Brown Forman Spirit Quest

Brown Forman Spirit Quest
October 22, 2015 Trevor Kailles

Brown Forman and the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association are thrilled to announce second edition of the BF/CPBA Spirit Quest. Winner will get the opportunity to visit the Brown Forman Home of their Choosing, either:

Woodford Reserve and The Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Casa Herradura and Tequila, Mexico
Nashville, Tennessee and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery
New Orleans Louisianna, home if Southern Comfort

We invite 20 of BC’s most adventurous bartenders on a journey…a quest if you will…that will test their skills in more than just cocktail creating, it will be an opportunity for them to demonstrate their insight into their craft and their business,  to create the best experience for their customers, inspired by their favorite Brown Forman brand.

To Enter the competition please Click Here.

The 20 contestants will be chosen simply on a first-come-first-serve basis, asked only to answer three ‘skill-testing’ questions to qualify. **

They will select in the order their application was received from a menu of Brown Forman Brands, the following brands will be available: You must either have available or be able to list your assigned brand at your bar.

4 x Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
2 x Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey
1 x Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel
2 x Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Liqueur
2 x Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Liqueur
2 x Southern Comfort Liqueur
1 x El Jimador 100% Agave Tequila
2 x Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1 x Chambord Liqueur
1 x Finlandia Vodka
2 x Collingwood Canadian Whiskey
1x Herradura Tequila

And will be challenged with the following task:

We as professional bartenders now live in an age of accessibility to our communities; the success of our careers and bars is a responsibility we share with our employers. Entrants in the Spirit Quest will be judged not only on their bartending skills but also on their imagination and creativity in promoting themselves, their place of business, and their chosen brand. This competition is all about the fun of the whole job.

Entries will be judged based on the following:

The Cocktail: 30% of your total score.

Yes, this is still a bar skills competition so there must be a cocktail developed and presented to the judges using your chosen brand. You may choose how to use your brand in the cocktail in terms of proportion, infusions, etc, just remember that this is about promoting the brand appropriately within the context of your place of work. The scoring breakdown for this portion is attached to this email.

The Concept 35%

This is the great equalizer component; plan a promotion with your customers in mind, either the ones you already have, or the ones you want to attract. Use your chosen brand and the cocktail(s) you developed to put together an experience that adds value to your customers and your place of business. We encourage you to be as imaginative as possible but we also acknowledge that as with cocktails, sometimes simpler is better. Whether your idea is big or small, it will be judged on its potential to be an effective event or promotion in achieving its goals. Whether it’s a big production or a small change in your bar’s up-selling or networking strategy, if it is deemed a well-constructed strategy for your place of business, it will be scored accordingly. It may take place in one night or run over the course of the evaluation period. You will also be judged relative to your level of influence in your place of business; whether you are a rookie bartender in an international hotel chain, or a partner in your own cocktail bar, you can always have an opportunity to make an impact. Judges will take into consideration how well that opportunity is utilised when scoring.

The Execution 35%

Did the contestant pull off the concept and what were the results? The judges determination will be based on their experience on the judging night, but the more that can be shown in terms of results (sales, likes, shares, followers, etc), the better. Judges will work with contestants to arrange a date and time for their submissions to be judged. If the submission involves an event portion please make sure that it can be assessed within one hour. Ongoing promotions leading up to the time of judging can be presented in any way you see fit.

As mentioned 20 contestants will enter the competition on a first-come-first-serve basis, entry can be completed via the link provided below. Successful entrants will be informed within 24 hours of submitting an entry.

Brands will be selected in person (or via phone if necessary) in Vancouver as part of the upcoming Attaboy YVR event where successful entrants will be given the opportunity for an exclusive Q and A with Sam Ross and Mickey Mcilroy of the world famous Attaboy New York.

The competition finals wills be held in Victoria, BC in February 2016 (specific date TBD), where the top 10 from the first leg will meet in a black box competition featuring products from the Brown Forman portfolio. These 10 will be chosen from a field of 20 bartenders**, judged at their home bar by a roving team of judges.***

*The Grand Prize trip will be self-guided, issued via travel voucher. Distillery tours will be arranged.

**Entries will be regionally allocated and judged as follows: First round: 16 Vancouver/Lower Mainland, 4 Vancouver  Island, 4 BC Interior/North. Finals: 6 Vancouver/Lower Mainland, 2 Vancouver Island, 2 BC Interior/North

***In the event that the management of a prospective competitor’s place of employment does not wish to participate as a competition location, a host venue will be made available by contest organizers.

Contact CPBA Vice President Simon Ogden at and/or Brown Forman Representative Ryan Cheverie at with any questions or leave in the comments below.