The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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Page 122 of 124

122  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2016 A neighborhood bar trying to push the limits, The Way Back opened just seven months ago northwest of downtown Denver. Encouraging people to think more about what they're eating and drinking, The Way Back focuses on local ingredients for the kitchen as well as the bar whenever possible. "We do a lot of pickling and canning when produce is in season," shares Chad Michael George, co-owner and co-manager of the new establishment. They work with many special companies, including Micro Farms and Infinite Harvest, to help accomplish this goal—Micro Farms turns people's yards into small farms and then sells the bounty, while Infinite Harvest utilizes a vertical hydroponic greenhouse with efficient lighting to grow produce year-round. George likes to stay local with the majority of his spirit selections as well. "Woody Creek Gin is as grain-to-glass as you can get. They grow their own potatoes and distill onsite." George is also rolling out his autumn after-dinner drink menu as the weather turns colder. "I love an Irish Coffee when it's served at the proper temperature; they're usually not warm enough." He is using a sous vide machine to keep the coffee and sugar at 175 degrees, so that when two ounces of whiskey is added, it is the perfect drinking temperature. As for the wine list, it is slowly growing and leans toward sustainable and Biodynamic producers. "I like to price my wine list aggressively and would love to be known as a great place to drink wine," shares George. One thing at a time, but The Way Back is sure to become that too. TAKING INVENTORY WITH . . . Reading com- ment cards; loving that our reviews are mostly glowing. Introducing people to the amazingness of aged rums and brandy/ Cognac. We are developing a trusting clientele, and it's really great to open a whiskey lover's heart to those other delicious brown spirits. Ending a great night at West End Tap with the coldest Coors Banquet and a shot of Peach Street Bourbon. Going on our Sunday staff field trips. Experiencing new spots in Denver. This town is explod- ing! I love this restaurant/bar community, and it is so fun to watch it grow. Sticky bottles behind the bar. Over-priced wine lists. Restaurant employees on their phones in view of guests. Not knowing the difference between basic service and true hospitality. People in our business constantly being late, whether to work or to a tasting or an event. THE "5" LIST CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE'S TOP FIVE FAVES CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE'S FIVE PEEVES CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE CO-BOSSMAN, THE WAY BACK, DENVER by Allyson Gorsuch

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