On Monday, October 19, six of Auburn’s most talented bartenders met at The Hotel at Auburn University for the 2020 Bartender of the Year Regional Competition. The event is presented by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association.

Area bartenders entered the local competition hoping to advance to the state final. Competitors were judged on taste, accuracy, showmanship, crowd interaction, and speed. The top three finalists received cash prizes and awards. Congratulations to:

1st Place: Neil Cooper, Lucy’s

2nd Place: Nick Ware, Lower Lounge (Montgomery)

3rd Place: Brandon Howard, The Hound

On November 2, Neil will join other regional winners in Montgomery for the state competition. The winner will be crowned Alabama’s 2020 Bartender of the Year and take home the trophy and $1,500 grand prize.

Due to COVID, the competition was not open to the public this year. The annual competition is sponsored by Old Forester, United-Johnson Brothers of Alabama, and Sculpture Hospitality. Special thanks to Auburn-Opelika Tourism for being a sponsor of the regional competition.

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