Press Release: 5th Annual Stone Fence Cider Cocktail Competition


Virtue Cider hosts cocktail showdown among 11 of the city’s best bartenders for the fifth year in a row

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Jan. 7, 2019 – Chicago – It's back for the fifth year—it's our annual Stone Fence Cider Cocktail Competition & Mitten Drive. Held this year at Big Star in Wrigleyville, the Stone Fence Cider Cocktail Competition provides a platform for 11 of Chicago’s top bartenders to put their signature on the Stone Fence cocktail that will be evaluated by a selection of influential judges and one people’s choice vote. Each year the event benefits a local charity, and this year all door proceeds and donated winter accessories will benefit Sarah’s Circle.

The Stone Fence is said to be the oldest truly American cocktail, combining the American-born beverages Bourbon and hard apple cider with just a hint of lemon zest. Each year, this competition sees creative twists on cider-based beverages served up for all guests and our panel of judges.

5th Annual Stone Fence Cider Cocktail Competition & Mitten Drive
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019 4-7pm CDT
Big Star (Wrigleyville), 3640 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL 60613

Competing Bartenders:

Abe Vucekovich - The Violet Hour

Christina Chae - Headquarters Beercade

Joe Briglio - Blind Barber

Zach Rivera - Gilt Bar

Matt McClellan - Proxi

Jonathan Kahn - The J. Parker

Ken Zawacki - Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Jess Sandberg - Proxi

Brandon Sontag - The Swill Inn

Shelly Mercurio - Dorian's

Zafar Bandukda - The Native

We are proud to once again make this a 100% charitable event, this year benefiting Sarah’s Circle, a non-profit organization with a mission of serving women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. Entry is granted through a $25 advance ticket donation. Guests are also encouraged to bring new or lightly used winter accessories for our annual Mitten Drive. All event proceeds and donated winter accessories will benefit Sarah’s Circle.

This year’s Stone Fence Cocktail Competition is supported by our friends at KOVAL Distillery, Seasons Sparkling, Chrome Industries, CHIRP Radio, 11th Orchard Bitters, Jewel-Osco, Jo Snow Syrups, and Luna Bay Hard Kombucha.

Our panel of esteemed judges includes: Gregory Hall - Virtue Cider; Kevin Beary - Three Dots and a Dash (2018 Stone Fence Competition Winner); Pat Corcoran - Haight Brand, Ronnie Bertellotti - Cocktail Courier, Ambrosia Borowski - The Northman, Chicago Cider Week; Chris Kolodziej - Lakeshore Beverage; and Amy Cavanaugh - Plate Magazine.

For tickets and more information, please click here.

About Virtue Cider:

Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan, makes craft cider using traditional techniques: making cider on a farm utilizing Michigan apples and aging the cider in barrels. Their ciders range from dry to sweet and show the complexity and nuance of the region’s apples. Its founder, Gregory Hall, was former brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, and he brings his barrel-aging expertise to cider. Virtue Cider is open all year long where you can sample cider in the Tasting Room, take some home from the Bottle Shop, tour the cider houses, or walk around the working farm.