Kelvin Thairu is the winner of the Diageo World Class Global Competition, Kenyan edition. Mr. Thairu emerged victorious in a competition with 20 other contestants. Thairu is now among the 55 mixologists globally battling for the coveted title of World Class Bartender of the Year.

This year’s global finals will take place in Madrid, Spain, and is the first-ever fully virtual event, which will start from the 4th – 8th July, 2021. The 5-day event will be packed with opportunities for people to watch and engage with virtual and interactive experiences. From events to trend-led panels, masterclasses to AR-bars, the entire festival has been re-defined to adapt to the realities of today’s climate.

Commenting on the initiative, EABL National Sales Reserve Manager, Nick Mutinda said, “The last 12 months have thrown a lot at the hospitality industry, but we’ve been determined to shine a light on the innovation, creativity and community spirit within the bartending community and crown a winner no matter what. We have been planning for multiple scenarios and wanted to give clarity to everyone taking part by confirming the final format as early as possible. During that planning we have been blown away by the possibilities of a virtual event and are really excited about bringing these to life in July.”

National Advocacy Manager, Douglas Duncanson, said, “World Class Global Competition has been instrumental in transforming better drinking culture around the world. We are happy that even with the closure of on-trade bars, as Kenya Breweries we are continuously equipping bartenders with necessary life skills & knowledge, while keeping our mixologists community together.”

The competition participants will be streamed live from around the world as they sip, shake and stir their way through a series of unique challenges set to test their bartending skills to the limit. In addition, the virtual festival will some host the biggest names in the industry, all contributing to events taking place during the festival.

Catherine Maribei, Senior Brand Manager-Reserve commented, “Diageo is passionate about raising the bar – both for our consumers and our partners. This being the 6th year in Kenya, World Class has supported, trained and inspired over 350,000 bartenders across the globe for eleven years, while partnering them with the world’s finest spirits – the Diageo Reserve Collection.”

In addition to representing Kenya at the Global Finals in Madrid, Mr. Thairu will also tour the Ketel One Distillery in Holland.