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Blog: World’s Biggest Bartending Competition Reveals Glasgow As Location for 2019 Global Finals

The very brightest and best of the drinks community will next September descend on Scotland’s cultural capital, Glasgow, to see the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year crowned.

Glasgow is a city renowned for its creatives and collaborators, and its resident musicians and comedians, actors and artists, all combine to make it somewhere that is having a real impact on the world’s stage. In recent years it has played host to internationally-revered events, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and MTV EMAs, and its nightlife scene is booming, with new concept bars and gastronomic spaces opening at a phenomenal pace, such as the vibrant, California-inspired So L.A. on Mitchell Street, and the UK’s first ‘gin spa’ in Merchant City, launched by the team behind renowned gin bar, Gin71.[1]

Preeminent spirits writer and Glasgow-native, Dave Broom, shares his view on the city: “Glasgow? It’s the beating heart of Scotland. The country’s largest city, one which has always been a centre of invention and reinvention. The former heartland of industrialisation is now a place of swagger and confidence, of grand architecture and noisy pubs, galleries and a thriving music scene, populated by people who want to spend time with you and tell you jokes. Constantly. A place of surprises, a treasure box of a city in all its messy, thrilling, madness.”

Making the announcement, Emily Wheldon, Global Head of World Class, said: “We are hugely proud to be bringing the World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals to Scotland, the home of so many of Diageo’s much-loved spirits. Glasgow will be an exciting hub for festivities, and the perfect backdrop for the world’s best bartenders to show off their incredible talent.”

Over 10,000 bartenders from every corner of the world are expected to take part in the competition with the very best talent invited to compete in the Global Finals in Glasgow.

At a time when cocktail culture is exploding all over the world, it’s also appropriate that the world’s biggest bartending competition returns to where the story of many Diageo brands began.

Christine McCafferty, manager of Diageo’s archives, comments: “Scotland is an amazing location to host the 11th World Class Global Finals – home to all our iconic Scotch including, Johnnie Walker, Talisker, The Singleton and Mortlach.

“The west coast of Scotland in particular holds a special place in the story of many of these brands. It was here that nearly 200 years ago brands like Johnnie Walker first left Scotland on their journey to bring their iconic taste to the four corners of the world.

“For the world’s best bartenders to compete at the home of so many of their favourite spirits will add a brilliant extra incentive to this year’s competition.”

In October this year, Australia’s Orlando Marzo clinched the 2018 World Class Bartender of the Year trophy in Berlin.

Since its launch in 2009, Diageo Reserve World Class has been one of the world’s leading advocates for the drinks industry, working with the world’s best bartenders to make people care about what, where and how they drink. For more information, please visit or follow #WorldClass2019.

[1] 10 new bars and restaurants coming to Glasgow this spring’, Glasgow Live, 7 March 2018

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