The Complete Guide to the Big Western Event in Los Angeles, Feb. 21–23

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All of a sudden, the third and final Regional Barista & Brewers Cup Event for the United States is upon us. First came the Big Central October 25-27 in Minneapolis; then we had the Big Eastern in Durham, North Carolina, Jan. 21–23, and now—Big Western time in SoCal. Whirlwind for shizzle.

We are super stoked to announce that we’ve got two intrepid on-the-ground reporters at the Big Western this weekend in the form of the amazing Sam Penix of Everyman Espresso in New York, and the fab Rita Kaminsky of Linea Caffe in San Francisco. Sam and Rita will be sending me photos and news all weekend all, which I’ll relay to you readers on this here blog, as well as on Barista Mag’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

But we couldn’t stay away from the party entirely, even though we’re hard at work on what I think will be the biggest and most spectacular issue of Barista Magazine to date (April+May 2014, yo—our 9th anniversary issue!). Publisher Ken Olson is flying down to Los Angeles to see all the action in person, and report back on it for all of you.

++Sidenote: I am so bummed to be missing this, but in order for this April+May issue to be as awesome as our spectacular readership deserves for it to be, I gots to stay put and work. But I’ll have you know I am totes there in spirit!++

Onward: we have compiled a special guide right here for those of you in Los Angeles to use to navigate this great and powerful event. It’s also handy for those of you following at home! As you fans around the world tune into the live feed coming atcha from Los Angeles (which you can access RIGHT HERE), keep this guide open to follow along with competitors, schedules, special events, and activities.

LET THE BIG WESTERN REGIONAL BEGIN!

• Location: LOT613, 613 Imperial Street, Los Angeles

• Generously sponsored by Curtis, Portola Coffee Lab, and many others, including Barista Magazine!

• Schedule (see below for schedule of each competitor)

Friday, February 2110:30am – 5:00pm NW Barista & SW Barista Competition: Day One
11:00am – 1:30pm South West Brewers Cup: Compulsory
11:00am – 5:00pm BGA Cafe open
10:30am – 5:30pm (daily) Outside Vendor Area:
Reg Barber
Nohmad Snack Company
Analog Record Shop
The Cellar Cheese Shop
Seventh Tea Bar
Verve Coffee Roasters
Dave Van Patten Art
LA Coffee Club
5:00pm – 5:30 pm  Announce Finalists for South West Brewers Cup
6:00pm – 9:00pm Big Western Happy Hour sponsored by Verve Coffee Roasters
Held at Angel City Brewery
216 South Alameda St., Los Angeles, CAJoin us for beers from Angel City Brewery and assorted pizzas, pastas, salads, and deserts from Pitfire Pizza.
Saturday, February 22
8:15am – 11:00am South West Brewers Cup: Open Service
11:00am – 5:00pm BGA Cafe open
11:30am – 5:30pm NW Barista & SW Barista Competition: Day Two
2:30pm – 5:00pm North West Brewers Cup: Compulsory
5:30pm – 6:00pm Announce Finalists for North West Brewers Cup
8:00pm – 12:00am Big Western Afterparty
Held at Art Share LA
Entertainment: Mr Mister Miyagi Band (5 piece karaoke band)
Food: Taco cart, hotdog cart, popsicle cart
Drink: Beers on tap from Noble Ale Works and cocktails prepared by Gabrielle Dion
Other entertainment- Barista throw downs!
Sunday, February 23
8:15am – 11:00am North West Brewers Cup: Open Service
11:00am – 2:30pm BGA Cafe open
11:30am – 1:30pm NW Barista & SW Barista Competition: Day Three
1:30pm – 2:00pm Awards Ceremony
2:00pm – 2:30pm Competitors Review Score Sheets With Judges
3:00pm Event close

• Schedule by Competitor (see competitor photos and cafe information below schedule)

Friday, Feb. 21

10:45 a.m.: Justin Williams
11:04 a.m.: Charlie Biando
11:23 a.m.: Maxwell Mooney
11:42 a.m.: David Tran
12:01 p.m.: Liam Neighbors (not listed on website: Crema, Portland)
12:20 p.m.: Peter Flores (not listed on website: Bar Nine, Los Angeles)
12:39 p.m.: Cole McBride
12:58: Nicolas Lawson
1:17 p.m.: Christos Andrews
1:38 p.m.: Jamil Radney (not listed on website: Dripp Coffee, Chino Hills)
1:55 p.m.: Brandon Paul Weaver
2:14 p.m.: Cris Mendoza
2:33 p.m.: Michael Cannon
2:52 p.m.: Frank La
3:11 p.m.: Stacy Wood-Burgess
3:30 p.m.: Andrew Ogden
3:49 p.m.: Sam Schroeder (not listed on website: Olympia Coffee Roasters, Olympia)
4:08 p.m.: Nicholas Rodriguez
4:27 p.m.: Bronwen Serna
4:46 p.m.: June Thornton (not listed on website: G&B, L.A.)

