Much like a brewer and even a chef, a mixologist is both an artist and a scientist. Like a scientist, a mixologist must understand the chemistry of his ingredients. Like a painter, a mixologist must first conceptualize an idea in his mind, and then recreate it in a tangible form. The finest cocktails, like the finest artwork, convey vision and creativity and exude emotion and passion.In this featured beer mixologist series we introduce you to the mysterious place between time and space where the dark secrets and inner workings of the brilliant minds driving the beer cocktail trend are revealed.
Today, we introduce you to Bradford Knutson, one of BeerMixology.com’s rockstar contributors.
Do you work in the booze biz? If so, please describe your involvement?
I am the bar manager at Swing Wine Bar in Olympia, WA. I have worked hard over the last few years creating a craft/classic cocktail program at Swing. I have also worked with other local bartenders in an effort to spread cocktail culture in Olympia, specifically uniting bartenders from multiple establishments to create a fantastic Repeal day celebration at the Capitol theater which we plan to hold annually in an effort to unite downtown business and further spread the cocktail culture. (facebook; http://www.facebook.com/#!/RepealProhibitionDayOlympia)
How did you get into beer mixology?
I have dabbled in beer cocktails a little over the last couple years but it wasn’t until Ashley contacted me about this website that I really started to take it seriously. I have known for a while that this would be the new trend and Beermixology.com was just the shot in the arm I needed.
In your opinion, what uniqueness does beer, as an ingredient, bring to mixology?
The flavor of Hopps. There is nothing else that I am aware of in a bartenders repertoire that has the unique flavor profiles that beer has.
What is your favorite beer cocktail, of the moment?
For myself, i like a Shandy, simple, refreshing. But for my customers I am really liking Ashley’s ‘the urbanite’ (http://beermixology.com/2012/01/13/the-urbanite/#more-815) right now. I still have a large portion of customer who will simply order a Cosmo without a second glance at our original or classic cocktails. Thos version of a beer cosmo is a perfect opportunity to introduce some of those customers to something a little different
For anyone visiting your city looking for a kickass beer cocktail, where would you send them?
I would have to tell them to come see me at Swing. There really isn’t a whole lot happening in that area unless you are into those car bombs. I know my friend Leroy at the restaurant Mercato plays with beer cocktails a little as well but I have not had the opportunity to test out his personally. He is however one of the up and coming bartenders in the area and you are likely to get a very fine beverage from him.
What are your 3 favorite booze websites/ blogs?
Well Gary Reagan has been a great supporter of mine and he continues to be an amazing supporter of bartenders and cocktail culture worldwide. His site, Ardent Spirits, is currently being updated but you can still sign up for his newsletter which is extremely informative. Jeffery Morgenthaleris a friend whom I met at the very first Art of the Cocktail conference in Victoria BC. and he is well known as the premiere cocktail blogger worldwide, he practically invented the cocktail blog as we know it and his site is a plethora of information on recipes for drinks and mixers, as well as a host of other information affecting the bar-tending community. Without citing the obvious (Beer Mixology), I have recently become aware of a site that is a fantastic tool for bartenders, Foodpairing.com. The flavor tree is an amazing tool for pairing flavors.
If you were given a magic carpet that would take you on a bar crawl to three different bars, anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- PDT in New York, I have never had the pleasure of visiting that fine city and Jim Meehan has the hottest hand in the cocktail world right now. Besides, he is a native of Wisconsin like me so you know already the man is a class act.
- Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, because I’m a cocktail history geek (original French 75, Bloody Mary, Hanky Panky..,.). Plus I could squeeze in a little side trip to Cognac.
- Hula Manchester in the United Kingdom, I mean Tacky Tiki in the UK, How could that not be an absolute blast?!? A little side trip to Savoy Hotel would be a part of that trip.
If you were stuck on a desert island with an unlimited supply of only one beer and one spirit, which of each would you choose to be stranded with?
Pliny and Pappy!
If you were a classic cocktail, what would you be and why?
A brandy old fashioned. I’m from Wisconsin, they rubbed brandy on my gums as a baby, it’s in my blood.
If you could design a beer cocktail for anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you make it for and what would you make?
Ada Coleman of the American Bar in the Savoy Hotel, London around 1920. She was one of the first and most famous female bartender of her time. I am working on a beer version of the Hanky Panky, A Fernet cocktail that she is famous for creating and one of my favorites.