Be At One crowns top bartender for 2024

Kadir Akkus was named the winner, earning a place at the World Class GB semi-finals.

Be At One’s nationwide cocktail-making competition Best In Glass has crowned its UK champion for 2024.

The Stonegate brand's Spitalfields bartender Kadir Akkus (pictured) was named the winner, earning a place at the World Class GB semi-finals, as well as an all expenses paid trip to Shanghai and £2,000 cash.

Akkus wowed the judges with his ‘Island Harmony’ creation, a tequila-based serve inspired by his older brother.

"Participating in the Best in Glass competition was such an incredible and fun experience," he says. "The moment I found out I had made it to the finals was just incredible. I felt proud and nervous at the same time, given there was such a high level of talent. When they announced my name for the first place, I couldn't explain my feelings, it was truly an honour to be among such skilled bartenders and such an enthusiastic crowd."

Hundreds of entries

The Diageo-supported Best In Glass cocktail competition saw a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 142 Be At One employees all competing to win the title of best original hand crafted cocktail. 

Taking place in Be At One's flagship venue on Regent Street for the fourth year in a row, the first runner up was Abbie Conner, from Norwich Be at One.

James Anstiss of the Brighton venue and Kieran Gibbs from Be At One Reading claimed joint third place, winning £500 each plus a limited-time spot on the Be At One menu.

"This was one of our most exciting competitions yet," says Carrie Nelmes, head of marketing. "The atmosphere was electric and booming and that’s what Be At One is all about. The fun, the laughter and the camaraderie displayed by all those who participated and attended was commendable. The event encompassed everything that Be At One stands for, and we cannot wait to do it all again next year."
Earlier this year, Stonegate CEO David McDowall told Pub & Bar there are big plans for Be At One and other managed concepts within the group. You can read the full interview here.

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