Skip to main content

Meet Your 2024 World Class West National Finalists

Marcela Rudershausen
Marcela Rudershausen
April 16, 2024
World Class Top 30

2024 USBG World Class Sponsored By DIAGEO season is in full swing! The competitors are fiercely preparing for the National Competition taking place in Denver, CO on June 2-4. They'll take part in three challenges that will test their skills and knowledge behind the bar before learning if they made it to the Top 10 and then taking it all as the 2024 U.S. Bartender of the Year!

Get to know the West National finalists!

West Region

Maxwell Berlin

Maxwell Berlin

Award-winning mixologist and longtime traveler Maxwell Berlin has visited countless countries in search of world-class cocktail ingredients and special stories and is now bringing his expertise to Quartz Cocktail Bar in downtown Phoenix.

He is also a James Beard nominated bar director, trained sommelier, and spirits professional.

Personal bartending motto? Be yourself! Find your voice.

Matthew Crisp

Matthew Crispy Crisp

Having worked across various industries ranging from video game development to breweries and coffee shops, Matthew Crispy Crisp has ultimately found his calling in the craft of cocktails. Blessed with a passion for this particular style of drink-making, he aspires to attain expertise across all types of beverages. In his leisure time, Matthew immerses himself in a myriad of hobbies and activities, exploring them with an insatiable curiosity. Whether it's traversing national parks through hiking or indulging in nerdy pursuits like RPG tabletop games, he is always eager to expand his horizons.

Striving for balance, Matthew devotes himself to both honing his craft through dedicated study and drawing inspiration from esteemed figures and trailblazing bartenders within the industry. His ultimate aspiration is to leave a lasting legacy and inspire future generations, much like he has been inspired himself.

Personal bartending motto? The opposite of happiness is not sadness but boredom. Always be learning and improving in some way whether that's physical, mental, etc.

Troy Del Grosso

Troy Del Grosso

Troy Del Grosso is a 20+ year veteran of the hospitality business. Originally from Chandler, AZ, he has spent half of his life in Las Vegas, NV. Currently serving as the Bar Manager & Assistant GM for Eureka! Burger located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas on Fremont St, Troy is dedicated to providing exceptional service and experiences to patrons.

Troy is happily married to his beautiful wife Gigi and shares his home with two beloved dogs, Leo and Venus. Aside from his expertise in cocktails, Troy is also passionate about beer and whiskey, considering himself a dedicated enthusiast in these realms. When not immersed in his professional duties, Troy can be found at the gym or enjoying quality time with his family.

Personal bartending motto? You win some, you lose some.

Dakota Granados

Dakota Granados

Dakota Granados is an industry baby of 9 years and counting. His passion for the culinary arts began while bearing witness to the second cocktail renaissance while living in New York City. His heroes didn't wear capes but floral shirts and spiral mustaches.

Dakota currently resides in the growing cocktail community of Las Vegas where he spends his days filling fountains with espresso martinis and skinny margaritas. You can find him working by day at VIVA by Ray Garcia and by night at Jammyland, where he will likely be sitting outside, drinking a Ti Punch.

Personal bartending motto? I don't straw test.

Kenny Hwong

Kenny Hwong

Kenny Hwong is a Las Vegas native, always out looking for new food and drink spots, sharing dad jokes, wrestling objects out of his dog's mouths and long walks on a beach... club.

Personal bartending motto? Good vibes only.

Andrew Kim

Andrew Kim

Andrew Kim is deeply passionate about craft cocktails. He finds joy in not only making them but also creating the ingredients that contribute to their complexity. The skill and techniques involved in crafting cocktails fascinate him, and he feels a sense of security when he's behind the bar.

Beyond mixology, Andrew enjoys staying active through working out and indulging in games. He is dedicated to self-improvement, constantly seeking ways to enhance his skills and knowledge.

Personal bartending motto? Be better than you were yesterday, make drinks like it's you're last.

Derrick Li

Derrick Li

Originally from Canton China, Derrick Li is passionate in mixing and creating!
Jecob Mentel

Jacob Mentel

Jacob Mentel's journey to his current position has been filled with twists and turns. With experience spanning from dive bars to establishments like Joe's Crab Shack, his path has been diverse. Originally drawn to acting, he pursued this passion in San Francisco until a pivotal moment at Trick Dog bar changed his course.

Witnessing the creativity and passion behind Trick Dog's original menu concept left a profound impact on Jacob. The sense of belonging and hospitality he experienced there inspired him to leave his agency job the following day and pursue a career in the bar industry.

Under the guidance of influential figures like Sam Ross and Erick Castro at Youngblood and Polite Provisions, Jacob honed his craft and expertise. Now, as the Co-owner of Gilly's House of Cocktails alongside his best friend and industry mentor, Erick Castro, Jacob feels privileged to have found his place in the industry. His journey has also seen him achieve recognition, landing in the top 30 in his debut competition—an accomplishment he cherishes.

Personal bartending motto? We are not that cool, we follow recipes. Hospitality is what makes us special.

Jonathan Stanyard

Jonathan Stanyard

Jonathan Stanyard is a well-versed industry professional. He has over 22 years of experience perfecting the art of hospitality while bartending on and off-premise. Over the years, he has grasped how to maximize the potential of raw ingredients while managing waste and time management.

Since 2019 he has operated The Bitter Gringo Co., specializing in consultations, content creation, and education. In 2022, Jonathan won the World's Best Margarita title, deemed so by Cointreau in their Global Margarita Challenge. In 2023, he ranked among the Top 5 bartenders in the USBG's World Class Competition.

Jonathan continues to pursue the craft of hospitality within the food and beverage business while building menus across the country and sharing his vast knowledge with his community.

Personal bartending motto? Guests, Drinks, Food. Always in that order.

Jessie Yoskin

Jessie Yoskin

Jessie Yoskin is a creative bartender with a knack for transforming abstract concepts into tangible recipes. Throughout her career, she has proudly applied this passion to every bar she has supported, whether as a bartender or consultant.

Recently married to her husband, Jessie has relocated from Maui, HI to Peoria, IL, where they have settled into their own home. Jessie is also in the process of opening her own bar in Peoria.

In every aspect of her life, Jessie strives for success. Alongside her endeavors in bartending, she manages a pottery business, indulges her passion for horseback riding, and meticulously oversees her daily business operations. Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation and discovery, Jessie approaches each endeavor with her whole being.

Personal bartending motto? There's no such thing as a bad concept, just bad execution.

Good Luck to our West National competitors!

#WorldClassUS #WorldClass2024 #WorldClassCocktails #USBG #DIAGEO 

Stay tuned for more highlights on the competitors by region, more news about the competitions, and an announcement of the 2024 World Class US Bartender of the Year! 

Share With Us