World Class New Zealand – National Finals & House

Sweet&Chilli were recruited by Lion Co, New Zealand's largest alcohol beverage company to create and execute brand activation ideas for the regions Diageo World Class finals.


World Class is the world’s largest cocktail competition celebrating the best in class of bartending talent across the globe. We were tasked in hosting the country’s top 5 bartenders whilst competing through a series of challenges over three days. Alongside the competition, we produced ‘World Class House’, a pop-up venue replicating the bartender challenges into interactive brand experiences for trade, media and consumers to enjoy and experience World Class drinking.  

Set at the iconic Old Ponsonby Post Office, Auckland, Sweet&Chilli worked on all creative, production and bar operation elements. With hundreds through the doors every evening, our job was to ensure the experience was immersive, premium and set to resonate with guests. With each brand activation featuring a delicious drink and food pairing, areas were crafted with an abundance of theming and engagement ideas set to ‘wow’ everyone entering the House.    


Everything from the ‘Ketel One Kitchen’ featuring a selection of fresh seasonal produce allowing guests to make their own Bloody Mary to a Tanqueray Spritz cocktail master-class, inspiring and educating people to mix a refreshing Spritz in a tea-room styled space. Bringing sensory elements of the Scottish coast to Auckland, a coastal themed Talisker Bottled Cocktail & Oyster corner served the top 5’s whisky cocktails and finally an American Smokehouse Bulleit Bar rolling out classic USA cocktails paired with BBQ food accompaniments, keeping guests excited and engaged from start to finish. 


The eventual World Class Bartender of the Year was Kneale Brown of Matterhorn Bar, who goes to Miami to represent New Zealand.    


High media coverage from Concrete Playground, Time Out and NZ Herald ensured the event was a roaring success. To view a snapshot of the finalists in the World Class House, log onto -