Bar Boss:

A Cocktail Contest, a Money Grab or a Social Media Campaign?

The Barboss Paradox: A Bartender's Contest Tainted by Social Media Maneuvers

A Cocktail Contest, a Money Grab or a Social Media Campaign? The Barboss competition, backed by Dos Hombres and managed by Colossal, was initially celebrated as a platform to showcase bartending talent. But as the event unfolded, it morphed into a relentless pursuit of social media votes, overshadowing the art of mixology it sought to honor.

The Spirited Contest That Lost Its Essence The competition's backdrop was to highlight the best in bartending. However, it spiraled into a spectacle veering from the noble craft of mixology. The contest initially seemed to showcase bartending artistry but instead devolved into a disturbing trend of vote-seeking frenzy across social media platforms.

The Vote-Seeking Frenzy: A Disturbing Trend Participants, barred from purchasing votes themselves, turned to their networks in a desperate quest for external support. The drive led to a barrage of social media appeals, with competitors almost begging for votes, thus distorting the competition's focus on professional excellence. Almost every participant's social profile was laid with a constant scream for votes, "please, please, Please Vote for me, help me advance", "votes are 2 for 1 today", "get me back to first".

The Backlash: Social Media's Clampdown on Barboss Links The frenzied social media activity around the Barboss competition reached a tipping point when platforms like Facebook began flagging Barboss-related content as spam. Every post containing a Barboss link was removed, which led to several participants, including myself, having their accounts flagged and temporarily banned for numerous days. Causing our personal lives and business endeavors through social media to be affected. This clampdown further compounded the competition's challenges, as participants struggled to navigate these unexpected obstacles.

The Rule Twist: Power Trumps Talent The contest, barring vote purchases, subtly morphs into a battle for influence, with participants rallying their social networks to amass votes, transforming the two-month ordeal into a high-stakes game of digital persuasion.

Aggressive Marketing Undermines Competition's Integrity

The relentless drive for votes through tactics like "2-for-1 Impact Votes" has transformed the competition into a battleground of ethical quandaries, detracting from the true essence of becoming a bar leader. The two-month spectacle of vote solicitation has eclipsed the competition's integrity, with contestants' rankings wildly fluctuating—some leaping from 8th to 1st place in mere moments. These dramatic shifts are common across brackets, particularly on the eve of the final 2-for-1 vote offer. In the competition's last throes, we witness desperate surges as contenders marshal their supporters to pour money into last-minute votes, vying to clinch victory at the eleventh hour. The contest now resembles a high-stakes betting game, where the victor is not the most skilled but the biggest spender.

These communications, often crafted with a sense of urgency and enticement, played a significant role in shaping the competition's atmosphere. Here are some notable examples:

  • Ramping Up the Pressure: "Things are heating up as we approach the first cut in the competition! Show your support today with 2-for-1 donations until 9PM PST benefiting the Kind Campaign."

  • Weekend Voting Reminders: "Don't forget about your favorite bartender over the weekend! Keep casting your daily votes — It only takes a few seconds and makes a world of difference."

  • Race Against Time: "Is competing for the opportunity of a lifetime, and they need your help to place in the Top 20 by 7PM PST tonight!"

  • High Stakes: "10k and the glossy cover of Bartender Magazine are on the line. Will you give this brilliant bartender an extra push to make it through?"

  • Daily Countdowns: "Today is a big day! Only the Top 10 bartenders from each group will advance at 7PM PST tonight."

  • Last-Minute Voting Pushes: "Get closer to the title with 2-for-1 Impact Votes, available today until 6PM PST. Make sure to get your votes in early before the clock runs out! "

  • Doubling Down on Support: "Donate today to get 2-for-1 Impact Votes until 9PM PST — This could be your best opportunity to get your favorite bartender past the Top 5 cut tomorrow (1/4)!"

  • Building Momentum: "You and your favorite bartender have come such a long way in this year's competition — Let's keep it up! Only the Top 5 will advance to the Group Finals at 7PM PST tonight. He/She is counting on you...Will you help?"