Saturday, Feb. 22

11:45 a.m.: Sam Brandvein
12:04 p.m.: Mark Nunziata
12:23 p.m.: Corey Autobee
12:42 p.m.: Christopher Casassa
1:01 p.m.: Marla Roach
1:20 p.m.: Kevin Bohlin
1:39 p.m.: Corey Critchfield
1:58 p.m.: Truman Severson
2:17 p.m.: Bethany Hargrove
2:36 p.m.: Elle Taylor
2:55 p.m.: Sarah Posma (not listed on website: Alaska Coffee Roasting, Fairbanks)
3:14 p.m.: Riley Paterson
3:33 p.m.: Laila Ghambari
3:52 p.m.: Leslie Ruckman
4:11 p.m.: Rachel Grozanick
4:30 p.m.: Sumner Ohye (not listed on website: The Curb, Kailua)
4:49 p.m.: Chad Bledsoe
5:08 p.m.: Andrew Villa
5:27 p.m.: Eden Marie Abramowicz (not listed on website: Intelligentsia, L.A.)

Sunday, Feb. 23

11:45 a.m.: Casey Soloria
12:04 p.m.: Ethan Poole
12:23 p.m.: Christine Johnson
12:42 p.m.: Brady MacDonald
1:01 p.m.: Sheli Maciel
1:20 p.m.: Charles Babinski (not listed on website: G&B, L.A.)
1:39 p.m.: Nick Purvis
1:58 p.m.: Jillian Woods (not listed on website: Farley’s Coffee, San Francisco)

 

SOUTHWEST REGIONAL BARISTA COMPETITION COMPETITORS

Andrew Ogden,

Andrew Ogden, Portola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa

Elle Taylor, Little Owl Coffee, Denver

Elle Taylor, Little Owl Coffee, Denver

Andrew Villa

Andrew Villa, Chromatic Coffee, San Jose

Casey Soloria,

Casey Soloria, Intelligentsia, Pasadena

Charlie Biando,

Charlie Biando, Blue Bottle Coffee, Oakland

Christine Johnson, Handsome Coffee, L.A.

Christine Johnson, Handsome Coffee, L.A.

Christopher Casassa,

Christopher Casassa, Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Cris Mendoza,

Cris Mendoza, Saint Frank Coffee, San Francisco

Frank La,

Frank La, Copa Vida, Pasadena

Justin Williams,

Justin Williams, Front Cafe, San Francisco

Kevin Bohlin, Saint Frank, San Francisco

Kevin Bohlin, Saint Frank, San Francisco

Leslie Ruckman,

Leslie Ruckman, Bellano Coffee, San Jose

Nicholas Rodriguez,

Nicholas Rodriguez, Rose Park Roasters, Long Beach

Nick Purvis, The French Press, Santa Barbara

Nick Purvis, The French Press & Castle Coffee Roaster, Santa Barbara

Nicolas Lawson,

Nicolas Lawson, Mr. Espresso, Oakland

Rachel Grozanick, Handsome Coffee, L.A.

Rachel Grozanick, Handsome Coffee, L.A.

