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Katie Renshaw Named 2019 U.S. Bartender of the Year During USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo

SHELBYVILLE, Ky., June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Now in its eighth year, the United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) World Class Sponsored by Diageo announced Katie Renshaw as the 2019 U.S. Bartender of the Year following a two-day, five-challenge competition that culminated at the brand new, immersive, soon-to-open Bulleit Distilling Co. Visitor Experience on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Based in Chicago, IL Renshaw's flawless attention to detail and outside-the-box thinking immediately caught the eye of the judges' table leading her to win the Bulleit Final Frontier Challenge as well as the national title. In addition to winning the title of 2019 U.S. bartender of the year, Renshaw will collaborate with the Bulleit Distilling Co. bar manager to create signature cocktails that provide visitors a premium and innovative experience at the new Bulleit Distilling Co. cocktail bar. 

Katie Renshaw named 2019 U.S. Bartender of the Year at the USBG World Class Finals sponsored by Diageo. (Photo Credit: Shannon Sturgis)

The competition brought together 15 of the nation's top bartenders who are pushing craft mixology's boundaries through innovative cocktails perfect for food pairings, flavor profile assessments and more with the ultimate goal of representing the U.S. at the global competition in Glasgow, Scotland this September. This year's USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo U.S. applicant pool saw thousands of talented individuals from around the country compete in regional challenges that tested creativity and spirits knowledge, as well as speed, precision and presentation. In total, only 15 bartenders advanced to nationals that were hosted in Lexington, KY and culminated with Finals at Bulleit Distilling Co.'s Visitor Experience in Shelbyville, KY, just forty-five minutes from Louisville and Lexington.

"Winning United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) World Class Sponsored by Diageo has been one of my biggest dreams since I started bartending, especially with getting a pass-off from Lauren Newman who I competed with last year, and who really inspired me to be myself in this competition," said Katie Renshaw.

Between June 9th and June 10th, competitors showcased their abilities to seamlessly merge art and science, and taste and technology, to create cocktails featuring a selection of Diageo Reserve brands including Bulleit® Bourbon, CIROC® Vodka, Johnnie Walker® Blended Scotch Whisky, Ketel One® Vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN® Gin, Tequila Don Julio®, TALISKER® Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Zacapa® Rum. This final round of competition was judged by a mix of six award-winning cocktail bar owners, and nationally and globally recognized beverage industry influencers, including 2018 US winner Laura Newman, 2018 Global winner Orlando Marzo and acclaimed bartenders and educators such as Julie Reiner, Anu Elford, Jackson Cannon and Charles Joly.

The USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo mission is to unite the hospitality industry to advance professional bartending and elevate the craft. This is the eighth year for the U.S., and the 11th year globally. While the competition takes place in the spring and summer, education and events occur year-round. Day one in Lexington drew upon Kentucky's heritage, asking first for a complementary or contrasting cocktail to pair with a classic Southern dessert staple, followed by a second challenge to create a best-selling signature drink that fit within a fictitious restaurant's theme and dinner menu. Day two's challenges at Bulleit Distilling Co.'s Visitor Experience were inspired by the whiskey brand's frontier spirit and commitment to technology + culture. Each cocktail used a cutting-edge technique or unexpected technology that took skill, imagination and outside the box collaboration. Two speed rounds completed the competition featuring a challenge to mix, pour and garnish six classic cocktails and two wild card drinks highlighting a DIAGEO Reserve Brand that was assigned at random, all the while engaging with the judges in 10 minutes or less.

"Each year I think I've seen it all with the awesome level of skill and passion this competition inspires," said Aaron Gregory Smith, Executive Director of the USBG. "But every year I am blown away. The talent pool is deep, but the best part is the continued opportunity for growth and success that exists within our tight-knit bartending community."

Taylor Blades, Director of On Premise for Diageo North America adds, "The creativity and commitment to the craft we saw from this year's competitors is outstanding. Being able to partner with USBG on such an empowering program and hosting it at Bulleit Distilling Co.'s incredible new Visitor Experience that speaks to the power of partnership with bartenders around the country, is an honor.  The last eight years have been incredible, and it's just the beginning."

USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo finalists also enjoyed a sneak peek behind the scenes at Bulleit Distilling Co.'s new Visitor Experience that will open soon this summer. From a technologically advanced, sensory-rich bar experience, to eco-friendly and sustainable practices throughout the facility, the finalists were the first guests hosted – appropriate for a brand built by bartenders and named as the best-selling brand at the world's best bars for multiple years by Drinks International.

Cocktails created for the duration of this year's competition can be found on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @WorldClassUS. When showcasing your own mixology or sampling award-winning recipes from this year's competitors, USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo reminds you to do so responsibly.

Created by 2019 U.S. Bartender of the Year Katie Renshaw

1 oz Bulleit 10
1 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz coconut milk-oolong syrup
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz lime juice
1 oz cardamom-infused cream
1 egg white
Soda water
1/4 cup coffee-bourbon caviar


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake, and pour into a collins glass over a collins spear ice cube. Garnish with Coconut ash, engraved lemon peel

Ideal Serve:
Collins Glass

For additional information about the program and for details on the upcoming global competition, follow hashtags #worldclassus, worldclass2019 and #roadtoscotland on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out online at and

About USBG
Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders' Guild®️ is a non-profit professional society of bartenders and other hospitality professionals uniting the hospitality community to advance professional bartending. The USBG believes that every US bartender achieves greater personal and professional success by connecting to diverse local and national hospitality communities. Through our network of over 40 communities nationwide, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, community service projects, and skills-based competition. 

About Diageo: 
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan's and Windsorwhiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people and its brands, visit For Diageo's global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

About Bulleit:
Bulleit is one of the fastest-growing whiskeys in America, founded in 1987 by Tom Bulleit, who attributes that growth to bartenders and cultural partners who've adopted it as their own. The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey portfolio is distilled and aged in the Bulleit family tradition, using a distinctive high rye recipe, which gives them a bold, spicy taste. Most recently, Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon won a Double Gold medal and Best Straight Bourbon at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Now ranked as one of the fastest-growing whiskeys in America, Bulleit Distilling Co. calls Shelbyville, Ky. home since the 2017 opening of its state-of-the-art distillery and the much-anticipated spring 2019 opening of its high-tech and sensory-rich Visitor Experience. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the past, present and future of Bulleit when visiting this latest addition to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. For more information, visit or follow @Bulleit on Instagram.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.



Alex Stathis

Kristen Daniels

Allison Fleischer

Taylor PR

Diageo North America

Diageo North America



Nic Wallace competes in the Speed Round Showdown at the USBG 2019 World Class Finals

USBG 2019 World Class finalists in front of the soon-to-open Bulleit Distilling Co. Visitor Experience (left to right) back row: Rebecca Edwards, Katie Renshaw, Adam Fournier, Joshua Haddock, James DeFrance. Front row: Samuel Penton, Henry Whittaker, Kevin King, Lauren Paylor, Slava Borisov, Jason Seele, Leanne Favre, Patrick Abalos, Nic Wallace, Christina Mercado

Rebecca Edwards competes in the Speed Round Showdown at the USBG 2019 World Class Finals

Award-winning FLEX YO HUSTLE cocktail, created by 2019 U.S. Bartender of the Year Katie Renshaw. (Photo Credit: Shannon Sturgis)

Katie Renshaw flexing her craft during the Speed Round Showdown at the USBG 2019 World Class Finals

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