Justin Beam of Craft Dallas
W Hotel 2440 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX 75219
Justin Beam was born in McKinney, Texas to a Southern Baptist Minister father and a school teacher mother that met while playing piano at a revival. The mixologist grew up committed to organized sports like baseball and football - needless to say, without the pleasures of alcohol. At 15, to save enough money for a car, he took his first position in the industry bussing and expoing at a breakfast-only restaurant near his home.
From bussing tables Beam skipped bartending school and went on to train with some of the mixology world's greats: Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost and Steven Olson. Beam worked his way up to a position as Beverage Director at M Crowd Restaurant Group in Dallas where he was involved in the day-to-day operations of 24 restaurants throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City. Beam was responsible for the development of the entire beverage program and able to work with two of the most influential men in the Dallas restaurant scene, and two of his biggest mentors: owner Michael "Mico" Rodriguez and Executive Chef Chris Ward.
Beam's cocktail program at Craft and The Living Room at the W Hotel Dallas is sophisticated and playful, with drinks that tell their own imaginative story with fresh ingredients and attention to detail. His Grassy Knoll, a balanced mix of tart house-made lemonade, Pimm's Cup and grassy vodka, evokes an afternoon on the cricket lawn on a summery afternoon. In The Waterloo, Beam uses fresh key lime and blood orange juice to layer the flavor of tequila and sweetens it with agave nectar to create what he affectionately nicknames Napolean's Margarita. The drink is chilled by one enormous ice cube, rather than a multitude of small ones (which means no immediate watering down), and seasoned with a smoky, salty rim of volcanic salt and agave.