Diageo World Class is finally coming to Sydney

Sydney will finally welcome the Diageo World Class global finals from 12-15 September 2022, after being initially announced as host city in 2019.

However, the event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic and last year’s competition was held in a digital format as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Sydney hosting the event is a huge coup and testament to the quality of the Australian bar industry. The Australian final of the competition recognised as one of the best in the world, having produced two global winners – Tim Philips (2012) and Orlando Marzo (above, 2018) – in the past decade.

The 2022 global finals will feature a week-long World Class Cocktail Festival for the first time, celebrating the best of Sydney’s cocktail culture from 9-18 September.

Marissa Johnston, global head of World Class, trade & social advocacy, said: “Last year we were able to explore new opportunities for the World Class community within the digital world – and with this year’s hybrid model, the programme will continue to expand.”

Packed full of unique, reimagined drinks experiences, our 2022 event will include masterclasses from some of the greatest names in the bartending industry as they create World Class cocktails to try at home and see the world’s best bartenders battle head-to-head as the ultimate global champion is selected.” 

To ensure the competition is inclusive for bartenders, the event is being designed to accommodate both physical and virtual finalists. 

Jonathan Morgan, head of reserve, Diageo Australia, said: “Sydney has been eagerly awaiting its turn after the 2020 postponement and Australia is ready to showcase the pinnacle of home-grown bartending talent to the world.

“The week-long Cocktail Festival will create an incredible buzz for our great city – providing a perfect opportunity to explore Sydney’s incredible cocktail scene and witness the future of drinks experiences that push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year opens registrations for 2022

The globally renowned competition calls on homegrown talent to enter for the chance to be crowned the nation’s best bartender and represent Australia on the global stage. Each candidate will have the opportunity to test their skills, showcase their craft, push the boundaries in a series of unique challenges, create show-stopping creations, and compete to capture the imaginations and votes of industry-leading judges. 

The Australian winner will go on to compete against the world’s best bartenders in the Global Finals – held for the first time ever on Australian soil this September. The highly anticipated event, held in host city Sydney, will be the first large-scale/face to face finals, following on from the postponement of the competition in 2020 and last year’s virtual finals, held in Madrid.  

With the Whisky industry expected to grow annually by 4.06% (CAGR 2022-2025) the World Class Bartender of the Year 2022 competition will celebrate Diageo’s award-winning portfolio of reserve brands and hero whisky, with Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Black Label, The Singleton and Talisker taking centre stage. 

Bartenders will compete in a series of challenges to experiment with flavour, balance and creativity across the whisky portfolio. Round one will see candidates challenged to create a Johnnie Walker signature serve, the Highball, but with a sustainable twist – a process, ingredient or technique that promotes minimum waste.

Evan Stroeve (above) of Re:, Sydney’s no-waste bar recently named in The World’s 50 Best Bars, took home the coveted title of Australian World Class Bartender of the Year for 2021 after impressing the judges in each challenge with his skill, creativity and commitment to sustainability and innovation.

“Winning the title last year was such a momentous moment in my career in hospitality. When I started my journey in bartending, I never thought it would lead me to where it has, and I feel honoured to be part of such a close-knit Australian community that continues to bat well above its weight on the global stage”.

“The World Class bartending competition is an inspiring and energising journey, and I continue to take the lessons learned and friendships forged with me in my career. I encourage any bartender who is thinking about it to have a go and test yourself – what you can prove to yourself is extraordinary”.  

The World Class Studios where bartenders will get all the information surrounding the challenges is now open. Registrations for the opening round challenge are open from now until midnight on April 17th.

For more information and to register for World Class 2022, please visit Diageo Bar Academy. More details will be announced in the coming months.

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