Coming to you live from the balcony of the stunning Dream Inn, here's your one-stop-shop for links and info for the 2012 Southwest Regional Barista Competition.
Our coverage this weekend is made possible by direct sponsorship from Verve Coffee Roasters, who happen to also be the hosts for this year's SWRBC. They've opened up their sleepy little beach town to throngs of coffee types from all across the country, for what promises to be an utterly Santa Cruz weekend of tacos, sea lions, and amazing coffee. When you support Verve, you support Sprudge.
Your first stop is here, the official SWRBC listing via the Specialty Coffee Association of America. You can check out a complete sponsor list there, and learn more about some of the people competing this weekend. Downloadable schedules and event listings are available via the SCAA as well.
For quick reference purposes, we've put together an easy set of lists for all 60 competitors performing at this weekend's SWRBC. Here's the barista competition: Day One schedule for Friday, March 9th, and a Day Two schedule for Saturday, March 10th. This weekend also plays host to Brewers Cup competition for the Southwest Region – Brewers Cup prelims are split between Friday and Saturday as well, with 10 entrants each day. Check out the complete Brewers Cup schedule here.
We published this exclusive Parent's Guide to the SWRBC a few days back – enjoy it as a primer on barista competitions, and pass it along to mom and dad, regardless of whatever regional you competed in. We mean everything we say about how important and special these events are. You can follow our coverage all weekend by following the Twitter tag #SWRBC – check back regularly on Sprudge for photos, videos, .gifs, and other assorted madness.
Thursday, March 10th – As we live and breathe, there is an informal mixer happening like 20 yards away from our room, at the Dream Inn Aquarius Lounge. If you're reading this from Santa Cruz in real-time, we're hosting a casual martini and listen-to-that-ocean party from our hotel room at the Dream Inn.
Friday, March 9th – Your go-to destination for post-competition reverie is the Verve Coffee HQ (104 Bronson Street), which plays host to the SWRBC BGA party. The event begins at 6 pm. This party is open to all and sundry – though if you aren't already a BGA member, you'd do well to learn more by clicking here. Come to this event: La Marzocco rented a mechanical bull, and there will be snacks and refreshments (plus who knows how many plans for after-after-hours).
Saturday, March 10th – I hope you packed your cummerbund! Tonight is the SWRBC “Swanky Soiree”, hosted at the Verve Coffee Downtown (1540 Pacific Ave). This event begins at 7 pm. Where're our martinis?
So that's it! Stay tuned to Sprudge for up-to-the-second updates, finalist announcements, play-by-play, and the best competition coverage in the business.