  • The Final Push: "The Quarter-Finals end next Thursday (1/25) and he needs all the support they can get. 2X Impact Vote donations are back until 9PM PST tonight. Double your impact today by helping this brilliant bartender take the lead!"

  • Climactic Moments: "He/She is so close to winning it all! They need to be #1 in their group tomorrow night (1/25) to advance to the Semi-Finals."

  • Urgent Calls for Action: "Help this drink-slinger out by donating today to receive 2-for-1 Impact Votes until 9PM PST. There's no time like the present!"

These bullet points exemplify the relentless marketing and the pressurized environment created by the competition. The constant reminders and calls for support not only increased the sense of urgency but also added a heavy burden of expectation on both the participants and their supporters. The competition’s structure, leaning heavily on this kind of persistent solicitation, transformed what was meant to be a celebration of talent into a taxing campaign, pushing participants into a corner where the pursuit of votes overshadowed the showcase of bartending skills.

The contest's direction is flawed, with an overemphasis on public voting dominated by social media clout or by donations to reach the top, skewing results in favor of contestants with vast online followings over genuine mixology talent. Take the part-time festival bartender leading my bracket—her mixology experience is questionable, but her 50k swimsuit and modeling followers have likely propelled her to the top.

Seeking Clarity in the Midst of Complexities As the Barboss competition continues to unfold, these revelations add another layer of complexity to the already intricate narrative. The competition, initially a showcase of bartending skills, now finds itself entangled in a web of financial and ethical questions. These revelations underscore the need for transparency and integrity in charitable and business dealings, especially when they intersect in the realm of public competitions.

The Power of Social Media Influence: A Case Study in the Barboss Competition In the current landscape of the Barboss bartending competition, the influence of social media has emerged as a decisive factor, possibly overshadowing genuine bartending expertise. This shift in focus from skill and experience to popularity and online presence is vividly illustrated in the case of a current quarterfinal leader.

This particular contestant, with a provocative profile image that features suggestive content and a bottle of Jägermeister, challenges traditional notions of professional demeanor in the bartending world. Her social media persona, showcasing a rebellious attitude, raises questions about the criteria used to judge professional merit in the competition.

Upon closer examination of her social media presence, as listed on her Barboss profile, it becomes apparent that her experience in bartending is limited to part-time work at music festivals – a setting often not associated with the high skill level typically revered in bartending circles. Furthermore, her primary occupation as an exotic model, boasting a following of over 50,000, suggests that her leading position in the contest could be more attributable to her social media clout than her bartending prowess.

This revelation underscores a broader issue within the Barboss competition: the potential for social media influence to skew the perception of what constitutes a professional bartender. It hints at a scenario where the ability to generate online buzz and engagement may carry more weight than the demonstration of bartending skills and experience.

Such developments within the competition not only challenge the integrity of the contest but also reflect the evolving dynamics of professionalism in the digital age. They spotlight the need for a critical reassessment of the values and criteria that should define a professional bartender, especially in competitions that aim to celebrate and reward bartending talent.

The Real Winners: Colossal's Financial Gains As the organizer of the contest, Colossal's role and financial take from the event have become a point of scrutiny. Questions arise about how much revenue Colossal generated from the competition, especially considering the aggressive marketing tactics and the push for vote purchases.

Dos Hombres: Reaping the Benefits of Free Advertising Dos Hombres, the sponsor of the Barboss competition, seemingly benefited significantly from the contest. The extensive social media campaigning by bartenders and their networks effectively provided wide-reaching advertising for Dos Hombres. This raises the question: How much marketing value did Dos Hombres gain from the competition, and was this exposure far greater than what a traditional $10,000 social media campaign could have achieved?

Investigative Report from Reddit: Alarming Allegations A Reddit post has brought to light concerning allegations against Barboss . Org, suggesting financial irregularities and dubious connections:

  •’s recent inception and its ties to Bartender Magazine.

  • Bartender Magazine’s unconventional advertising and content.

  • DTcare and the Kind Campaign's financial conduct and executive connections.

