Vermont Bartender of the Year Competition 2016

Vermont Tourism Industry to Crown Best Bartender

Mixology Battle Kicks Off Vermont Tourism Summit

Vermont Bartender of the Year Competition 2016Vermont bartenders will mix, shake, stir and pour as they vie for the coveted title of “Bartender of the Year” next week.

Now in its second year, the Bartender of the Year contest is the kick-off event for the the Vermont Tourism Summit (formerly the Vermont Travel Industry Conference), a two-day industry conference held this year at Killington Resort. The event highlights not only the skills of the state’s best bartenders, it features high-quality pours from Vermont’s fast-growing distilled spirits industry.

“We’re looking forward to tasting the best of the best,” said Megan Smith, Vermont’s tourism commissioner. “When you have these talented bartenders using the country’s most fantastic spirits, we’ll be pushing the envelope in terms of what’s possible from a beverage.”

Presented by Hotel Vermont, the Vermont Distiller’s Association, and Vermont Ski + Ride magazine, this battle amongst 12 of the state’s finest bartenders ends with one winner claiming the title of Vermont Bartender of the Year.

The competition consists of two rounds. In round one, contestants draw from a stocked pantry and randomly selected Vermont distilled spirit to create a cocktail. A judging panel of local experts plus input from the crowd will advance five winners to compete in the second round. In that round, contestants must use all the secret ingredients from a mystery box to whip up a cheers-worthy entry.

The winning cocktail will be featured at the Vermont Tourism Summit welcome reception and the champion bartender will be highlighted in Vermont Ski + Ride magazine. Last year’s winner was Martha Mack from Mary’s at Baldwin Creek in Bristol, Vt.

The competition starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, at Killington Resort’s K1 Base Lodge. Admission costs $10 for spectators and a tasting bracelet is available for an additional $10 (good for one drink in each round). The Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont will be raffling off a “Vermont Instant Liquor Cabinet” during the event in which one lucky winner will take home a range of spirits made in Vermont.

Contest entrants must pre-register and hold current membership in the Vermont – Green Mountain chapter of the Vermont Bartenders Guild in order to compete. Find details and registration materials at

The Vermont Bartenders Guild seeks to recognize and raise the professionalism of bartending in Vermont’s hospitality driven economy. Vermont is a leader in crafting memorable food and drink experiences, supported by a thriving culture of local producers. The Guild will introduce Vermont to the national scene, and connect our bartenders across the state in a community that will push our craft forward.

The Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont is a cooperative, non-profit organization created to develop, promote, and maintain the distilled spirits industry in Vermont.