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Mike Ryan, Global Beverage Director, Acurio International Joins BSA Judging Panel

Photo for: Mike Ryan, Global Beverage Director, Acurio International Joins BSA Judging Panel

28/12/2023 Mike Ryan, one of the America's most important spirits buyers joins Bartender Spirits Awards Judging Panel.

Mike Ryan serves as a Corporate Beverage Director for Acurio International, the foremost global restaurant company specializing in Peruvian cuisine, and for many years a leader in the promotion of Pisco and an innovator in its use.

Most recently, he served as the National Director of Bars at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, where he was instrumental in shaping the beverage identity of dozens of unique restaurants within the company. Mike’s oversees Acurio’s global beverage program across all locations in the USA, LATAM, Europe, and the Middle East including the La Mar brand, Tanta, Yakumanka and new concept Jarana. 

He is also responsible for developing new and exciting beverage offerings, creating training programs for staff, implementing organizational systems, and ensuring that all locations are upholding Acurio International’s high standards for quality and service.

Acurio International, a subsidiary of Acurio Restaurantes of acclaimed chef Gastón Acurio, oversees the design, development, and management of multiple restaurant concepts, striving to deliver Gastón Acurio’s company vision; to introduce the culinary flavors of Peruvian cuisine to the world’s gastronomic stage. Launched in the United States in 2008 with the opening of La Mar Cocina Peruana in San Francisco, Acurio International has since opened restaurants in Chicago, Miami, and internationally in Barcelona, Dubai, Doha, and more. Its latest brand, Jarana, aims to introduce approachable Peruvian cuisine to the heart of America. A subsidiary of Acurio Restaurantes with headquarters in Lima, Peru, Acurio International and Acurio Restaurantes have collectively created more than a dozen restaurant brands and operate over 70 venues in 10 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Mike is considered to be one of the most important spirits buyer in US drinks market. Along with Mike, the 2024 judging panel includes some top names in the US bar industry and they are:

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.

Damian Langarica - Top 100 World Class 2023, Top 50 World Class 2022, Bartender at Next of Kin, Philadelphia.

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

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

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

Makenzie Helem - Top 30 Bartenders in the US for USBG World Class 2023 and Bartender at Spilt Milk, Chicago.

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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