Bar Brawl returns to jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain this month, pegging the region’s top mixologists against one another to claim a grand prize and the Bar Master title. The competition launches July 17 with match-ups at jade bar every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. Bar Brawl-goers can enjoy DJ entertainment and a menu of “Bar Brawl Bites” at happy hour prices, starting at 8 p.m. each evening of the competition.
With Sanctuary’s star Executive Chef Beau MacMillan as emcee and lead mixologist Eddie Aces stepping in to referee, each three-round brawl focuses on specific spirits and ingredients. Cocktails will be judged by a panel of local celebrities. Plus, this year will also introduce a special $99 room rate exclusively for Bar Brawl attendees. Advance reservations are required and offer is valid only on competition nights. Tax and resort fee are additional.
This year’s eight competitors have been shaking things up at the best bars in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tucson. They include:
- Jax Donahue, a 25-year-old craft cocktail bartender and art designer currently manning the bar at Crudo and Okra, both in Phoenix.
- “Whiskey Man” John Christie, one of the nation’s finest whiskey educators and bartender at the Second Story Liquor Bar in Old Town Scottsdale.
- Keifer Gilbert of Crudo and Counter Intuitive, and the talent behind Counter Intuitive’s 2016 “Premier Cocktail Program” award from the Arizona Restaurant Association.
- Maxton Kennedy, a New Orleans transplant stirring up the scene at Chandler’s buzzworthy basement lounge, The Ostrich.
- Tim Lafever Jr., a rising-star bar man doing double time at Bitter & Twisted in Downtown Phoenix and Counter Intuitive in Scottsdale.
- Libby Longlott, Pennsylvania native and head mixologist at The Camby Hotel’s Bee’s Knees Bar in Phoenix.
- Matt Martinez, a former sushi chef turned bar manager and mixologist at Tucson’s OBON Sushi Bar Ramen.
- Stephanie Teslar, winner of The Arizona Restaurant Association’s 2014 “Foodist Award” for master mixologist, currently at The Clever Koi Group in Phoenix.
The Bar Brawl schedule is as follows:
- July 17 – Martinez vs. Longlott
- July 24 – Gilbert vs. Kennedy
- July 31 – Lafever vs. Christie
- Aug. 7 – Donahue vs. Teslar
- Aug. 14 – Semi-finals
- Aug. 21 – Semi-finals
- Aug. 28 – Championship: Bar Brawl “Bar Master” crowned.