BarLifeUK Launch Bartender of the Year Competition

No sponsor brands. No rules. Just your best drink and performance in 5 minutes. 

Yes, we know. We should have done this a long time ago, but we’ve been so busy judging everyone else’s comps that we haven’t had time to run our own.

All that changes now. The BarLifeUK Bartender of the Year competition is designed to let competitors have free rein and allow them to properly express themselves. There are no sponsor brands, and no limitations on what you use or how you use it. There are no extra points for white shirts and arm garters. Or tattoos and moustaches.

This comp is all about great drinks and a great performance.

Heats will take place in Scotland and the North, South, East and West of England (or thereabouts), judged by Andy Ives and Simon Webster of BarLifeUK.

The six best competitors will go through to the final, which will be held in London during London Cocktail Week.

The prize will be epic, and tailored to the ultimate winner. Details of the prize will be released in due course, but international travel and cash will be part of the package.

The day of the final will comprise of knowledge and skills tests, followed by an on-stage competition, held in front of an industry audience. This part of the final will be assessed by a mixture of peer judging (the competitors voting on each other’s performance), BarLifeUK judging and a jury group made up of old lags and young guns. This will give the fairest, most transparent result of a major cocktail competition.

The BarLifeUK Bartender of the Year in a nutshell  

  • No paper judging – just tell us you want to compete and we’ll give you a slot
  • No sponsor brands and no ingredient limitations
  • Regional heats will take place in August and September
  • Six winners will go to the final – This will be the six best competitors, wherever they are from –  There is no arbitrary ‘one from each heat’ rule
  • All regional heats will be judged by Simon and Andy, ensuring consistency
  • The final will take place in London during London Cocktail Week. Travel and accommodation will be supplied for out-of-towners
  • Details of the skills and knowledge tests will be supplied to finalists a week prior to the competition. But expect blind taste tests and service-orientated assessment
  • Winner takes all. Details of the prize will be released in due course, and will be tailored to the winning bartender’s interests and needs
  • Open to any bartender based in the UK. And by bartender, we mean ‘works at least three shifts a week behind a bar’.

Enter the BarLifeUK Bartender of the Year competition 

Hopefully the ‘run what you brung’ nature of this competition has enthused you to enter. All you need to do is tell us you are up for it by filling out the form below.
The cutoff date for entry is July 18th.

After which we will collate all the entries and plan the regional heats in appropriate places. After which, we will contact you with the date and location of your heat.

Good luck, and get involved.