to an IRL program, and we’re looking forward to witnessing all the impressive and diverse talent throughout the competition this year,” said Cassandra Ericson, manager of on premise at Diageo North America. “It’s been an amazing journey to make the USBG Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo possible this year, while continuing to support and champion bartenders as well as everyone in the hospitality industry. We are proud to continue pushing the educational aspect of the competition while offering in-person events and online resources to the trade community through our World Class Studios available on”

The Finalists

West: Jorge Vargas Baquedano, Derrick Li, Jonathan Stanyard
Southwest: Conor O’Reilly, Jake Powell, Weston Simons
Midwest: Jarmel Doss, Jessi Pollak, Sarah Syman
Northeast: Steve Yang, Hunter Douglas, Renato Tonelli
South: Kristin Amron, Nic Wallace, Sam Penton

Diageo is a global spirits giant whose portfolio of brands includes Johnnie Walker, Lagavulin, Talisker, Crown RoyalBulleit, Smirnoff, Cîroc, Casamigos, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.

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