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Makenzie Helem, Top 30 USBG Bartender, Joins 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards Judging Panel

Photo for: Makenzie Helem, Top 30 USBG Bartender, Joins 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards Judging Panel

29/12/2023 Makenzie Helem, Top 30 USBG Bartender hailing from Chicago, takes the spotlight on the 2024 Bartender Spirits Awards judging team.

In an exciting announcement for the bartending community, Bartender Spirits Awards has just introduced Makenzie Helem as one of the esteemed judges for the upcoming 2024 event in Chicago. Hailing from the vibrant city of Chicago, Makenzie is not just a bartender but a true trendsetter in the industry.

Her journey in the world of mixology is nothing short of inspiring, marked by a commendable dedication to the craft. Makenzie's story began during her college days when she started bartending at Miller's Back Door in Bellingham, WA. It was there that she discovered her passion for mixing drinks and crafting eye-catching cocktails, setting the stage for her remarkable career.

What sets Makenzie apart is her inclusion in the top 30 bartenders in the US for USBG World Class 2023—an impressive accomplishment that speaks volumes about her skill and innovation.

Makenzie's approach to mixology is characterized by a love for experimentation. She enjoys pushing boundaries by exploring various cooking techniques and infusing food flavors into her cocktails. Every menu becomes a canvas for her creativity, sparking curiosity about how different flavors will harmonize, and inspiring her to try new and exciting combinations.

Beyond the bar, Makenzie's love for exploration extends to the city itself. Whether indulging in pastries or concluding the day with a Nic Cage movie marathon and a hard seltzer in hand, her eclectic interests reflect a vibrant personality that enriches the world of mixology.

We are confident that Makenzie's exceptional knowledge will contribute significantly to the Bartender Spirits Awards.

The 2024 judging panel includes some top names in the US bar industry.

They include:

Renato M. Tonelli - 2023 US Bartender of the Year and Founder at Sustainable Bartender

Charles Joly - World Class Global Bartending Winner and Official Mixologist of the Emmy's and Oscars.

Julieta Campos - Beverage and Bar Operations Director at The Fifty/50 Group, Chicago.

Katie Renshaw - 2019 US World Class Bartender of the Year.

Mike Ryan - Global Beverage Director, Acurio International, Chicago.

Trudy Thomas - Corporate Director of Beverage at Southworth Development, Spirits Educator and Mixologist, Nashville.

Abraham Vucekovich - Beverage Director, Meadowlark Hospitality, Chicago, Meadowlark Hospitality.

Guillermo Bravo - Beverage Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Chicago.

Danny Shapiro - Founding Partner in Scofflaw Group, Chicago.

Chris Barna - Bar Manager at Proof, 2022 Top 50 US World Class 2023 Top 30 US World Class, Charleston.

Elliott Ernst - Country's Top 100 World Class Bartenders and Mixologist, Rockford and more.

The judging panel consists of some of the most renowned names in the U.S. bar industry, all of them with extensive expertise within the on-premise industry. The result will be a relevant and practical source of reference for bartenders, bar managers, bar owners, and other industry professionals when making purchasing decisions for their establishments.

If you are a spirits brand anywhere in the world and are looking to grow into the USA’s on-premise channels, Bartender Spirits Awards is the competition that you should enter. Brands are rated by the best in class and real trade buyers with the judging criteria that the bar managers and bartenders use when they buy for their bars.

Brands are encouraged to enter before the early bird deadline of January 31, 2024.

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