Hill Country bourbon maker challenges top bartenders from major Texas cities to vie for the title of “Best in Texas”
AUSTIN, TEXAS — October 12, 2020 — Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, and Texas Monthly, the national magazine of Texas, announced today the virtual adaptation of their statewide bartender competition, Bourbon Brawl 2020. The contest was originally supposed to take place in May but was postponed in light of the pandemic. Now, in lieu of an in-person event, Bourbon Brawl 2020 will take place entirely online on Thursday, November 19.
Garrison Brothers and Texas Monthly have partnered with Sourced Craft Cocktails, a cocktail curation and delivery service, to provide custom cocktail kits for guests to order and receive prior to the virtual Finals event where one kit will be selected as the winner. The grand prize? $12,500 from a public charity called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, founded by the Garrison Family and their staff in 2018. Not to mention the opportunity to take the title of Bourbon Brawl 2020 Champions home to their respective Texas city.
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 of these five major Texas cities: Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.
The semi-finals and final event of Bourbon Brawl 2020 were initially slated to take place throughout March, April, and May. After postponing the events several times due to COVID-19, the Garrison Brothers team decided to change the format so it could still take place safely this year.
The five semi-finalists from each city have collaborated to create one cocktail that represents their city using ingredients from a list provided by Sourced Craft Cocktails.
“This partnership with Sourced not only makes Bourbon Brawl 2020 possible despite the event limitations of the pandemic, but it also prepares Texas bartenders to create the ‘cocktails of the future,’” said Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery. “By challenging them to create cocktails from ingredients that ship well and working through the process of curating a cocktail kit with Sourced, they’re learning valuable skills that will hopefully help them evolve with the industry.”
The Bourbon Brawl 2020 cocktail kits can be purchased via this link for $212.40 and will be available for pre-order through Sourced from October 12 through November 12. The kits will be delivered just before the Finals event on November 19. Guests are encouraged to order the five-in-one cocktail kit that includes everything needed to make two full servings of each of the following cocktails:
Fort Worth’s Chisholm Two-Step
The Chisholm Two-Step will put some boogie back in your boots with a jolt of Chai Tea Latte concentrate and a complement of sarsaparilla-infused Simple Syrup, giving an entirely new meaning to the legendary “Texas Tea”. If you’re looking for a good way to start off a night at the dancehall, look no further.
Dallas’ Snake In My Boot
Don’t let the mellow coconut sugar syrup and warm, smooth bourbon goodness fool you: the combo of tart cherry juice and muddle jalapeno slice ensures that this snake has plenty of bite! This will be the only snake you ever want to find in your boot.
San Antonio’s Alamo City
Just like the Alamo, this simple South Texas sipper is easy to remember! With notes of fruit and rosemary adding a bit of lightness to a generous pour of Garrison Brothers bourbon, the Alamo City would be a perfect companion to any day on the Riverwalk.
Austin’s MIA (Missing In Austin)
Go off the grid for a while with this fruit-focused delight, featuring pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, and plenty more. When you wrap up these fruity notes in the warm caramel cradle of bourbon, you get an entire night on Sixth Street all rolled into one.
Houston’s The Pho-Kit
Say “Pho-Kit” and turn your cocktail into a savory meal in a glass! This unique combination of curry powder, chili oil, and fish sauce melds with honey syrup to bring out every spicy note you can find in a pour of Garrison Brothers.
Each city’s semi-finalists have been invited to Austin for the Finals event on November 19, where only select Garrison Brothers and Texas Monthly staff will be in attendance. The select staff will judge each cocktail in person in a socially-distanced, COVID-safe environment. Guests are invited to tune in virtually, taste each cocktail, and vote on the winning drink amongst themselves.
“Good bourbon has the power to change the world and that’s exactly what we want to do with this competition. We want to permanently and positively change someone’s world,” said Garrison.
To this end, the $12,500 cash prize will be paid out by Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, a 501(c)3 public charity. The money will be split evenly between the five bartenders representing the winning city.
“I’ve seen how creative, competitive, passionate, and innovative the Texas talent is, especially when times are tough,” Garrison said. “That’s just one of the many reasons I’m excited for the virtual edition of Bourbon Brawl 2020.”
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. 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 15,000 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. The business was founded in 2006.
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 Twice-Barreled Bourbon, a silver medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon, and a bronze for its Small Batch Bourbon. Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible named Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon™ “American Micro Whiskey of the Year” in 2014 and again in 2017. Whiskey Bible awarded the same distinction to Balmorhea Twice-Barreled Bourbon for 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 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 primarily, but not exclusively, in Blanco and Gillespie counties of Texas and also to charitable organizations that serve current and former American military personnel. 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 such as coping with memories of torture, lost friends, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
● Organizations dedicated to conserving and preserving nature, wildlife, green spaces, or historical landmarks and historical sites.
● Other charitable organizations that the board of directors determine to be within the intent and spirit of the formation of this corporation.
To date, the organization has raised and contributed close to $200,000.
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 SOURCED CRAFT COCKTAILS
Sourced is a craft cocktail service that partners with Off Premise retail partners across the country to bring their spirits and Sourced curated, non alcoholic mixers for classic cocktail kits right to your door. Currently offering services in Austin, Dallas, NYC, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC, Sourced prides themselves in “Crafting Experiences at Moments that Matter.”
Sourced’s gourmet cocktail kits are delivered to homes by bartenders who have been put out of work by the bar and restaurant closures by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Knowing how many bars and restaurants are closed right now and how many bartenders are out of work, we are honored to help support them by putting them back to work, delivering quality cocktails in partnership with local Off Premise retail partners through this consumer program,” said Tim Angelillo, Founder of Sourced Craft Cocktails.
Sourced is proud to provide bartenders who are currently out of work due to bar closures across America the ability to earn a livable wage by delivering your order. If you or someone you know needs work, please contract at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be added to the shift schedule.
Visit sourcedcraftcocktails.com or follow @sourcedcraftcocktails on Facebook and Instagram.