We are the crew behind Propping Up The Bar.
The keepers of the cocktail shakers, the eyes behind the lens, the trend-setting, technique developing, multi-category training, brand building ears on the ground.
We are The Bar Proppers and we prop up the bar.
Cheeky Tune while you read?
Founder and Owner
As with many people in the bar industry, my first job behind the bar was pulling pints, in
his case in a rock bar in Grimsby with music so loud you’d struggle to hear the drinks orders.
In my element given my background playing guitar in a band, the soundtrack of AC/DC and
Metallica was the perfect fit.
However, after a short stint in Sheffield, I took a trip to Cornwall in a baby blue VW
camper van and, before long, had fallen in love with the place, deciding to relocate. By
slowly working his way around various bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in the area, I
became familiar with many different styles of venue and how they operate, before settling
on the highly-acclaimed Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. It was here in my role as head
bartender that I learned much of my craft. By taking the seasonality and fresh produce
focus of the venue and adding Italian influences, I was able to create an innovative
Whilst in Cornwall I also began to work as the UK brand ambassador for
the newly-launched Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin.
After around three years heading up cocktails at Fifteen, that itchy feet feeling started to set
in, so with encouragement from family and friends, I decided to make the jump from a
windswept Watergate Bay to London. My not-so-small vision? Becoming the bar manager at
a globally renowned cocktail bar.
When a bartender role presented itself at Worship Street Whistling Shop it was therefore an opportunity to move a step closer in this direction, whilst expanding my skills using their laboratory full of kit. After just six months, I was
promoted to bar manager, where I stayed for almost two years, and in the process
explored and perfected many scientific and molecular techniques, working out how they
could be used to extract flavours and combine ingredients in a way that was previously out
of my reach.
With the chance to combine my seasonal knowledge from Jamie’s Fifteen with an
understanding of how flavours work, and this new arsenal of understanding of state-of-the-
art equipment that wouldn’t look out of place in a science lab (or a bartender’s dream), I
was able to create awe-inspiring drinks that captivated the minds and palates of some of the
biggest names in the bartending and hospitality industry.
Having started to build a name for myself on the London scene, and with his background
with Tarquin’s Gin, when I decided to look for new opportunities within the industry I
was introduced to a new brand by spirits distributors Hi-Spirits; the multi award-winning
New Zealand gin, Scapegrace.
“Scapegrace is probably the only brand that could have taken me away from my jobs at WsWs and Tarqs - it really is a stunning gin. As you can imagine, running a globally renowned gin palace, I had the privilege of trying A LOT of gins from all over the
place. Scapegrace stands tall and shines bright, even in the seriously crowded market of the
UK’s current favourite spirit.”
Then teamed with his brand manager at Hi-Spirits/Sazerac, I worked on many brand
activations such as; tasting sessions, masterclasses, music, food and gin festivals, food
pairings, trade shows, and sponsored events such as the prestigious Class Bar Awards.
I presented at the Ideal Home Show’s Eat and Drink Festival, led a UK-wide takeover
tour working with bartenders up and down the country in 36 different bars, organised and
ran an entire UK regional cocktail competition with a unique spin and hosted 15 Gracetrail’s
throughout the UK and Ireland which consisted of connecting with bartenders and bar
owners and working with them to create a one-off serve to which they would serve to 15/20
bartenders on a cocktail tour running over 5/8 bars. I also recently won the title of Best
Brand Ambassador at the Icons of Gin Awards in the World category.
After just over two epic years with Scapegrace and Hi-spirits I moved on to work for AB-INBEV owned Atom brands, working on new levels of activations with some of the worlds most awarded brands and raising up from UK/Ireland Portfolio ambassador to UK and EU Brand Advocacy manager in just under seven months! My time at Atom brands gave me a whole new understanding and angle on the workings within large corporate companies and some amazing insights into e-commerce, trade marketing, consumer marketing, branding, and most importantly people!
Just before I Launched Propping Up The Bar on the 8th of April 2020 I had to undergo a full restructure of the company due to a certain global pandemic raising its head, I reached deep and pushed all energy and focus into my brand new company telling myself,
"Do what you can with what you have got"
Now along with the original plan for Propping Up The Bar which included in-depth face-to-face training sessions, creative sessions, confidence building. Our team of Bar Proppers can offer so much more!
Just check out our website to see what we can do and have done. more services will be added as they become available.
Pro Presenter, Gin Expert and Juniper Icon
Born in New Jersey, I have more than 20 years in the hospitality industry with a B.A. in Hotel & Restaurant Management.
I started my career at Marriott Hotels in St.Louis, Missiouri, working as a restaurant manager, then later an event planner. I continued as a sales manager in a boutique hotel, before moving to New York City to shift my career to focus on bars and restaurants. It was whilst living in deepest darkest Brooklyn that I stretched my cocktail bartending wings working at an American Whisky bar in NYC. In fact, I would say that I've done just about every job in the hospitality industry, including as a line chef and pastry assistant.
I moved to London in 2015 with my husband, and have worked with some brilliant brands and bars while being here including Belsazar Vermouth and Heaven Hill Whiskies. While bartending at Bad Sports, I created the British Bartender's Association (BBA), a group aimed at bringing bar workers together for education and camaraderie. Then in 2017 I found my feet with That Boutique-y Gin Company and Atom Brands. I started as UK Brand Ambassador and then was promoted to Global Advocacy manager in 2019. During my time with Atom Brands I created brand strategies and developed new products for them, along with getting people to fall in love with their portfolio of products. It was a crazy ride full of excitement, and led me to winning Icons of Gin- Gin Brand Ambassador of the Year for 2018.
