" I drink for a living."
Derek Brown for The Atlantic Monthly's A Conversation with Derek Brown.
Derek Brown is a leading spirits and cocktail expert with four of the country's most respected craft cocktail bars, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and the twice James Beard Award-nominated Columbia Room, located in Washington, D.C. A native Washingtonian with deep ties to the city — his great-grandfather was once D.C.’s police chief — Derek admits that Washington provides a unique vantage point as the capital city, having mixed drinks for everyone from royalty, ambassadors and senators to fellow Washingtonians, interns and students. He’s concocted cocktails at the White House, clinked glasses with Martha Stewart and was even appointed Chief Spirits Advisor at the National Archives. Derek’s philosophy for crafting memorable drinks goes beyond what’s shaken, stirred and served in a glass. “When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature, I think about how they connect to history,” he explained to Imbibe magazine, which named him 2015’s Bartender of the Year. “I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”
Derek’s passion for spirits has taken him across the globe, where he’s learned about the integral role drinking plays in the culture, customs and values of communities worldwide. He’s also written about drinks and drinking for The Atlantic, The Washington Post and Bon Appetit magazine, among other publications.
Derek heads Drink Company, the entity behind his four Washington watering holes, and when he’s not behind the bar, Derek sits on the board of directors for the Tequila Interchange Project and the DC Public Library Foundation. Derek is also a spirits judge at the prestigious San Francisco World's Spirit Competition, on the advisory council for BevCon Charleston and Mixology Chair for Share Our Strength's "Taste of the Nation” event.
His innovative approach to bartending lead The Wall Street Journal to describe Derek’s methodology as “a systematic, almost scientific, strategy for inventing.” Case in point: his signature drink, “The Getaway,” which mixes black molasses rum with artichoke liqueur and fresh lemon juice.
As for his favorite drink? That would be a dram of good whiskey.
Angie Fetherston is the CEO of Drink Company, overseeing the company’s business operations as well as partnerships, corporate development and strategy. She co-founded Drink Company with leading spirits and cocktail expert Derek Brown in 2010 and together they own award-winning bars Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, and Southern Efficiency. They’ve also headed multiple community initiatives like supporting the National Archives Foundation with programming surrounding their Spirited Republic exhibit and worked with the D.C. City Council to proclaim the Rickey as the official cocktail of Washington D.C.
Previously, Angie was an Integrated Marketing Account Executive at WUSA*9, D.C.'s local CBS affiliate, and co-founded an award-winning tech startup.
Angie is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business where she was awarded their prestigious 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She was inducted to the Tales of the Cocktail® Dame Hall of Fame in 2016 which celebrates groundbreaking achievements by women in the global hospitality industry and sits on the Board of Directors for Shaw Main Streets.
Angie was born in Ecuador, spent her teens in Spain and is now happy to call Washington, D.C. home, where she lives with her husband JP Fetherston and their doggie, Teddy Grahams.
JP is the Head Bartender at Columbia Room and oversees all of Drink Company’s training and educational programs as its Global Trainer. He was recently included in Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Mixologists 2016" and named "D.C.'s Brainiest Bartender" in 2016 by the Washington D.C. City Paper. He's also been featured in Thrillist’s list of “America’s 21 Greatest Bartenders of 2015”.
Previously, JP was the Bar Manager of Southern Efficiency, during which he won Eater D.C.'s 2014 "Bartender of the Year" and under his leadership, Southern Efficiency garnered such accolades as Food & Wine Magazine's 2014 "People's Best Bar in the Northeast" and Bon Appetit Magazine's 2014 "Top 50 Best New Restaurants in America."
JP has master’s degrees in history from both the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has also cycled throughout Scotland, visiting 27 different distilleries before apprenticing at Bruichladdich under Master Distiller Jim McEwan and his team.
Staff & Associates
Senior Bar Manager
Partner / Oysterman
Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency