Social portal and user-review mecca Yelp is all about educating the masses on the eats, drinks and other diversions cities have to offer. Be it God-awful service or orgasmic edibles -- Yelpers are the ultimate experts.
Yelp Miami's newest endeavor is designed to introduce folks to the 305's mixology landscape. Come September, Miamians can explore some of the city's best bars on the cheap -- plus cast votes for their fave cocktail creations. The monthlong bar-hop and bartender battle is dubbed Yelp Pours It On, and yes -- you're invited.
The big-league bar crawl was the brainchild of Yelp Miami's Community Manager, John Todd.
"I was inspired to create this concept because I wanted something that would highlight many areas of the metro and not just the usual suspects," Todd said. "It had been a couple of years since Yelp had a city-wide large-scale marketing promotion and I thought that one based on libations would a) be popular and b) be a chance to incorporate the online -- checking in to a business for a discounted priced craft cocktail -- with the offline -- hosted battles which enable Yelpers, both new and old, to meet each other, interact, see some of the city's best mixologists in action, and get connected to some fantastic local businesses."
So what are the details of this cocktail extravaganza?
All the bars involved will be shaking up a $6 signature drink using Tanteo Tequila, which they'll then add to their menu for the month of September.
For the sake of competition, the city is divided up into three regions: Downtown/Brickell/South Beach, Wynwood/Midtown/Design District and Coral Gables/South Miami/Coconut Grove. These three regions will go head to head in weekly bartender battles, where five drink-slingers will showcase their cocktail creations. At the end of the month, each region's winner will head to the finals.
Competitors in Downtown/Brickell/South Beach include: Biscayne Tavern, The Florida Cookery at the James Royal Palm, Rose Bar at the Delano Hotel, The Flat, Area 31 and The Social Club at The Surfcomber Hotel; in Wynwood/Midtown/Design District: Gramps, TSL Lounge, NoVe Kitchen & Bar, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and The Cypress Room and in Coral Gables/South Miami/Coconut Grove: Talavera Cocina Mexicana, Shula's 347 Grill, SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables andBulla Gastrobar.
The first battle will go down at Biscayne Tavern on September 4th; the second at Gramps on September 11th; the third at a TBD location on September 18th -- and a grand finale at FDR on September 25th. All battles will run from 7 to 9 p.m. The cocktails will be judged by a panel of local notables (60% of the score) - plus each battle's attendees (40% of the score), who'll get to try the concoctions, natch. That's extra incentive for you to attend.
Plus, at month's end, a separate "People's Choice" winner will be determined by check-in numbers. So, if you want to weigh in -- you've got to hit up the different spots for their $6 featured concoction, check in via your Yelp app, and hope your beloved bar takes home top billing. That's 15 specialty drinks to power through. But you've got four weeks. Plenty of time to pick your fave.
"Miami is at the beginning of the craft cocktail scene, so it's not as jaded. If you've spent time in cities like New York, San Francisco and/or Chicago, some of these concepts are old hat. But here, we have the benefit of witnessing the genesis of a craft cocktail culture," Todd says.
"That said, we're at the beginning of the wave. This will allow consumers to have much more input on what works and what doesn't ... ultimately, making the mixology scene here more collaborative than in other cities."
Now's the time to add your two cents to the mix. So get out and get drinking. The boozing begins on September 1.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.