Sheli Maciel

Sheli Maciel, Allegro Coffee Co., San Francisco

Truman Severson,

Truman Severson, Portola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa

 

NORTHWEST REGIONAL BARISTA COMPETITORS

Bethany Hargrove, The Fresh Pot, Portland

Bethany Hargrove, The Fresh Pot, Portland

Brady MacDonald,

Brady MacDonald, Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Olympia

Brandon Paul Weaver, Slate Coffee, Seattle

Brandon Paul Weaver, Slate Coffee, Seattle

Bronwen Serna, Seattle

Bronwen Serna, Vashon Coffee Company, Seattle

Chad Bledsoe, Vancouver

Chad Bledsoe, Torque Coffee Roasters, Vancouver

Cole McBride, Visions Espresso/Velton's Coffee, Seattle

Cole McBride, Visions Espresso/Velton’s Coffee, Seattle

Christos Andrews, Neptune Coffee/Kuma Coffee, Seattle

Christos Andrews, Neptune Coffee/Kuma Coffee, Seattle

Corey Autobee, Independent, Seattle

Corey Autobee, Independent, Seattle

Corey Critchfield, Case Study Coffee Roasters, Portland

Corey Critchfield, Case Study Coffee Roasters, Portland

Ethan Poole, Portland Coffee Roasting, Portland

Ethan Poole, Portland Coffee Roasting, Portland

Laila Ghambari, Cherry Street Coffee Roasters, Seattle

Laila Ghambari, Cherry Street Coffee Roasters, Seattle

Maxwell Mooney, Spotted Cow Coffee Roasters, Mill Creek

Maxwell Mooney, Spotted Cow Coffee Roasters, Mill Creek

Michael Cannon, Velton's Coffee Roasting/Neptune Coffee, Seattle

Michael Cannon, Velton’s Coffee Roasting/Neptune Coffee, Seattle

Riley Patterson, Visions Espresso, Seattle

Riley Paterson, Visions Espresso, Seattle

Sam Brandvein, Caffe Ladro, Seattle

Sam Brandvein, Caffe Ladro, Seattle

Marla Roach, Crema, Portland

Marla Roach, Crema, Portland

Stacy Wood Burgess, Cafe Javasti, Seattle

Stacy Wood Burgess, Cafe Javasti, Seattle

Mark Nunziata, Barista, Portland

Mark Nunziata, Barista, Portland

 

SOUTHWEST BREWERS CUP COMPETITORS

Casey Soloria,

Casey Soloria, Intelligentsia, Pasadena

Andrew Villa

Andrew Villa, Chromatic Coffee, San Jose

 

David Loomis, Makai Coffee, Long Beach

David Loomis, Makai Coffee, Long Beach

Jason Farrar, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters, Denver

Jason Farrar, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters, Denver

 

Jesse Gonzalez, Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Jesse Gonzalez, Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

 

Matthew Henderson, Lift Coffee Roaster, Riverside

Matthew Henderson, Lift Coffee Roaster, Riverside

 

Noah McKeown, Independent, Huntington Beach

Noah McKeown, Independent, Huntington Beach

 

Roscoe Aquilo Gordo, Makai Coffee, Long Beach

Roscoe Aquilo Gordo, Makai Coffee, Long Beach

Todd Goldsworthy, Klatch Coffee, San Dimas

Todd Goldsworthy, Klatch Coffee, San Dimas

 

NORTHWEST BREWERS CUP COMPETITORS

 

Cole McBride, Visions Espresso/Velton's Coffee, Seattle

Cole McBride, Visions Espresso/Velton’s Coffee, Seattle

 

Brandon Paul Weaver, Slate Coffee, Seattle

Brandon Paul Weaver, Slate Coffee, Seattle

 

Maxwell Mooney, Spotted Cow Coffee Roasters, Mill Creek

Maxwell Mooney, Spotted Cow Coffee Roasters, Mill Creek

 

Christos Andrews, Neptune Coffee/Kuma Coffee, Seattle

Christos Andrews, Neptune Coffee/Kuma Coffee, Seattle

 

Michael Cannon, Velton's Coffee Roasting/Neptune Coffee, Seattle

Michael Cannon, Velton’s Coffee Roasting/Neptune Coffee, Seattle

 

Akaash Saini, Morsel, Seattle

Akaash Saini, Morsel, Seattle

 

Ben Jones, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia

Ben Jones, Batdorf & Bronson, Olympia

 

Erik Evenson, Tony's Coffee & Tea, Seattle

Erik Evenson, Tony’s Coffee & Tea, Seattle

 

Lalo Perez Varona, Buna, Portland

Lalo Perez Varona, Buna, Portland

 

Lisa Halcom, Happyrock Coffee Roasting, Gladstone

Lisa Halcom, Happyrock Coffee Roasting, Gladstone

Megan O'Connell, Ristretto Roasters, Portland

Megan O’Connell, Ristretto Roasters, Portland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.