Imbibe magazine just came out with its annual “Imbibe 75” list, noting a national spectrum of top bartenders, watering holes, drinks, and trends. On top: Washington’s Derek Brown, who’s named the 2015 Bartender of the Year.
Brown has long been considered a leader in the local drinking scene, breaking ground with the Passenger/Columbia Room, which just closed on New Year’s Day and are in the process of relocating. Currently Brown is behind a trio of watering holes in Shaw: the sherry-centric Mockingbird Hill, whiskey-themed Southern Efficiency, and Eat the Rich, which specializes in oysters and all that’s good to sip alongside.
“I started bartending because I was a shiftless loser,” Brown tells Imbibe in a short video. “And to be honest, at the time I just thought to myself, ‘Someone is the greatest bartender in the world. I don’t know who that is, but I don’t know why couldn’t be me.'”