FILM SYNOPSIS | Bartender at Large is a love letter to the art of bartending and the world of craft cocktails. It provides an examination into the modern cocktail renaissance, and allows you to experience it all through the lens of one bartender’s road trip. The trip itself takes viewers behind the scenes on a trek across the western U.S., from a speakeasy in Denver to a dive bar in Tucson to an elegant hotel bar in Santa Fe. In addition, the film highlights the perspectives of those benefiting by the cocktail’s recent boom—local farmers, small distillers, eager customers—but most importantly it showcases the one who puts it all the together; the bartender. This is a film, which tells a story that is every bit as intoxicating as the beverages it describes.
AN ALL-STAR CAST | Erick Castro, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Bobby Heugel, Jim Meehan, Simon Ford, Christy Spinella, Todd Leopold, Sean Kenyon, David Wondrich, Eric Alperin and more.
ALLOCADES FOR THE FILM | Best Documentary: Los Angeles Independent Film Festival 2017, Best Director: Los Angeles Independent Film Festival 2017, Award of Merit: Accolade Global Film Competition, Official Selection: Cinema New York 2017, Official Selection: Docs without Borders 2017, Official Selection: Cayman Islands Film Festival 2017, Official Selection: Vero Beach Wine + Film Festvial 2017, Award of Merit: IndieFEST Film Awards 2017
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING | “You could hardly ask for better company on a journey—both literally and narratively—through the history of the ongoing cocktail revival than Erick Castro, who, when not being a great bartender, has apparently been honing his skills as an engaging host.”—Robert Simonson, New York Times drinks writer and author of “A Proper Drink"
ABOUT ERICK CASTRO | Bartender / Proprietor, Polite Provisions (San Diego, CA)
Erick Castro initially built his cocktail empire at San Francisco's Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch by searching for obscure recipes, methods and ingredients that originated prior to Prohibition. The bartending behemoth is consistently recognized as one of the U.S. spirits industry’s elite, and his unique beverage programs hold a place on many of the nation’s most coveted lists including Esquire's Best Bars in America, Food & Wine’s “World’s Top Bars,” and countless nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans.
In 2013 Castro partnered with San Diego-based hospitality collective, CH Projects, to launch Polite Provisions. An ode to the vintage drugstores and neighborhood soda fountains of main street America, Polite Provisions quickly garnered acclaim as one of the nation’s most respected cocktail destinations and was named Imbibe Magazine’s 2014 ‘Cocktail Bar of the Year,’ Food & Wine’s ‘Best New Bars in the U.S., in addition to ‘Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar’ by Tales of the Cocktail’s Annual Spirited Awards in 2014.
A bi-coastal resident and barkeep, Castro has gone on to help launch New York City’s revered Boilermaker with the team behind Cocktail Kingdom. He is the co-creator of “Follow The Liter,” an irreverent series of online cocktail tutorials, and also serves as a cocktail contributor for Eater.com.