There’s a new top bartender representing America at Diageo’s global World Class bartender competition.
After two days and five individual competitions that tested the strength and talent of 15 of the top bartenders in the U.S., the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) World Class Sponsored by Diageo named Laura Newman as the 2018 U.S. Bartender of the Year.
Hosted for the first time at Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Kentucky, home to Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, the competition brought together top bartenders across the country with the goal of representing the U.S. at the global competition, which will be held in Berlin in October.
The first female to claim the title in the U.S., Laura Newman impressed the judges with her creative showmanship, thoughtful presentations and keen interest in providing the best hospitality for the customer, a competition spokesperson says. The finals were judged by a selection globally recognized bar-industry leaders, including the 2017 Global winner Kaitlyn Stewart, 2014 Global winner Charles Joly, past U.S. winners Jeff Bell, Chris Cardone, and bartenders and educators including Dale Degroff, Jackson Cannon and Julie Reiner.
“It’s truly an honor to be named the US Best Bartender of the Year and I can’t wait to continue on this journey and represent my country at the Global Finals in Berlin,” says Newman. “This was my third year competing in USBG World Class, and as someone who was once told that I wouldn’t make it in craft cocktails as a female, I want every female bartender out there to take this accomplishment and know that they can do it too.”