TASTING AUSTRALIA SPIRIT AWARDS JUDGE

James Irvine brings eight years of bartending experience, with the last four years as Beverage Director for Swillhouse venues, including Shady Pines Saloon, Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza, and the renowned Restaurant Hubert. In this role, Irvine was instrumental in crafting impeccable drinks programs and overseeing staff training, contributing to multiple awards and consistently packed venues.

Recently, Irvine transitioned to the role of Creative Director of Gin Drinks at a Yarra Valley-based gin distillery. He established their first official drinks lab in Sydney, a hub for cocktail experimentation and innovation.

Irvine's accolades are numerous and include Time Out Best Bartender 2016, ALIA Bartender of the Year 2016, and recognition as one of Drinks World Australian Top 25 Bartenders twice. He won the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Australia 2016, leading to a two-year tenure as part of their global Brand Ambassador Team. Additionally, he received the 'World Class in a Glass' category at Diageo’s World Class 2016 and was the runner-up at the 10th annual Bacardi Legacy Competition in Mexico City.