Texas Bourbon Distillery Announces Semi-Finalists in Statewide Bartender Competition

Texas’ Top Bartenders Test Their Talents to Win $10,000 prize

AUSTIN, TEXAS —March 6, 2019 —Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, announced today the semi-finalists in its Bourbon Brawlcontest, a statewide bartender competition with a hefty prize of $10,000 cash.The results are in and the five semi-finalists for each city have been determined. They are:

●Andrew Grenz, Fairmont
●Leenie Boyle, Better Half
●Priscilla Aragon, Central Standard
●Terance Robson, Here Nor There
●Caer Maiko Ferguson, TheEleanor

●Scott Jenkins, HIDE
●Christian Rodriguez, ABV Establishment
●Hugo Onsorio, Bourbon &Banter at The Statler
●Jorge Herrera, Up on Knox
●Forrest Gilmore, Whiskey Cake | Las Colinas

Fort Worth
●Haley Oswalt, Fixe Southern House
●Jacob Peters, Whiskey & Rye at Omni Hotel
●Brittany Day, Thompson’s Bookstore
●Elizabeth Burgard, Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
●Matthew Gutierrez, Bird Café

●Cody Northcutt, Ready Room
●Rigo Aranguren, Mastro’s Steakhouse
●Dakota Jones, Whiskey Cake | Baybrook
●James Cone, Wicklow Heights
●Will Wagner, Pinkerton’s BBQ

San Antonio
●Priscilla Velasco, Zocca at The Westin
●Robbie Olivarez, Hotel Havana
●James Goodman, Rebelle at Hotel St. Anthony
●Raimond Cordero, The Edison Experiment
●Amanda Bianchi, Supper at Hotel Emma

Tentative dates of the spectator-focused contests are as follows. Time and location details will be released soon.

●Thursday, March 28 Houston Semi-Finals
●Thursday, April 4 San Antonio Semi-Finals
●Thursday, April 11 Dallas Semi-Finals
●Friday, April 12 Fort Worth Semi-Finals
●Thursday, April 18 Austin Semi-Finals
●Thursday, May 2 Austin Finals

Qualifying contestants must have participated in Garrison Brothers’ Bourbon Takeover of Texas, a full week during which50 distinguished bars and restaurants across Texas featured dishes and libations incorporating Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon. Throughout the Bourbon Takeover of Texas, the Garrison Brothers team visited every participating location to taste, critique, examine, and enjoy the creations, considering each for potential advancement to the next round of competition.

“The level of talent I witnessed over the past week was truly breathtaking,” said Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery. “Traversing the state and listening to the stories behind each bartender’s cocktail inspiration was an excellent way to celebrate Texas’s 183rd birthday.”

Selected from the top mixologists in the Lone Star State, the 25 semi-finalists are now one step closer to winning the $10,000 cash prize from Garrison Brothers’ 501(c)3 public charity Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. These bartenders will vie to represent their city in a five-round, Top Chef-style matchup to determine who will advance to the third round. Each city’s winner will be flown to Austin to compete in the Final Five Showcase, taking place in the Capitol City on May 2. Stakes are high, but money isn’t the only driving force in this contest. The winner of the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl will receive menu placement as the official cocktail of Dallas Restaurant Week, the opportunity to instruct a series of cocktail classes at Total Wine and Morelocations throughout Texas, and a guest bartending spot at Whiskey on the Rockin Las Vegas.

“To prepare for the Bourbon Brawl I went back to the basics,” said Austin semifinalist Andrew Grenz, Beverage Manager at the Fairmont. “I took inspiration from the main raw ingredient of bourbon —corn —and created a cocktail that would go well with food. Having a direct connection to the spirit was important, as was creating a cocktail that would ultimately pair with the food served at Garrison, Fairmont’s Modern American Grill House.” (No relation to Garrison Brothers Distillery.)

“If I won the $10K prize,” continued Grenz, “I would donate a portion of it to Austin Pets Alive! and save the remainder to help open my own bar in the future.”

For more information on Bourbon Brawl or Garrison Brothers Distillery, visit garrisonbros.com and follow Garrison Brothers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @garrisonbros.


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 waiting list 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, made-from-scratch 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 American Craft SpiritAwards in 2018, the Garrison Brothers team was awarded a gold medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon, a silver medal for its 2016 Small Batch Bourbon, and another silver for its Balmorhea Double Barrel 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 garrisonbros.com or follow @garrisonbros on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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.

MEDIA CONTACTBryan Gonzales | 512-797-8579 | bryan@giantnoise.com| garrisonbros@giantnoise.com