Shane McKnight first experienced mixing by mixing paint colors. “I was good at matching colors and coming up with new formulas. I didn’t know that job was preparing me for a different kind of mixing as a bartender. I began managing the bar service for huge events: concerts, sporting events, company holiday parties, and celebrity weddings. I became dissatisfied with the quality of cocktails served at these events because so many people had to be served so quickly.”
“So, I came up with the concept of ‘craft on draft.’ Using a concentrated syrup that I mix from fresh ingredients, we can serve premium cocktails on draft. For instance, my craft concentrate ginger beer, made with organic ginger and organic cane juice is fermented with live active yeast. It was a huge success, and in my job with Best Beverage Catering, I began to curate elaborate cocktail programs. I’m now making a ‘farm to glass’ option for every category, for every beverage gun. The flavors are fresh and bright, because we can make fresh kegs quickly all day long.”
“Two-thirds of what’s in a cocktail is the mixer. It’s impossible to make a good cocktail with mediocre mixers, even if the distilled spirit is top quality. Besides, mixers are more fun, and you can be more creative.”
Shane decided to look at areas where others weren’t focused, he wanted to raise the bar for mixers with better ingredients, and he wanted to design a more efficient direct distribution system for mixers, outside of the usual distilled spirits distribution networks.
“it’s all about food and beverages, contributing to making the whole experience more exciting and flavorful.”
Shane has personally seen people come to an event with low expectations, assuming that they will be poured a mediocre cocktail. “When a beautiful cocktail is served to them quickly, it transforms their experience. They notice the difference in quality and really appreciate it. That is what I enjoy.”