Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild - USBG

- - - - - - OFFICIAL CHAPTER OF THE UNITED STATES BARTENDING GUILD - - - - - - -a local collegiate of experienced professionals working to develop, enrich, and share the history, art, culture, and enjoyment of the distilled spirit


Call for Membership:

United States Bartending Guild: Greater Grand Rapids Chapter
[“The Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild”]

What is it?

            The Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild was founded in March of 2015 to be a local collegiate of experienced professionals working to develop, enrich, and share the history, art, culture, and enjoyment of the distilled spirit. It has quickly developed a strong core of leadership, a solid social-media following, and a fantastic and ever-growing monthly schedule of events.

            The GRCG obtained official status as a Chapter of the United States Bartending Guild (a division of the International Bartenders Association) in June of 2015. With USBG status, the Cocktail Guild becomes a 501c3 organization and is able to share all the benefits of the USBG with its members, while still keeping our focus autonomously on West Michigan.

What does it do?

            Our goal is to improve the restaurant industry and culinary culture of West Michigan through a better understanding and appreciation of “the drink”, with special emphasis on spirits and cocktails, but also including wine, beer, coffee, tea, and soft drinks. By better educating our public, higher standards for our businesses, and more impassioned training for our workers, we work to expand everyone’s success with spirits and craft cocktails, thus creating a stronger and more interesting local culture to engage our community and enhance our draw for tourism. 

As an industry professional or enthusiast, how does it benefit me?

·      Educational opportunities and advanced training, improving current skills, learning history and culture, developing new and modern techniques

·      Industry networking, trade tastings, brand events, all events available to members at a free or discounted rate

·      Local competitions, “IRON BARTENDER”, Bar-takeover opportunities available only to members!

·      Public events, cocktail showcases, pop-up bar parties with options to participate and/or attend at a free or discounted members-only rate

·      Charity events, volunteer opportunities

·      Online workshops, databases, training, and certification through USBG via, including Master Accreditation via the USBG

·      Health insurance available through USBG – more information available at

·      Opportunities for guild leadership via committees, the Executive Committee, and the Executive Board , we encourage participation on all levels, and are always looking for great new ideas!

·      Opportunities to collaborate with USBG-Detroit and USBG-Chicago, expanding our regional presence and building strong industry connections with our nearby chapters.


As a restaurateur or manager, how does it benefit my business?

·      Education and training for your staff through classes, tastings, seminars, guest bar-shifts, and training sessions, all free or discounted for members

·      More successful exploration of new and modern techniques through advice and support from our consultants and experts

·      Access to professional consultation from guild leadership to help your business implement new full programs and ideas

·      Advertising & opportunities to represent your business at public events as a host, product sponsor, donor, volunteer, etc.

·      Opportunities to host small events (tastings, brand parties, “bar fights”)

·      Opportunities to partner on large events (GR Cocktail Week, IRON BARTENDER)

·      Industry attention toward your business from brands, media, and publications, including Imbibe Magazine, Chilled, and USBGPulse

·      Opportunities for local, regional, and national competitions, hosted by the GR Cocktail Guild, the USBG, and many global brands

·      Social media attention as a partner in our efforts as well as in your specific work supporting the Guild’s goals for a stronger cocktail culture, plus listing on our GR Cocktail Guild website

What does it require?

·      Annual dues paid to the United States Bartending Guild of $100 per person

·      Member attendance at quarterly USBG-Grand Rapids chapter meetings

·      Optional member attendance at monthly USBG Executive Committee meetings

·      Member participation at-will in local USBG events, where desired


How do I join?

·      Just visit and click “Join Now!” – be sure to choose “MI-Grand Rapids” as your chapter, and we’ll receive your information by the end of the week!


Important note,

            We are not a Public Relations group, a Marketing organization, or a Brand. Our goal is to explore, develop, improve, and raise excitement for the successes in our local spirits culture, and help that culture to flourish. We do not represent any individual restaurant or business as a group, rather we work for our industry as a whole. While our efforts will definitely highlight specific businesses and particular successes, what any individual or business benefits from the Guild depends on their level of interaction, and their interest in enriching our restaurant community as a whole.

With the partnership of you businesses and individuals, we are excited to become one of America’s next “Craft Cocktail” destinations!



The Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild – USBG


Torrence O’Haire, Interim President
Rob Hanks, Interim Vice President
Kate Herron, Interim Secretary

Adam Dickerson, Interim Treasurer

Heather Missad, Interim Executive Committee Chair