Garrison Brothers Distillery and Texas Monthly Crown New Yorker Albert Pero III as 2022 Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year

Austin, TX  (July 7, 2022) – Garrison Brothers Distillery, the award-winning first-legal whiskey distillery in Texas, and Texas Monthly have announced that the winner of the 2022 Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year is Albert Pero III. New York based Albert Pero III (Albie) is the founder and creator of Spirit for Spirits, a bartending battle You Tube show that highlights all the amazing things people in the spirits industry are doing, both behind the bar and behind the bottle. Albie’s winning cocktail at The Bourbon Brawl Finale in Austin on June 30, 2002 was the “BD4”.

“It brings me such pride and joy to see our nation’s finest bartenders come together to make magic with our Garrison Brothers bourbon. There is nothing better than watching talented artists display their mastery. The finalists and their cocktails this year were so incredibly creative. Albert’s winning BD4 is true excellence!” shares Dan Garrison, Founder Garrison Brothers Distillery.

Albert Pero III’s winning cocktail, “BD4”, is a twist on a Manhattan inspired by Albert’s childhood trips to Yankee stadium. He mixes Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon with vermouth, earl grey tea syrup, chocolate and cherry bark vanilla bitters and garnishes with ground cinnamon. Bourbon Brawl partner Cocktail Courier will be offering this winning cocktail as the 2022 Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl Cocktail Kit, available for order and shipping nationwide from July 7 – August 7, 2022. 

“This cocktail is a Manhattan twist with a nod to my dad and I taking trips to Yankee Stadium. We’d eat chocolate and vanilla twist ice cream out of little baseball helmets together and this is a story of those flavors. The three trains that will take you from Manhattan to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx are the B,D, and 4!” says Albert Pero III, 2022 Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year.

Each year, Bourbon Brawl seeks to award the person who displays the best in total breadth and aptitude as a professional bartender, encompasses notable knowledge of Garrison Brothers Distillery, has the ability to understand and create balanced cocktails, demonstrates technical skill, maintains cleanliness and bar-side manner, and has an overall impressive presentation style mixed with genuine hospitality. 

This year’s seven judges were: Garrison Brothers founder, Dan Garrison; Garrison Brothers Master Distiller, Donnis Todd; 2021 Bourbon Brawl Winner, Josh Davey (The Blind Pig); Elisabeth Forsythe (Republic National Distributing Company); Lisa Marie Selman (Breakthru Beverage); Vincent Lavayen (Epicurean Hotel); Michael Pernicano (Union Square Café); and Charles Antony Abou-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist).

The five finalists that competed in Bourbon Brawl Finale in Austin on June 30th were Albert Pero III (New York), Graham Comstock (Tampa), Rachel Keeney (Orange County), Ryan Smith (Houston), and Zachary McMahon (Chicago).

The 2022 Bourbon Brawl Finale, held in Austin and attended by over 500 cheering fans and bourbon lovers, consisted of three rounds. The first, featuring batched cocktails from each bartender’s online submission using Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon. The second, presenting a new cocktail using Garrison Brothers HoneyDew Bourbon. The third had the top two scorers facing off to create a final cocktail from a table of mystery ingredients for the judges to critique with the top scoring bartender named the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year.

“It’s true what they say: Everything is bigger in Texas, including our love of bourbon whiskey. Made in Texas by Texans, Garrison Brothers is imbued with the spirit of our great state from barrel to bottle, making it the finest bourbon in Texas and beyond. We were excited to work with them on another successful Bourbon Brawl cocktail competition and share their great taste with our fellow Texans.” Shared Jalaane Levi-Garza, Chief Revenue Officer for Texas Monthly.

The Bourbon Brawl 2022 Finale also included a silent auction with items available from Good Bourbon For a Good Cause as well as a special pop-up shop booth from another Texas icon: Kendra Scott.  The beloved Austin-founded brand offered a fine selection of their jewelry with 20% of sales from the event being donated to Good Bourbon For a Good Cause as well as a donation match of $1000. Overall, the silent auction raised $13,500.

