Central Standard to host bartending competition next month

Four local bartenders to compete for $1,000, full set of bar tools

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Evan Hughes and Jared Looze, both of Central Standard Craft Distillery.

Milwaukee’s best bartenders will show off their mixology skills next month as they go head-to-head during an inaugural contest hosted by Central Standard Craft Distillery.

The Milwaukee-based liquor maker recently announced it is seeking four local bartenders to compete in the event, called 86’d: Battle of the Bartenders, taking place Feb. 25 at the Marcus Center’s Vogel Hall in downtown Milwaukee.

The winner of the competition, after being crowned “Milwaukee’s No. 1, Most-Creative Mixologist,” will take home a $1,000 cash prize and full set of Barfly-made bar tools from Milwaukee-based Boelter SuperStore.

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“Hosting ’86’d’ is our small way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those who make Milwaukee the best cocktail drinking city in the country,” said Pat McQuillan, co-founder of Central Standard. “We’re fired up about hosting this new event and hope all of Milwaukee comes out to cheer on their favorite bartenders.”

During the three-round competition, contestants will have only a few minutes to concoct a signature cocktail out of four mystery ingredients and a fully stocked bar.

A panel of judges will critique the drinks based on presentation, taste and creativity before eliminating one bartender each round.

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“Anyone can make a great cocktail with a full bar and a week to plan,” said Evan Hughes, co-founder of Central Standard. “Let’s see how folks do with a ticking clock, four mandatory, mystery ingredients and a panel of Milwaukee’s best drinkers judging them.”

A limited amount of early-bird tickets are available for $15 now through Jan. 25 and regular-priced tickets will go on sale for $20 on Jan. 24 here. Tickets will be available at the door for $25.

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