This Australian bartender has been named among world’s top four

June 19, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Melbourne bartender Luke Whearty has once again been named a finalist for the Tales of the Cocktail (TOFC)’s International Bartender of the Year. Whearty, who opened Byrdi in Melbourne in 2019 with partner Aki Nishikura, previously made the top 10 shortlist in 2020, in 2022 and in 2023. Whearty was also voted by his peers as one of the the finalists in Australia’s Top 25 Bartenders 2023.

Since being launched, Byrdi has become a regular instalment in the World’s Best Bar awards, including placing in 61st last year and 56th in 2022

“Byrdi is a modern Australian cocktail bar focusing on seasonal Australian ingredients and working closely with local producers and has been open since October 2019,” explained Whearty.

The International Bartender of the Year awards form part of the annual TOFC Spirited Awards, which are now in their 18th year. Overall Chair of the Spirited Awards Charlotte Voisey said, “it is with immense pleasure that we celebrate those propelling the cocktail industry forward and amplifying their craft within their respective communities.

“We are honoured to announce our Top Four Finalists for the 2024 Spirited Awards… Their love-affair with hospitality and dedication to advancing the industry is awe-inspiring. We are excited to celebrate and honour them at the 18th annual Spirited Awards.”

Now recognised as one of the industry’s most respected forms of global bartending recognition, the Spirited Awards strive to remain impartial and relevant by a committee network of Co-Chairs and Judges comprised of bartenders, bar owners, educators and writers from across the globe. Read more about the judges and the judging process here

Whearty is a finalist alongside Lorenzo Antinori from China, Kate Boushel from Canada, and Eric van Beek from Mexico. The top prize will be announced during the TOTC conference in New Orleans, scheduled for 21-26 July. 

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