Garrison Brothers Distillery of Hye, Texas, is proud to announce Bourbon Brawl 2021—its annual bartender cocktail competition, previously hosted across Texas markets only—is now expanding to eight markets across the United States. In partnership with Texas Monthly and Cocktail Courier, online submissions began on May 3 and close on June 11 at 11:59pm CT.
Bartenders from across the nation are invited to enter with the competition regional areas of focus including Oakland, California; Orange County, California;, Chicago; New York;, Tampa, Florida;, Houston; Dallas; , and Austin/San Antonio, Texas. The winner will receive the grand prize of $10,000, a barrel of their own bourbon (for personal consumption only) and their winning cocktail will be made available as a cocktail kit for purchase via Cocktail Courier! Prizing is provided by Good Bourbon for a Good Cause 501(c)(3).
“We’re thrilled to be expanding Bourbon Brawl outside of Texas this year,” said Ciara Knee, trade marketing manager for Garrison Brothers, in a press release. “We’ve had such tremendous success growing this bartender participation over the last few years, which includes fans joining us from all over the country. We truly believe good bourbon can change the world.”
Here’s What To Expect:
Phase One: Online Submissions | May 3-June 11
To enter the competition, bartenders must submit their unique cocktail recipes via ShakeStir by June 11, 2021 at 11:59pm CT. Contestants must have a ShakeStir profile (and the profile must indicate U.S. residency) in order to participate. Creating a profile is simple and can be done HERE. Five (5) contestants per market will be selected to participate in the semi-finals.
Phase Two: Semi-Finals | Week of June 21
Semi-finalists will prepare and present their bourbon cocktails to an influencer and/or mixology expert within their market on the date(s) listed below (locations and times TBD). Semi-finalists must attend the event within their market to be eligible for the finals. One (1) semi-finalist per market will advance to the finals and will be announced on June 30.
Dates for the semi-final events in each region are:
- June 21 – Oakland, California
- June 21 – Chicago
- June 22 – Orange County, California
- June 22 – New York,
- June 23 – Tampa, Florida
- June 23 – Houston
- June 24 – Dallas/Ft. Worth
- June 25 – Austin/San Antonio, Texas
Phase Three: The Finals (June 30-July 29)
Finalists from each market will be flown into Austin, Texas, to participate in the pre-recording of The Finals. The pre-recording will be held on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021. Travel and accommodations will be provided for two (2) nights at the East Austin Hotel (1108 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702) on July 19th, 2021 and July 20th, 2021. Finalists will show off their cocktails and share their stories in front of a live panel of judges. The Finals will then air on July 29th, 2021 at 7:30 PM CST, with viewers getting a chance to cast their vote along with the judges for their favorite cocktail. The bartender with the highest overall score will win the title of “2021 Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year”. The winner will be announced LIVE at the end of the finale and receive the grand prize of $10,000, a barrel of their own bourbon (for personal consumption only) and be made available as a cocktail kit via Cocktail Courier! Prizing is provided by Good Bourbon for a Good Cause 501(c)(3). For more information on the format of the competition, read the full rules document here.
Bourbon Brawl 2020 garnered millions of media impressions throughout the semi-finals and finals including local Texas broadcast coverage. There were over 85 bartender entries last year. A team of five bartenders from San Antonio won Bourbon Brawl 2020. The competition was adapted to a COVID-safe format through a partnership with Sourced: Craft Cocktails. Sourced packaged and delivered kits of all five team’s cocktails to guests, which allowed them to participate in the final round by tuning-in, tasting each cocktail and casting their vote for the best. Twenty-five bartenders, five from Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Houston, were chosen to compete in the final round of the virtual competition. The San Antonio team took home a grand prize of $12,500.00 as well as the title of Bourbon Brawl 2020 Champions. The $12,500 prize came from a 501(c)3 public charity called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, founded by the Garrison Family and their staff in 2018. The money was be split evenly between the five bartenders. The San Antonio winning team members were Trinh Quan Huy-Philip, Gladys Estrada, Cruz Gutierrez, Michelle Stephenson, and Jonny Yumol. A member of the San Antonio team will be part of the judging panel for Bourbon Brawl 2021.
Bourbon Brawl is an annual competition that was created by Garrison Brothers in 2019 to connect and cultivate community within the hospitality industry as well as reward and amplify the talented creatives within craft cocktails world. Garrison Brothers is sold throughout the Continental U.S and across the world in seven other countries including Japan and Canada. For more information on Garrison Brothers and to shop online, go to www.garrisonbros.com
For the competition’s complete rules and regulations, go to www.texasmonthly.com/bourbonbrawl.