Mixologist Brian Means of Fifth Floor - Biography

San Francisco, CA

December 2012

As you would expect of a young boy, Brian Means didn’t expect he would grow up to be a bartender. It started for him as just a part-time gig, a way to make some cash, but it soon grew to be his passion. He never received any proper training (though he did receive a business degree from California State University, East Bay); he just started as a bar back at a local Italian restaurant and later at chain restaurant P.F. Chang’s. As lead bartender at Chow, Means started learning how to develop cocktail recipes with an eye for seasonality and customer whim. He later joined the bar team at Zero Zero, where he continued down that path, working with a number of influential bartenders.

As bar manager at the Fifth Floor in San Francisco’s swanky Hotel Palomar, Means works closely with Chef David Bazirgan and Pastry Chef Francis Ang to craft cocktails that make sense being enjoyed before a meal, or even during. His Level-1 sommelier certification also helps him understand the nuance of wine and its place in the cocktail world.