Even a seasoned athlete like Michael Phelps would have been astonished by the amount of throat luging that occured during Yelp's Bartender Olympics event in Sacramento! Yelpers who simply RSVP'd on the site were treated to three vivacious, consecutive nights of bartender competions at Bar R15, Pour House and Barwest!
Each host bar, along with Faces and the newly-opened Purgatory, provided a team of two to compete in various competitions featuring the featured alcohol of the night. Competitions included making their own twist on a classic cocktail, making an original cocktail, speed trials and the "two-headed bartender," where one blindfoled bartender stands behind the other and sloppily attempts to make a drink based solely on instruction and feel! Each team was judged by a panel of guest yelpers based on artistry, taste and on-stage presence,
with the winner getting their cocktail featured at participating venues
for the following month!
The festivities kicked off with a bang on Night #1. Bar R15's modern bar and spacious pool lounge proved a perfect setting for the teams to make a good first impression using the alcohol of the night – Stolichnaya Hot Jalapeno. Purgatory stumbled away with the Gold medal at the end, but not before an action-packed competion that included plenty of hilarious moments, partial nudity, and a seemingly endless stream of "liquid gold" shots to go around! Bar R15 provided a free Stoli round for all and passed appetizers including polenta triagle wedges laced with tasty salsa, pepperoni pizza slices, and yummy cheeesy quesadillas. As Bettina C tells it, "This was one of the most awesome nights ever! The
atmosphere was electric! Screaming fans, great music, a great location. Who could ask for more? The
food was delicious and the room started spinning. It was Stoli-rific!!
To say the least they
started my week off right!"
But this wasn't an alcohol-fueled one-night stand. Night #2 took place across town at the hip, popular and craft-cocktail oriented Pour House. The competitions went faster and the drinks flowed quicker. Our host venue offered up a freeTullamore Dewand ginger to every attendee and laid out plate after plate of goodies like sweet potato fries, wings and grilled cheese sticks. "This was a fun filled evening of 'game' enthusiasts cheering the
bartending participants on," recalls Ida H. "Competition was stiff, like a good stiff drink should be! The featured
alcohol of the night was a unique Irish Whiskey that was creatively utilized in a number of categories such as best
mixed shot, most creative drink and best tasting cocktail. Not since Hercules first originated the
Olympics back in ancient Greece had I really appreciated the true 'spirits' of competition!"
The competition concluded with a fabulous burst of flames (literally) on Night #3 at Barwest, yet another venue that proved ideal for huge crowds to mix and mingle while viewing the ongoing challenges on the stage. Our hilarious host for all three nights, RADIO 94.7DJ Casey Lewis, sped things up even faster than before and threw in extra challenges like a competing team consisting of guest yelpers from the audience! Like any good trilogy, part three took things up a notch and added a second stage and bar designed for dual competitions. The featured alcohol, Sailor Jerry rum, was passed out in waves of sample shots, and each yelper once again recieved a free drink, only this time it was made with any of the alcohols featured during the competition! "When you mix in
the factors of a yelp event – free drinks, free appetizers, photos taken
by professionals, and bartenders making great drinks blindfolded – those
are all ingredients for a great time," reports Sam R. "To see the bartenders make their drinks blindfolded while their partner verbally navigates
them shows their true talents and makes you appreciate what
they do even more as a consumer. A shout out to Barwest for
hosting the event. Definitely one of my best Wednesday nights I've enjoyed (if not the
Congratulations to Pour House for winning the event and dazzling us all with their fabulous Tullamore Dew and house-made ginger drink! Special thank to PHOTOSTUDiO29 and Mellissa Uroff for capturing all
the inebriated memories, and big props to DJ Micro for adding a funky soundtrack to the festivities! Last but not least, a HUGE thank you to trusty and reliable Dustin R for helping to make this vision a reality!