Come to Portland and Win a Thousand Bucks!

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Last year, I had the tremendous fortune to stumble upon the Great American Distiller’s Festival in Portland and meet up with some really excellent Portland-area bartenders. That afternoon in August, coming together with so many talented individuals that I hardly knew existed prior to that day, laid the foundation for the Oregon Bartenders Guild.

So much has been accomplished in the year that has passed. The Guild has put on some really fabulous events, grown in size, built a respectable online forum community, and now this:

The Oregon Bartenders Guild is proud to announce that they will be presenting the cocktail competition portion of the upcoming Great American Distillers Festival at the Gerding Theatre, Saturday August 23rd and Sunday August 24th.

The cocktail competition, open to professional bartenders, will feature contestants creating a variety of unique cocktails in various spirits categories using the finest craft spirits in the United States. Contestants will be competing for a $1000.00 cash prize for first place.

Judging will be performed by such luminaries of the cocktail world as Robert Hess (, Paul Clarke (, Karen Foley (publisher, Imbibe Magazine) and last years winner, Suzanne Allard (50 Plates restaurant, pictured above with Green Giant-sized check).

Entry information can be found at and your $40 entry fee goes directly to the grand prize money.

All entrants are also invited to the private after-parties, hosted by the OBG and limited to contestants, judges, distillers, select media and OBG members. Competition slots are filling up fast, so sign up now to ensure that you get the spirit of your choice, and possibly a gigantic, oversized check.

7 Replies to “Come to Portland and Win a Thousand Bucks!”

  • dshenaut says:

    The Spirit list has grown check the OBG Forums for the changes. There are some really creative cocktails comming in so far!

  • Tokyo Tea – The first round takes place on Saturday from 1-4. Finalists will be named on Saturday. The finals will take place at 5pm on Sunday.

    Anyone with a real problem working Saturday night might be able to be scheduled in the very first round at 1pm.

  • Tokyo Tea says:

    What if we work on Saturday night and can’t make it until Sunday for the Cocktail competition? Would love to enter and play but need to manage my bar on Saturday (not mention pay the bills). The OBG email address on the actual festival site wasn’t properly delivering when I wrote them. Looking forward to the event either way.

  • Kelsey Crenshaw says:

    It would cost me almost $2000.00 to make it. Can I stay with you J.? Just joking kids start school next week, my birthday is the 21st. I’ll be thinking of this all next weekend though and I expect a play by play from you.

  • Jeff Frane says:

    Apparently I am. One of those annoying voices telling contestants “2 minutes!”

  • Are you bringing a stopwatch, Frane?

  • Jeff Frane says:

    “limited to contestants, judges, distillers, select media and OBG members” and (cough cough) timekeepers, I hope.

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