Over the break, one of the best things I did was attend the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Utah chapter’s cocktail competition at the brand spankin’ new Water Witch bar. Here is why this was awesome:

Water Witch. I have been waiting for this bar to open for what seems like forever. And IT IS BEAUTIFUL! Basically, it is my little slice of the Emerald City here in SLC, and I couldn’t be happier for my friends Scott Gardner, Sean Neves, and Matt Pfohl. They are all amazing guys and the amount of talent between them is insane. Congrats, brothers.

Water WitchWater WitchWater Witch

USBG. Becoming a member of my local USBG chapter has been so much fun. The educational experiences are amazing, but being able to rub shoulders with talented, friendly bartenders outside of their bar well is even better. It is a great way to see the camaraderie between our best bartenders, and the excitement of our nerdiest enthusiast. They are my people.


Cocktail Competition. Who doesn’t love to watch killer bartenders do what they do best in record time with some friendly competition? So much fun to watch this insane, messy, funny, and supportive group of folks cheer each other on. Also, the winners of this competition will get to go on to compete at Arizona Cocktail Week, which is a pretty big deal.



Photo ops. All of them. So many of them. I might not get behind the bar at these things and sling the drinks, but goddamn, do I appreciate and want to capture every twist of a bar spoon and every perfectly placed garnish.



Big congrats to two of my fave bartenders, Chase Bardole (Under Current) and Adam Bagby (Copper Common) for taking the two top slots and also to Adam Kaessner (Bar X) who came in 3rd! Nice work, gentlemen. Good luck in Arizona.

Chase Bardole

Adam Bagby


It’s a new year, and I am excited about so much. I am excited to keep participating in events like this, to support those who make this community so rich and fun — and to learn more about being a kick ass home bartender. Cheers!



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XO – Chelsea


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