Beyond hospitality my passions are cooking, trying to be as green as possible, horseback riding, and DIY. My husband and I tend to buy whatever the cheapest ticket is on Skyscanner and find ourselves in cities that tourists often don’t travel to eating things like pork knuckle.
Drinks Guru,Whisky Specialist, Analog photographer and Presenter
Callums career in the booze industry started off serving pints in country pubs over a decade ago.
He is now the drinks director for multiple award-winning bars in Bath, Including the Hideout which was placed in the Top 50 Cocktail bars last year.
In the past he worked with globally recognised whisky brands a such as Bruichladdich, Glenmorangie, Balvenie and many more, arranging events, designing cocktails and hosting tastings.
He muddle's together words related to the drinks industry, puts them up on www.allthebooze.com and hosts the whisky and Hip Hop Podcast Barley and Beats. His aim is to share the knowledge he has learnt about the drinks industry, in a relaxed yet informative way.
Callums life isn't all whisky and cocktails, you can find me loading a camera with a roll of 35mm film and taking pictures the old school way.
Gin lad! Professional Photographer, Flavorologist
Joe started bartending in local pubs while studying photography at university. He quickly fell in love with hospitality and making cocktails. Once he finished his degree he decided to combine his loves of photography and making drinks with his Instagram @todays_tipple, sharing his cocktail creations with stylised images of them.
Since then he has worked in everything from 5* hotel bars, to casual East London cafe bars. In 2018 he joined the team at Molecular Cocktail bar; Worship St Whistling Shop where he stayed until its closure. Following that He has worked as a brand ambassador for Pinkster Gin and City of London Distillery. Using his knowledge of gin and his love of education to teach people everything from how to make gin, to its long and varied history.
Recently, he has taken a step from behind the bar to behind the camera and is now providing photography and cocktail consultancy to the drinks industry
Agave & Rum Specialist, Spirit Educator
& Hospitality Guru
Nate started his bartending career in York, working in a variety of independent & branded cocktail bars across the city before migrating South to London to be involved in the huge cocktail movement taking place. With over 15 years experience in the industry, he has worked across a multitude of venues from developing the bar program for the Wahaca Restaurant group, where he developed his obsession with Agave spirits, through to honing his skills at some of London’s premier cocktail bars including a memorable stint at The London Cocktail Club before moving into Brand work with some iconic global spirit brands.
After a trip around the world to research and learn from bartenders in some of the world’s best cocktail bars he settled in Cardiff for a few years where he secured a job with Mangrove Global and began honing his skills in Brand Building, Brand Education and Sales before moving back to London in 2017.
Having always had a huge passion for education especially when it came to Latin spirits, he was able to put his passion and skills to good use working on iconic brands like Herradura Tequila, Portobello Road Gin and Old Forester Bourbon.
His most recent role was as the Global Dark Spirits Brand Ambassador for Halewood International working with brands such as Dead Man’s Fingers Rum & John Crabbie Whisky.
Between all this he has helped create beverage programs for various companies across the UK including Treetop Adventure Golf & The Rum Kitchen. A passionate brand educator and hospitality specialist, Nate now works as a consultant to help business’ and brands grown as well as using his Instagram platform @thespiritguidenate to continue to educate as many people who will listen.
He is also one of the owners of Pennyroyal in Cardiff, a high profile neighbourhood cocktail bar in the city centre.
Bar builder, disco drinker and weapons specialist
Born in London (Camden town), my 7 year career within the hospitality industry began in Notting hill as a waitress. Riding 70 miles each night on a motorbike. 6 months in I was allowed on the bar and decided that I wasn't going to leave bars!
I went on to run the bar side of things in a lesbian venue in the heart of soho deeping my love for hospitality. A year later my long career with the @londoncocktailclub started. Swinging many lights and learning what high speed bartending with no room for error was 4.5 years later I have conquered everything thrown at me and gone from bar back to their longest standing General manager having run 5 out of ten their bars.
During this time with London cocktail club I have also been working as a Hubertus circle bartender for @jagermeister , these bartender are hand picked to represent the brand in their own country as well as globally.
Great guest experience is everything but also a healthy lifestyle for your team and encouraging a work life balance for this extra mile that separates the good bars from excellent bars. Happy staff = happy guests.
In the midst of the chaos of 2020 Myself and a friend who missed bar so much decided that it was high time we built our own. So out of an old abandon room built on top of a well the @pumproom.bar was born. Resulting in a show about cocktails without the BS
Everyone loves a vk don’t lie 😉.
Photographer / Creative and Cocktail bartender
Alongside multiple areas of photography Dan’s secondary career path over the years has been led by bar managment and cocktail bartending. This has coincided in harmony with his photographic path driving his creativity further and further where he now operates solely as a freelance photographer.
Originating from Castle Donington in the Midlands his admiration for photography was evoked through one of his life long passions in skateboarding, where he later went on to study photography at college and university.
Whilst Dan’s bartending career has taken him around the world to Australia working for renowned bars such 1806 and being successful in many cocktail competitions, a prime focus in his photography has been in food and beverage.
Dan has worked with brands such as @opihrgin , Miss Great Britain, @burleighsgin Gin, @thingsandink and many independent businesses to the midlands where he loves being a part of making them stand out in a effective and unique way with creativity at the forefront of all he does..