The verdict is in!

To determine who would make it to the semifinals and make the trip to Atlanta for BARFIGHT! 2018 our judges looked at the recipes creativity, taste, and technique as key indicators of their creators having what it will take to win the title of Undisputed Champion and the $10,000 prize. We were able to whittle it down to 12 bartenders and recipes before things really got difficult. There were great recipes from all three states open to enter the competition, with entries from Florence, SC, Savannah, GA, and Winston-Salem, NC packing a punch! After settling on our 6 Contenders and talking with all of them we are convinced that the Inaugural BARFIGHT! is going to be one to remember. Our Contenders have decades of experience between them and they all exhibit a level of passion and dedication to the craft that’s going to make this one hell of a show.
Over the next few weeks leading up to BARFIGHT! our mixologist, Jesse Cortez, will work with our Contenders to get them ready for competition. With 4 rounds of competition to prepare for, we wish we could record a montage of all the prepping, juicing, mixing, shaking, and tasting that our 6 Contenders are going to be doing. BARFIGHT! was design by a Bartender for Bartenders to test every skill needed (and some you don’t need) to make a killer cocktail and keep your customers happy.

The Brunch Battle

The morning of August 14th we will put our six (6) Contenders 1-on-1 in front of a group of their peers tasked with creating at least 2 cocktails in 30 minutes using three (3) different secret ingredients. They won’t find out what the ingredients are until right before the clock starts and they’ll need to use everything at least once. This is a single elimination round, so our Contenders will need to bring it all to knock out their opponent early. This will determine the 3 Finalists that will compete later that night for the change to win $10,000, the title of Undisputed Champion, and a sweet Championship Belt.

The Main Event Gala

That evening, The Fairmont will be transformed into a warehouse battle royal as our Final Contenders fight through three grueling rounds of Bareknuckle Bartending. Creating delicious libations for our judges is only part of the fight with each of the rounds testing our Contenders in different ways.
Round 1
Fast & Furious Fisticuffs
Contestants will be tasked with creating the ultimate Bedlam Bloody Mary. Ah but there’s a twist. You must incorporate a secret ingredient revealed only prior to the round. The top three Bloody’s as voted on by our panel of Judges will decide the three finalists moving ahead to the Gala Competition that night.
Round 2
The Scuffle 
The reason that most end up behind the bar is for the ever-changing environment, you must be ready for almost anything. Having a sense of humor is important in life and will be just as important for our Contenders during this round. They’ll have to be on their toes, ready to roll with the punches and confidently tackle whatever we’re going to throw at them. Simply put, it’s going to be fun. For everyone else.
Round 3
The Main Event
While Top hats and hoop dresses are not recommended, it’s time to get fancy. Each Contender will have 10 minutes to make their signature drink for the judges while presenting them to the audience. Everyone likes a good story and hates a bad one even more, so our Contenders better be ready to spin a yarn. One of the most interesting aspects of competition bartending is the presentation, and we’re sure that our three Final Contenders will not disappoint. They will be scored on their Story telling, presentation, taste and technique. If every there were a time to turn on the charm, it’s now.


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