Finalists Selected for the 2015 Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition

Bartending Comp Save the Date

Tickets: $25 via Crescent Ballroom | $28 at Door

The stage is set for the sixth annual Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition.  To celebrate Phoenix’s cocktail culture, “startenders” from nine metro-Phoenix bars and restaurants armed with a selection of Arizona’s best locally distilled spirits from Arizona Distilling Company will convene at the Crescent Ballroom on Sunday March 1, at 2:00 p.m., for a mix-off of epic proportions. Participating bartenders will go head to head in a series of three rounds, shaking it to compete for the title of Best Cocktail of the Valley for 2015.

Devour Bartending Competition MixingAfter an initial online voting round, the Phoenix community has selected half of the initial contestants to move on to the main competition on March 1. Finalists for this year’s competition include: Lyndsi Hastings-Mundy representing Culinary Dropout, Michael Soo representing Crudo, Andrew Gilchrist representing Hula’s Modern Tiki, Titus Fontleroy representing St. Francis, Libby Longlott representing The Parlor Pizzeria, Matt Farrow representing Windsor, Tawni Koonz representing Maizie’s Café & Bistro, Brandon Casey representing Citizen Public House, and Shawn Gabor representing Pink Pony.

Devoured Phoenix Bartending CompetitionHaving outgrown the confines of the Crescent Ballroom’s main stage, this year's Bartending Competition will expand out to the street to allow attendees and participants more space to relax between rounds.  On the judging panel we will feature last year’s competition winner, Mike Allmandinger of The Parlor Pizzeria, as well as Jessica Hill of the Phoenix New Times and Ross Simon with Arizona Cocktail Week.  Contestants will compete for the main title as well as crowd favorite awards such as best dressed, friendliest bartender, and most unique garnish.

This year’s event is a part of the Devoured Week, an extended lineup of four Phoenix foodie events. Other Devoured events include Palate to Palette, which combines visual and culinary arts, and the Devoured Culinary Classic on March 7 & 8. More at:

Bartending Comp 1“We are delighted to see the culinary scene in phoenix really take off,” said Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona Foundation’s Director, “Local restaurants and bars comprise the backbone of local economies so events like the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition are very important; they help Arizonans identify with and support their own communities.”

Bartending Comp 3The Competition’s title sponsor Arizona Distilling Company will supply the competition’s spirits for the second year in a row. “The craft distilling industry in Arizona is on the rise, thanks to recent legislative wins that have hindered the industry in the past. Locally distilled spirits are a win-win, because they usually taste 100 times better than the big label macro-distillers’ products, and they keep money recirculating in our local economy,” said Rodney Hu, co-owner of AZDC. The spirits featured at this event include AZDC’s flagship spirit, Copper City Bourbon, as well as their Desert Dry Gin and their new Copper City Moonshine. “We are excited about this opportunity to introduce Arizonans to our expanded product line, which has grown since our participation last year,” said Hu.

Tickets for the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition are $25 each, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Local First Arizona Foundation’s mission to build a better Arizona that we are proud to call home. Attendees will receive 9 cocktail samples each, one for each cocktail served, as well as neat samples of the local craft spirits that went into making them.

Tickets: $25 via Crescent Ballroom | $28 at Door