Where did you grow up?
What did you do before you were a bartender?
Went to high school, did a few odd jobs, then got lucky and started on the bar at 19.
How long have you been in the industry?
Over 10 years now.
What was your first bar tending gig?
The Keg at Park Royal.
What is your bartending pet peeve? What might happen at work that really grinds your gears?
Bartenders who try and run before they walk. You should learn how to properly make a Sidecar before making one with lavender balsamic reduction and poppy seed tincture. Also, it's not their fault but a lot of patrons ask for drinks that aren't sweet, we don't make sweet drinks! I think you can blame that perception on a huge number of bad "martini" lists at chains and other restaurants that feature nothing but flavoured vodkas and bad liqueurs.
Do you have a go-to cocktail or beverage for at home? Tell us a bit about your favorite personal recipe.
For me at home it's a bourbon and a beer, though I have a fully capable bar (250 plus bottles) at home. If I am making a drink at home, it’s a Manhattan with Thomas handy rye, Punt e Mes vermouth and Boker’s bitters.
What do you drink when you go out? What's your usual order?
Same thing: a bourbon and a beer after work. If I'm out for dinner I'll have a Plymouth Martini, French 75, or Old Fashioned. If I'm at a bar for the first time or traveling I'll try something off the list.
We keep hearing that Gastown is such a great place to be a bartender right now. Why is that?
By far the highest concentration of the best bars in the country. Other than parts of NY or London I haven't been anywhere with so many great bars so close to one another. Also, it's like a family down here, we're all great friends and send guests to each other’s places, we don't see each other as competition at all.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read the following: "BCLDB"?
Well things are getting better... But this is the most expensive market for alcohol in North America. Combine that with the fact I can go across the border and find hundreds of products I can't get here. Some sort of privatization must happen.
What are some of the most unlikely ingredients you have used in making a cocktail?
I once did a duck fat-infused cognac and Cuban cigar-infused bourbon, which was very popular. If you're going to try this crazy stuff people, make sure your drink tastes good first... just a tip.
If we pressed play on your iPod right now, what would we hear?
And if we opened up your web browser history, what page would we be on?
Devour for cool videos, Scout for restaurant news, and my football pool.
Do you have a favorite beer or wine? Tell us about that.
Brooklyn Lager has a great story, and it's popular enough to be in some great bars but not too popular yet, maybe because it's not in a green bottle.
What is a must-have on your food menu?
Pan fried veal sweetbreads on toast! Must-have! Great course during a long dinner, or even better as a snack with a bottle of IPA at the bar.
If you could pick anyone to be your bartender wingman/woman for one night, dead or alive, who would it be?
Murray Stenson from Seattle (Zig Zag cafe, canon) or Brian Silva from London (Rules).
What would you be doing if you weren't bartending?
Second base for the Boston Red Sox.
Name something every great bartender should own?
A copy of The Savoy, their own jigger (not a glass shot glass), and modesty.
Favorite bar to sit at in Gastown besides your own?
The Diamond for a cocktail and Alibi Room for a beer.
217 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Photo 2: Kate Brown