  • Mary Hagen of Colussal’s alleged ties to the arms industry and

New Findings: The Kind Campaign's Intriguing Connections Further investigation reveals that the Kind Campaign, a charity linked to the competition, is co-run by Lauren Sturtevant and Molly Thompson. In 2021, they received $370K in donations and of that were paid $90K each. Intriguingly, Lauren Sturtevant is Aaron Paul's wife, and their campaign, despite its recent prominence, secured 5013(c) status back in 2009-2010. The point of contact on their tax-exempt status letters is John J Koester, a retired Army personnel and CEO of a logistics company similar to DTGruelle.

The Barboss Controversy: Unearthing Deep Financial Entanglements

The Curious Case of DTcare and DTGruelle LLC

According to a detailed analysis by a Reddit user HyperbolicBlissy, a deep dive into the financial aspects of the Barboss competition has unearthed surprising connections. The investigation, rooted in public records, pivots on the charities listed in the Barboss rules, which are allegedly authorized to receive up to 50% of the money from vote purchases.

The Reddit investigator, HyperbolicBlissy,first turned their attention to DTcare, a charity listed in the competition rules. A search on the IRS website for 501(c)(3) charities confirmed DTcare's status, granted in 2019. What's striking is the address on the IRS letter—301 Moon Clinton Road, Moon Township, PA. A simple Google search of this address predominantly brings up DTGruelle LLC, a logistics company.

DTGruelle LLC: More Than Just Logistics?

DTGruelle LLC's presence at the same address as DTcare raises eyebrows. A further search about DTGruelle reveals a complex web of activities. A news article delves into the operations of DTGruelle, suggesting that this logistics company might be involved in activities far beyond standard logistics services. This discovery indicates a potential overlap between the charitable activities of DTcare and the business operations of DTGruelle LLC.

Financial Entanglements and Ethical Questions

This overlap between a charity and a logistics firm, especially one with expansive operations, raises significant ethical questions. It prompts a closer examination of the financial entanglements between these entities and their roles in the Barboss competition. The allocation of funds from vote purchases, especially the sizable portion going to charities like DTcare, now demands greater transparency.

A Need for Thorough Investigation

While the Reddit post has provided a starting point, these allegations require comprehensive investigation by relevant authorities or investigative journalists. The intermingling of charity and business, as suggested by the Reddit user's findings, could have far-reaching implications for the integrity of the Barboss competition and the entities involved.

Note of Caution

It’s important to note that these findings are based on publicly available information and a Reddit user's independent investigation. The allegations have not been officially verified, and they warrant further, more comprehensive investigation to establish their accuracy.

Conclusion: Rethinking the Role of Social Media in Bartending Excellence

Seeking Clarity in the Midst of Complexities as the Barboss competition continues to unfold, these revelations add another layer of complexity to the already intricate narrative. The competition, initially a showcase of bartending skills, now finds itself entangled in a web of financial and ethical questions. These revelations underscore the need for transparency and integrity in charitable and business dealings, especially when they intersect in the realm of public competition. It calls for a reevaluation of how bartending competitions balance these elements, ensuring that true skills and professionalism are not overshadowed by the power of social media popularity.

Rethinking Bartending Competitions: A Call for Integrity This situation has ignited a dialogue within the bartending community about redefining the nature of such competitions. There's a growing consensus for a need to ensure these contests genuinely honor the craft of bartending, rather than becoming a popularity contest driven by social media.

Transparency and Fairness Under Scrutiny The lack of clarity over the competition's financial and operational mechanisms, including how funds raised are used and who truly benefits, adds to the unease surrounding the event.

The Quest for a Contest Worthy of Its Craft as the Barboss competition draws to a close, it leaves behind introspection about the nature of modern professional contests. The challenge is to design competitions that value the artistry and skill of the profession, not overshadowed by the clamor for votes and social media influence while draining supporters' pockets.

Epilogue: A New Chapter for Bartending Excellence The journey of the Barboss competition from a celebrated contest to a social media scramble for votes reflects a broader trend in the industry. It underscores the urgent need to reshape such competitions to stand as genuine testaments to professional excellence, untainted by digital influence campaigns.

Author Chooses to remain anonymous