Competition Overview

USBG Presents World Class Sponsored by DIAGEO offers a great opportunity for bartenders of all skill levels and backgrounds to test themselves, join a community of competitors and judges from around the world, and ultimately become a stronger bartender by focusing on the categories below:

– Education: World Class US provides access to trend-leading training and education programs, through Diageo Bar Academy and World Class Studios, designed to expand the knowledge and skill of trade members

– Mentorship: World Class US provides mentorship opportunities for applicants and competitors from best-in-class industry experts

– Community: This competition enables participants to expand their network globally and join a community of like-minded professionals

– Growth: World Class provides the opportunity for bartenders to learn, challenge themselves and ultimately further their careers

More than a cocktail competition, USBG Presents World Class Sponsored by DIAGEO is rooted in providing trend-leading education and mentorship to bartenders of all skill-levels, while providing opportunities to celebrate their craft, creativity, and passion. The World Class competition is backed by World Class Studios and the vast resources available on Diageo Bar Academy for bartenders of all skill levels. These tools prepare participants with the tools and knowledge to develop their skills both personally and professionally.

– “It’s a holistic style of bartending competition. There are lots of cocktail competitions; but this one really tests everything, your knowledge, your speed, your presentation. And I wanted that challenge of all parts of what it is to be a great bartender.” – Jessi Pollak, 2022 World Class US Bartender of the Year

In this year’s competition, applicants will represent one of three Regions (West, Central, and East). Region assignments are based on an applications current state and state designation can be found on the 2024 World Class Application.

The structure and timeline of 2024 competition will be as follows:

– October 16, 2023: Application Due – All submissions will be blindly-paper judged and scored by the World Class Collective to determine the Top 100 Competitors

– December 2023: Top 100 Announcement – Once determined, the Top 100 will receive a new challenge prompting the creation and submission of a new signature serve. This serve will be re-created by experienced mixologists for tasting and scoring by the World Class Collective to determine the Top 30 Competitors.

– February 2024: Top 30 Announced – The Top 30 will include 10 competitors from each of the (3) Regions. At this stage, the Top 30 will receive a Competition Toolkit outlining several challenge prompts and information to compete in person.

– May 2024: World Class US Competitions – The National and Final Competitions will be a combined event. Together on-site, the Top 30 will compete in a series of challenges to narrow down to the Top 5 Finalists before crowning the 2024 World Class US Bartender of the Year.


No, membership to the USBG is not required to apply to the competition. However, if you’d like to find a chapter near you or renew your membership to the USBG, click here.

Yes! This competition is open to all levels of bartenders. Whether you’re actively bartending or not, you are able to participate in the competition. This competition is open to bartenders of all skill levels and is meant to test bartending abilities while providing valuable tools to improve skill sets.

To determine the Top 100, application submissions will be blind judged by members of the World Class Collective. Judges will review challenge accuracy, craft, and knowledge. Please refer to the application to review the judging rubric to confirm your entry satisfies all requirements.

To determine the Top 30, application submissions will again be blindly judged and recipes re-created following the step-by-step instructions included in your submission. At this point, Judge’s will base their judging on challenge accuracy, craft, flavors & balance, and knowledge.

At the time of the application deadline (October 16, 2023 at 11:59PM PST), only your latest (most recent) submission will be accepted. You do not need to finish your application in one session, by saving the link generated, you can return as many times as needed to complete the form and submit.

To avoid technical difficulties, an outline will be provided for applicant download in the application. It’s recommended to download this sheet, compile inputs offline, and upload your submission when ready. World Class is not responsible for applications past the deadline due to technical difficulties, we recommend you submit as early as possible to avoid last minute technical issues. In the case you have an error on an already submitted application, or if you wish to withdraw your application, please contact worldclass@usbg.org.


This year’s application challenge requires applicants to select one World Class Studio or Diageo Bar Academy Masterclass to complete and take the learnings from that resource to help develop their recipe. Applicants are more than welcome to utilize and reference supplemental resources such as E-Learnings, courses, articles, etc.

World Class Mentorship continues to evolve to best meet the needs of our industry. In the 2024 Competition, mentorship sessions will be hosted for industry members 21+ by on @WorldClassUS via IG Live. Mentors will discuss best practices and preparation tips for the competition, current trends, and professional development. The Top 30 Competitors will have access to one-on-one mentorship with industry experts from the World Class Collective.

To assist competitors in their World Class journey and beyond, World Class is proud to offer a variety of educational tools and resources through Diageo Bar Academy. Diageo Bar Academy is a free educational platform, home to the latest trends and techniques, designed to enhance bar knowledge and prepare competitors for the World Class competition. Enroll now!