The Search for Heaven Hill Brands, 2020 “Bartender of the Year” Begins NOW!

September 19, 2019

Winner will receive $15,000 at finals Half Mile Farm in North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2019

Bartenders will be challenged to demonstrate a variety of cocktail skills using Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Elijah Craig Small Batch, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, Dubonnet Rouge Grand Aperitif, Sacred Bond Brandy and Lunazul Tequila. The 2020 Bartender of the Year contest will identify the bartender who best embodies the range of qualities to which all bartenders aspire to be, as Justin Ware from Houston expertly showcased throughout each round of the competition to be named the 2019 Bartender of the Year. From service to history and skills to quality preparation, the 2020 Bartender of the Year will be a celebrated example of what it means to be a hospitality professional behind the bar.BARDSTOWN, KY – Heaven Hill Brands and are searching for the 2020 Bartender of the Year in the competition’s fifth anniversary. The event welcomes bartenders from across the United States to join the Heaven Hill family through online submissions, regional semifinals and the crowning of the Bartender of the Year in June 2020, returning to the picturesque Half Mile Farm in Highlands, North Carolina.

“As we enter the fifth year of competition amidst a thriving cocktail culture we are excited to taste and see the creativity as it takes on a new level each year,” said Kate S. Latts, Vice President, Marketing for Heaven Hill Brands. “Our diverse portfolio of spirits, coupled with an investment in education and camaraderie for participants, creates a foundation for growth and showcases the passion each bartender has for their craft. We look forward to adding the newest members to our growing Heaven Hill family.”

Heaven Hill Brands and will identify candidates for Bartender of the Year first by online submissions beginning September 15 and continuing through November 5. Submissions will be evaluated throughout November by the three returning national judges: Heaven Hill National Brand Educator Lynn House, Bar Manager of Clyde Common & Pépé Le Moko Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and Owner/Bartender of Pouring Ribbons Joaquín Simó. Eight regional competitions will be held in the following cities from January-April 2020: Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, New York City, Miami, Portland, Phoenix, and Atlanta. Six semifinalists will compete at each regional and one from each will advance to the finals at Half Mile Farm.

Submissions for the contest opened at on September 15, 2019. Guest judges joining for the regional semifinals will be announced throughout the duration of the contest. Ware will also return as a judge for the finals.

Grounded in the original Bartender of the Year Competition hosted by Domaine de Canton starting in 2009, Heaven Hill Brands resurrected the competition due to strong demand from bartenders worldwide. Ware joined the ranks of esteemed past winners: Harrison Ginsberg from Crown Shy in New York City was named Bartender of the Year in 2018, Nathan O’Neill from the Nomad Bar was named Bartender of the Year in 2017, and Abigail Gullo of Ben Paris in Seattle won the inaugural competition in 2016. Visit the official competition website at for complete competition details.

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL BRANDS: Founded in 1935, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Brands ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, and Henry McKenna Bourbons; Rittenhouse Rye Whisky; Deep Eddy and Burnett’s Vodkas; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; Black Velvet Canadian Whisky; Lunazul Tequila; The Christian Brothers Brandies; HPNOTIQ Liqueur, Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur.


Lauren Cherry
Heaven Hill Brands
(502) 413-0217
[email protected]

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly