For the tenth year, the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo will test the skill and talent of the nation’s top 15 regional mixologists at the National Finals in search of the 2022 U.S. Bartender of the Year. From June 19-22, the leading bartenders from the country’s Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and West regions will gather in Nashville, TN – the city’s first time hosting the World Class National Finals – to face off in four ambitious bartending challenges. Only one bartender will come out on top to represent the U.S. at the World Class Global Finals taking place in Sydney, Australia this September.
“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,” shares USBG Executive Director Aaron Gregory Smith. “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.
The challenges of this year’s U.S. National Finals in Nashville include:
- Spirit of Don Julio: Competitors will explore the rich history of Tequila Don Julio and its founder Don Julio González to develop two unique serves that pay homage to both the brand and founder.
- Taste the City: Nashville is the epicenter of some incredible southern dishes, so this year’s finalists will select one of city’s popular dishes and create a signature cocktail using any Diageo Reserve Brand to pair with it.
- Home Brew: Every community has its own brew, whether that be tea, coffee, beer or even kombucha. Competitors will find a unique type of brew from their own community to create in two different cocktail styles with Ketel One Vodka.
- The Showdown: The Top 15 Finalists will compete against the clock and each other to create eight different cocktails in eight minutes to show who can make the best classic drinks while showing off their own signature creations.
The USBG strives to unite the hospitality community to advance professional bartending, and the World Class U.S. program connect bartenders from across the country to bring the craft to new heights. The tenth season of this acclaimed program empowers each competitor to demonstrate their extensive knowledge, innovative technique and precise craft to prove to a panel of notable judges exactly what it means to be a World Class bartender.
“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,” says 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 DiageoBarAcademy.com.”
The Diageo Bar Academy offers an online training platformed designed for experienced bartenders that offers articles, videos, and additional resources from top industry experts. Experience the 2022 World Class Studios.
- 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