Bourbon Brawl is an annual competition that was created by Garrison Brothers in 2019 to connect and cultivate community within the hospitality industry as well as reward and amplify the talented creatives within craft cocktails world. Garrison Brothers is sold throughout the Continental U.S and across the world in seven other countries including Japan and Canada. For more information on Garrison Brothers and to shop online, go to

For the competition’s complete rules and regulations, go to

To purchase BD4, the 2022 Bourbon Brawl winning cocktail kit on Cocktail Courier, go to

Albert Pero III as 2022 Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year won:

  • Cash prize of $10,000
  • Single Barrel (15-gallon) for personal consumption only
  • Judging position in the 2023 Bourbon Brawl Bartender Competition

Prizing is provided by, the world’s largest online community for spirited professionals.

Bourbon Brawl 2022 consisted of three phases:

Online Submissions | March 1st, 2022 – April 12th, 2022 

Nearly 300 bartenders across the country submitted their best cocktail recipes using Small Batch Bourbon to a panel of experts to review and decide who will advance to the semi-final round. The winners who would be heading to the Semi-Finals were announced on April 19, 2022.

The Semi-Finals | May 9th, 2022 – June 6th, 2022 

Semi-finalists competed across the country in Houston, Tampa, NYC, Chicago, and Orange County. The semi-finals took place in two rounds, with the online cocktail submissions being scored by the judging panel in the first and a batched version of the cocktail being voted on by industry professionals in the second. The bartenders with the top overall score from each competition advanced to The Finals in Austin, TX.

The Finals | June 30, 2022

The finals were open to the public, featured one bartender from each of the semi-final markets and took place in three rounds. The first featured batched cocktails prepared by each bartender for consumers to try and vote on. The second round tasked each bartender with presenting a new recipe using Garrison Brothers HoneyDew Bourbon on-stage in front of a panel of industry judges. Albert Pero III and Zachary McMahon advanced to the final round. In the final round, the two bartenders faced off against a table of mystery ingredients to create the best cocktail for the panel of judges to critique. The top scorer, Albert Pero III, was named the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl Bartender of the Year. His cocktail BD4 will be available to order and experience via Cocktail Courier’s Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl Cocktail Kit shipping nationwide from July 7 – August 7, 2022. 



Garrison Brothers Distillery is a small farm and ranch located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that authentically produces straight bourbon whiskey. Garrison Brothers introduced the first bourbon whiskey legally made in Texas in 2010 and has since developed a rabid fan base. They currently have a waitlist of more than 18,000 just to volunteer on bottling days, and their Cowboy Bourbon™ normally sells out within hours of its release. Garrison Brothers is the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas history and is one of the first distilleries in America outside of Kentucky to produce authentic, handmade bourbon whiskey—and only bourbon whiskey.

Every expression of Garrison Brothers bourbon is made from a sweet mash bill and barrel-aged in the intense Texas climate. The extreme heat creates multiple aging seasons in a year, resulting in a darker, richer, and fuller bourbon; bolder than almost any other bourbon on the market.

At the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2021, Garrison Brothers’ Laguna Madre was awarded a Double Gold Medal along with one Silver Medal for Single Barrel and three Bronze Medals. At the Denver International Spirits Competition, Garrison Brothers won Best of Show in 2021, taking 1st place for their Cowboy Bourbon. Garrison Brothers was voted Best Craft Whiskey Distillery in America by readers of USA Today in 2017. 

Garrison Brothers is a proud and active member of the communities of Blanco, Fredericksburg, Hye, Johnson City, and Stonewall. The distillery and its barrel barns are open to the public for tours in Hye, Texas. Anyone interested in learning more about Garrison Brothers Bourbon or in taking a tour of the distillery should visit or follow @garrisonbros on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Texas Monthly publishes vivid, longform storytelling about the Lone Star State, along with reported analysis of its most important trends, and helpful advice on how to best enjoy the state’s many pleasures. Founded in 1973 as a print magazine, Texas Monthly has expanded to serve its audience on multiple platforms, including, live events, videos, and binge-worthy podcasts. It has won 14 National Magazine awards, the Oscars of its industry, and reaches a total monthly audience across all platforms of 30.2 million people. Follow Texas Monthly on Facebook @texas.monthly.magazine, Twitter @TexasMonthly, and Instagram @texasmonthly.

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