George Engelstad got started in the industry early. He was just 15 when he got his first job as a dishwasher. He moved to Seattle at 18 and quickly moved up in the restaurant world, starting as a bartender at 21. He worked at The Showbox, one of the west coast’s most iconic live music venues (and dance club), for nearly a decade. After his daughter was born in 2008, he decided to get away from the chaos of nightclub life and immersed himself in cocktail culture. George helped open Still Liquor, where he got his feet wet preparing more complicated cocktails and learning everything he could about spirits—particularly whiskey. Currently, he’s the bar manager at Fonda la Catrina and El Sirenito, in addition to representing Angel’s Envy as our Seattle Whiskey Guardian.
When asked why he’s stayed involved with the industry, George answered, “I’ve gotten to meet and work with so many great people, many of whom have become like family over the years. I stay passionate about being able to explore the endless possibilities that cocktails offer. There’s always something new to try and someone to learn new tricks from. This industry and Seattle in general have treated me so well through the years that it would be hard to move on to something different.”
There’s always something new to try and someone to learn new tricks from. This industry and Seattle in general have treated me so well through the years that it would be hard to move on to something different.
When Angel’s Envy approached George about the possibility of working together, he was excited. “I first tried Angel’s Envy while working at Tavern Law. My first impression was how rich it was. But when I learned the history of Lincoln and the Henderson family, I knew that it was a product I could stand behind. And I love watching people try the Rye for the first time. It’s always followed by a curse word and a request for more.”
When he’s not spending time with his daughter and wife, George has spent his life on a skateboard, although with two jobs and general aging, it’s getting harder to find the time. He also occasionally screen prints a shirt or two. Look for him at Angel’s Envy events throughout the Seattle area, or seek him out at either one of his bars. And if you’ve never tried our Rye, order a glass and swear after tasting it. George loves that.