Herb’s Cider Cocktail Challenge

Herb's Cider

What happens when you combine booze with hard cider? Sample limited-edition specials mixed up by any of our participating challengers to find out! Each cocktail will feature Herb’s Cider’s Single Stroke semi-dry cider —

  • Fairhaven

    • Swim Club Wet Bar
    • Best Buds Gaming Lounge
    • The Filling Station
  • Etc.

    • B-Town Kitchen & Raw Bar (Four Points Sheraton, Lakeway)
    • Twin Sisters (Sunnyland)
  • Downtown

    • The Firefly Lounge
    • Temple Bar
    • Jack’s
    • Miller’s Back Door
    • Uisce Irish Pub

Our panel of judges will be traveling about town tasting the specialty cocktails prepared by contestants (it’s a tough job). The top three finalists will move on to the competition finale at the Bellingham Cocktail Week Wrap Party at Uisce Irish Pub (2/10, 9pm-2am)!

Participating Bartenders

  • Portrait of Bartender
    Dennis Schafer / Swim Club
  • Bartender making cocktail
    Hugh Newmark (Pictured: Alex Newmark) / Best Buds Gaming Lounge
  • Bartender mixing cocktail.
    Dion Fountain / Firefly Lounge
  • Portrait of Bartender
    Patrick Mori (Pictured: Alexander Staples) / Uisce
  • Portrait of Bartender
    Dakota Etley / Miller’s Back Door
  • Portrait of bartender.
    Emma Strutton / Temple Bar
  • Portrait of bartender.
    Colin Votteler/ Filling Station
  • Portrait of bartender.
    Riley White-Brainard / Jack’s
  • Bartenders.
    Shawndelle & Jay / B-Town
  • Bartender mixing drink.
    Beau Hughes / Twin Sisters

Participating Judges

Efran Ray (E. Ray) is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan originally from Houston, TX and has lived in Bellingham for 7 years. A longtime bartender (14yrs), he is now a cidertender and Tasting Room Manager at Herb’s Cider.

James Beard once said, “Food is theater. Especially cocktail parties per se.” In that notion he captured how Hayley Forney feels about beverages. A passionate coffee person, Hayley has been working in the “industry” for 7 years. She is a Barista Trainer and Cafe Assistant Manager for the Community Food Co-Op, Barista Trainer and Account manager at Bellingham Coffee Roasters, Resident Coffee Nerd at Really Awesome Drinks, and occasional blogger at Reincaffeinated.com. Hayley holds a Barista Level 1 from the Specialty Coffee Association. When not mixing drinks or making coffee Hayley can be found hanging with her delightful husband and their adorable dog.

Kevin Coleman is an artist, as well as the Business Development and Community Outreach Manager for WhatcomTalk.com and SkagitTalk.com. He began his art career in Tampa, Florida and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2001. In 2017, Kevin started The Give Back Program, creating original art pieces which he donates for local nonprofits to auction at their fundraising events. He serves on the board of directors for Allied Arts of Whatcom County, is a chamber ambassador, and 2018 Bellingham Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year.

Kolby LaBree is a born Belling-hamster and historian who has sampled a lot of booze in her lifetime, especially in her role as a boss-lady of the Good Time Girls, local purveyors of the famous Sin and Gin Tours and other fabulous and far-out Belling-history…  (“research”)

Kristina Martens came to us from sunny San Diego, California in the fall of 2016. When she was ready to make a big splash in a new community, Bellingham WA fell onto her radar and she hasn’t looked back. Since joining the community you have been her bartending at many a venue across Whatcom County, she is also a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Bain and the founder of Whisky Productions the company brought you Bellingham Idol which is expanding into more markets this year. Kristina moved here with the intention of becoming Bellingham’s own Oprah, or Boprah as she is sometimes referred, and is already making quite the name for herself. She lives by the motto of her personal hero, the great Oprah herself, “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams,” and is very well on her way! You can catch more of her at one of the Idol’s happening around town or on her weekly KZAX radio segment.

Marissa McGrath has had a long love affair with our local cocktail scene. In her earliest and brokest days as a Bellingham resident over a decade ago, she would save up to enjoy a special night out and attempt to ingratiate herself with Downtown’s nightlife industry. Eventually she started to research the history of vice and booze in Bellingham, and as a Good Time Girl, brought her findings to the community through the Sin & Gin Tour.  Now, as part of her work as Assistant Director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, she works to support neighborhood bars through a variety of promotions and programs. The fact that this work has lead to the honor of judging this year’s Cocktail Week Bartender Competition proves that she’s finally fully actualized in her professional identity and she couldn’t be happier about it.

Stacee Sledge, founder of WhatcomTalk, has appreciated a thoughtfully crafted cocktail all her adult life — save for the college years, when a simple greyhound did the trick. These days, she enjoys only the occasional tipple, but plans to happily make up for lost time at the Herb’s Cider Cocktail Challenge, in full celebration of Bellingham Cocktail Week.

Wren Urbigkit is the new co-owner of The Good Time Girls.  Her favorite things include: Her two daughters, Belling-history, Bourbon and a well placed curse word.