Monkey Shoulder & Hendrick’s sign on as major sponsors of the 2021 Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year Competition and a trip to Scotland is on the cards

Last week we announced that the Sydney Bar Week dates are locked and loaded for 2021 from the 18th to 21st September for a four-day festival dedicated to the business of bars. This includes our flagship event – the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards and of course, the industry’s most respected and long-running bartending competition – The Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year.

It’s with great excitement that today we can announce that two new brands have stepped up as the official sponsors of the 2021 Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year competition – Hendrick’s and Monkey Shoulder and the winner of the competition will be flown to Scotland in 2022.

From left: Dave Spanton (Founder Spanton Media Group), Nathan James (Marketing Manager Hendrick’s), Oliver Dickson (Group Marketing Manager), Andrew Skehan (Marketing Manager Monkey Shoulder)

David Spanton, Bartender magazine founder says: “The Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year Competition is one of the world’s longest running and most respected cocktail competitions and in 2021 we are excited to be partnering with Monkey Shoulder and Hendrick’s. Both brands come from the prestigious William Grant & Sons portfolio which have long supported Australian bartenders. The high quality of these brands works perfectly for us to highlight gin and scotch whisky in 2021.”

“We’re excited to be in partnership with the Bartender of Year competition, it will provide a platform for Hendrick’s & Monkey Shoulder to engage with our bar professionals in a deeper, more meaningful way,” says Ollie Dickson, Head of Marketing, William Grant & Sons ANZ

This also means the addition of a new prize and we can confirm that the winner of the 2021 Bartender of the Year competition will be flown to Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Girvan Scotland in 2022.

The Hendrick’s Gin Palace. All Global rights reserved.

Nathan James, Marketing Manager, Gin ANZ, William Grant & Sons says: “The Bartender of the Year competition has a legacy of unearthing Australia’s best and brightest bartenders. We look forward to showcasing next year’s talent and offering the winner the opportunity to visit the famous Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Scotland and meet Creator and Master Distiller, Ms Lesley Gracie.”

This also marks the end of a long partnership with the Bartender of the Year for the Bacardi and De Kuyper brands who were long time sponsors of the Bartender of the Year competition. “We wish to thank Bacardi Martini Australia for their strong support over the past few years as our valued sponsor,” says David Spanton.

After a 2020 many of us would rather forget, planning for 2021 is well underway. “We’re celebrating our 20th Bar Awards in 2021,” says David Spanton. “It was meant to be 2020 but like many things, COVID put a stop to that. Thanks to the enthusiastic support of sponsors like Hendrick’s and Monkey Shoulder, Sydney Bar Week 2021 is sure to be one to remember and I think the bar industry deserves an epic celebration. So, mark your diaries now and let’s raise a glass to 20 years of the Bar Awards and an epic Sydney Bar Week in 2021!”

For more information on Sydney Bar Week and updates on the Bar Awards, Bartender of the Year Competition and other events, sign up for our newsletter or visit or

To register your interest in competing in 2021, simply email

For sponsorship enquiries for Sydney Bar Week or the Bar Awards, please email David Spanton