WHISKEY GUARDIAN : Jason “J” Endress

Jason “J.” Endress wanted to be a bartender since he was a teenager. But this didn’t stop him from studying history and creative writing at Mercyhurst College. After finishing school, he moved to Pittsburgh where he’s spent the past ten years. After putting in several years as a line-cook, he eventually got his chance behind the bar at a modest dive-bar in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy district. After four years there, he began to take his craft more seriously, which has allowed him to work with some of the best individuals and establishments in the city.

J. explains his passion for the work, “I have a great thirst for knowledge, and I thrive on challenge. There’s always something new happening in the spirits world, always some new rabbit hole to plunge down. I take a lot of pride in my abilities to educate, and I strive to make every instance I find myself in some form of teaching role better than the last. In general, I love how closely the history of humanity is married to spirits. It’s truly something that brings us all together, past, present and future.” But it’s not just furthering his own education that drives him. He’s also impressed by his consumers’ knowledge. “I really believe that the education level of our consumers is inspiring. That’s really what allows us to go beyond comfort zones and try new things. Seeing a skeptic’s face light up when they try something new? Seeing that more and more really excites me.”

He first heard about Angel’s Envy when it came into his market. “It was 2011, right when I was just starting to get into the world of craft bartending. Coincidentally, my Father had recently stoked a great enthusiasm in me for Manhattans. So really, it was love at first sip.” When a colleague approached J. about working for the brand, one month later he was on board.

When he’s not representing Angel’s Envy around Pittsburgh, you can find J. tending the bar at Tender Bar + Kitchen. He’s also an avid reader and writer, and is never far from a pencil and paper. Look for Jason, or any of his published articles or reviews, and learn a few things about Angel’s Envy. You’ll be happy you did.

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