Five San Antonio bartenders split $12,500 grand prize, win first place out of 75 competitors from across the state
AUSTIN, TEXAS — November 23, 2020 — Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, and Texas Monthly, the national magazine of Texas, announced today that a team of five bartenders from San Antonio has won their 2020 Bourbon Brawl contest, a statewide bartender competition that came to a close last night. Originally an in-person event, Bourbon Brawl 2020 was adapted to a COVID-safe format through a partnership with Sourced: Craft Cocktails. Sourced packaged and delivered kits of all five team’s cocktails to guests, which allowed them to participate in the final round by tuning-in, tasting each cocktail and casting their vote for the best.
25 bartenders, five from Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Houston, were chosen to compete in the final round of the virtual competition. The San Antonio team is taking home a grand prize of $12,500 as well as the title of Bourbon Brawl 2020 Champions. The $12,500 prize is from a 501(c)3 public charity called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, founded by the Garrison Family and their staff in 2018. The money will be split evenly between the five bartenders.
San Antonio team members include:
- Trinh Quan Huy-Philip
- Gladys Estrada
- Cruz Gutierrez
- Michelle Stephenson
- Johnny Yumol
How did they do it? In February 2020, contestants submitted a cocktail recipe to Garrison Brothers. A panel of drinks experts judged each cocktail blind, and chose 75 bartenders to proceed to the next round. Each of the 75 bartenders’ venues featured their cocktail for two weeks, while the Garrison Brothers team visited each location to judge the cocktail along with the service. After that, they selected 25 mixologists to compete in the semi-finals, five from each major Texas city.
The five semi-finalists from each city collaborated to create one cocktail that represents their hometown. For San Antonio, it was the Alamo City cocktail that carried them to victory. This delightful combination of fresh watermelon juice, hand-squeezed lime juice, rosemary simple syrup, and Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon spoke to the rich history and vibrant culture of the city.
Each city’s semi-finalists were then invited to Austin for the Finals event on November 19, where only select Garrison Brothers and Texas Monthly staff were in attendance. The panel of judges included:
- Dan Garrison, Founder and Proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery
- Donnis Todd, Master Distiller at Garrison Brothers Distillery
- Claudia Alarcón, Forbes Contributor
- Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor
- Terance Robson, 2019 Bourbon Brawl Champion
In further efforts to keep Bourbon Brawl 2020 COVID-safe, Garrison Brothers and Texas Monthly partnered with Sourced Craft Cocktails, a cocktail curation and delivery service, to create custom cocktail kits available for purchase and delivery in each major city. Those who purchased a cocktail kit were able to follow along with every cocktail made in the final competition, then cast their vote for the winner.
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ABOUT GARRISON BROTHERS DISTILLERY
Garrison Brothers Distillery is a small farm and ranch located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that authentically produces straight bourbon whiskey and only 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 17,000 people hoping to land a spot 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. The business was founded in 2006, though rumor has it they may have started production a little earlier.
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 2020, the Garrison Brothers team was awarded a double gold medal for its Balmorhea Double-Barreled Bourbon, a silver medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon, and a bronze medal for its Small Batch Bourbon. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon™ “American Micro Whisky of the Year” in 2014 and again in 2017. The Whisky Bible also awarded the same distinction to Balmorhea Double-Barreled Bourbon in 2019 and 2020. 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 garrisonbros.com or follow @garrisonbros on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ABOUT TEXAS MONTHLY
Texas Monthly, the national magazine of Texas, has chronicled life in contemporary Texas since 1973, reporting on vital issues such as politics, the environment, industry, and education. Texas Monthly produces elite journalism across print, digital, and live platforms that captures the unique spirit of Texas and speaks to Texans. The magazine is known for astute political commentary and compelling longform narrative nonfiction. As a leisure guide, it is the indispensable authority on the Texas scene, covering music, the arts, travel, restaurants, museums, and cultural events with its insightful recommendations. Texas Monthly has a reputation for providing its readers with the highest editorial and design quality and has won fourteen National Magazine Awards. For more information, visit TexasMonthly.com.
ABOUT GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE
In association with the distilled spirits community, GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE is the beneficiary of marketing and promotional events conducted for philanthropic purposes. Funds of GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE are distributed to charitable organizations in Blanco and Gillespie counties of Texas and also to charitable organizations that serve current and former American military personnel nationwide. The types of charitable causes that are supported include, but are not limited to:
- Organizations that help current or former American military veterans and their families
- Organizations that help former American military personnel get back to leading a rewarding life
- Organizations that help American veterans recover from debilitating medical, mental health, or psychological challenges
- Organizations dedicated to conserving and preserving nature, wildlife, green spaces, or historical landmarks and historical sites.
- Other charitable organizations that the board of directors determines to be within the intent and spirit of the formation of this corporation.
To date, the nonprofit organization has raised and contributed close to $500,000.