The state’s top bartenders put their skills to the test before a panel of judges Tuesday, and a Winooski woman emerged as the 2019 Vermont Bartender of the Year.
Hosted by the Green Mountain Chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, the competition required more than an excellent beverage. The six finalists had to complete a timed exam and show off their multitasking skills.
“The judges were very focused on the bartender’s ability to provide service in the form of answering questions, pour things properly, and serve them in the proper order,“ said Neil Goldberg, secretary of the local U.S.B.G. chapter. “This was about the bartender’s ability to interact with guests and tell that Vermont story.“
The winner of Tuesday’s final round was Emily Morton of Winooski, who gave a nod to her competitors.
“I’m really excited honestly,“ Emily said. “My fellow competitors in this round are some of the best in Vermont, some of the best bartenders in the state who provide the most amazing service.“
Morton won a $500 cash prize and will be recognized at the next Vermont Tourism Summit awards dinner.
Andrew Volk, who served as one of the judges, said the contestants did a great job encapsulating the spirit of Vermont in their drinks.
“They were serving us everything from Whistle Pig to Barr Hill to Stonecutter, as well as Vermont beers and wines,“ Volk said. “All six of the competitors did a good job highlighting Vermont, not just as a place for skiing or the outdoors, but eating and drinking.“