SideBar - It's Gettin' Personal With Nathaniel Johnson


USBG Des Moines; 13 years in hospitality, 3 years in bar, 1 year in beverage retail management


Nicknames: Dale


Professional Stats & Vitals: Certified beverage geek


First job: Dishwasher, busser


Why this business: Flavor is everything, and hospitality is the most important


Childhood ambition: Live somewhere abroad and absorb the language and culture.


Best part of job: Seeing happy and entertained guests


Stress relievers: Playing/watching darts, cycling, making homemade amari


Favorite quote: "Treat it like your own, and someday it will be."


If you won the lottery tomorrow: Wouldn't change much. But I would only travel first class, drink grower champagne daily, and new socks each day.


Nathaniel Johnson.jpeg


Pet peeve: Chefs and bartenders who use their jobs as an accessory for social media. It's the hospitality that's most important.


Advice you could offer to others: When you're told you can't do something, try even harder. Also: failure is the pathway to success. Learn from mistakes, and don't try to repeat them.


Best advice you ever got: The only things that can't be taken from you are your experiences, education, and work ethic.


Best compliment anyone could give you: "Marron, that's delicious."


Riskiest thing you've ever done: Spent all my money on an apartment in a new city without a job in place.


Personal heroes: Fred Dame, the Meehan Brothers, Dan Barber


Is there something about you that would surprise people?

I have an undying love for Elisir Novasalus. So much that my "Make Novasalus Great Again" hat apparently has me marked by a lot of Haus Alpenz people.




How do you turn around a lousy day?

2 tacos lengua, 2 arrachera, 2 al pastor con todo, and a brown michelada


Most interesting place traveled & why:

Minneapolis. Small city with a lot of passionate people. Get them talking and the time can go anywhere.


What's the simplest thing you've never mastered?

Parallel parking. I ride my bike more than I drive.


Favorite part of

Interacting with other like-minded career beverage people.


Cold Beer pool table.jpg


Sports team: Live and bleed Minnesota.


Joke: How can you tell if someone is (chef/mixologist/sommelier)? Don't worry, they'll tell you.


Word: Marron


If you could change jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Michelin Guide reviewer.


What other profession would you never try?

Anything banking or insurance-related.


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

"Awww f*ck. They said you'd be coming."


Anything we missed?

My obsession with Italian sandwiches. If the gabagool isn't good, it's already over.


1 Comment


February 23, 2018 01:15 PM by Frederic Yarm

Novasalus is definitely one of the weirdest amaro out there. Cheers!

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