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June 2-5, 2024

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June 2-5, 2024

USBG HISTORY

Want to know how it all started?
Scroll down to learn more.

VIEW THE HISTORY OF THE USBG SINCE 1948

1948

The Journey Begins

The United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG) of London was the origin of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), and this year marks 75 years! In 1948, a small group of Southern California Bartenders who were “overseas” members founded a local branch of that organization in Los Angeles. Then, as now, the organization was devoted to professional, fraternal, and social activities.

1948
1961

CBG, USBG Predecessor, is Official!

By September 1961, the California group had grown large enough to form an independent organization. That year the International Bartenders Association (IBA) granted a charter to the California Bartenders’ Guild (CBG). This was the exclusive affiliate of the IBA in the United States.

1961
1971

CBG Becomes USBG

In 1971, the CBG’s name was officially changed to United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) and paperwork was filed in the state of California.

1971
1971

From left to right, USBG Lifetime Members: Francesco Lafranconi, Bobby Gleason, Tony Abou-Ganim and Livio Lauro

The Evolution of the USBG Uniform

The USBG started as a small, exclusive, jackets-and-ties organization in Southern California. The USBG uniform has changed over the years, but the most iconic uniform was the legacy of the Red Coats, which represented the US colors with red jackets, white shirts, and blue ties. A very strong and influential group of industry professionals sported this uniform from 1971-2009. In 2010, a more inclusive uniform was adopted to the current black jacket, white shirt, red-black-gold tie. However, you will still see some longtime members sporting their Red Coats!

Fun Fact: The original Guild Uniform represented the California state colors with gold jackets, white shirts, and blue ties. 

1971
2001 - 2005

Red Coats from left to right, USBG Lifetime Members: Livio Lauro, Francesco Lafranconi, and Jose Ancona

The Resurgence of the USBG

In 2001, Nevada joined the Southern California Chapter and kick-started what would become the USBG of today. The USBG was officially incorporation in Las Vegas in 2005 as a 501(c) nonprofit organization, and ultimately evolved into a nation-wide organizational force for empowering bartenders “to take charge of their careers” through education and enrichment programs. The headquarters was established in Las Vegas and had the honor of hosting in 2005 the IBA World Cocktail Championship, which gathered bartenders from 26 countries!

2001 - 2005
2009

A New Look for the USBG!

In 2009, the USBG released the new and what is now the current USBG logo!

2009
2008 - 2015

The Start of the Chapter Boom!

During 2008 – 2015 the USBG realized we were on to something big. Craft Cocktails were on the move and chapters began springing up all over the country. By the end of 2015, the USBG was 48 Chapters Strong and continuing to grow!

2008 - 2015
2012

The USBG National Charity Foundation is Formed!

USBG National Charity Foundation formed in 2012 when a United States Bartenders’ Guild member dared to ask “how do I get out of this industry alive, with my health, a little money, and my sanity intact?” Since its inception, the USBG Foundation is committed to advance the lifelong stability & wellbeing of service industry professionals through education & charitable activities and strives to achieve that mission through three programmatic pillars: Social Responsibility (Health & Wellness: physical, financial, and mental), Community Service, and Philanthropy (emergency hardship grants).

2012
2018

Governance 3.0

The USBG transitioned its Governance policy expanding chapters to include affiliated communities, allowing cities of all sizes to create a more diverse and inclusive National Guild. The Guild National Board also increased its membership from four officers to nine directors for a more diverse vision of the USBG future. The USBG welcomes any and all to become members and to run for leadership roles during local/chapter and national election periods.

2018
2023

The Journey Continues at 75!

The current USBG offers its three branches offer education, networking and competitions, as well as a charity arm focused on bartender wellness programs and relief funds, and an accreditation program going up to Master Mixologist. The USBG provides members with an instant network when they relocate to a new city or state, and its presence helps with the overall public perception of those who tend to view bartending as a college or in-between-jobs gig rather than the honed craft and lifelong profession that it is for many.

Cheers to another 75 years!

2023

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