Competitors in MCW's kickoff, the Agave Gauntlet: Casa Noble Cocktail Relay, will be paired off into teams by drawing straws the night of the competition. Some are longtime pals, some are relative newcomers; some gregarious, some a touch reserved: we figured we should level the playing field by helping them, and you, get to know each other a little better a head of time.
CONTENDER: JACK NEIWEEM
Jack Neiweem began his service industry career at Forequarter as a pinch-dishwasher while studying English literature at UW-Madison. Jack's unparalleled speed and dexterity garnered attention to his "fast hands," for which he was plucked from the pit and raised behind the stick. Jack trained under the excellence of Forequarter's bar program under Hastings Cameron and Dave Biefer, which in his later years he will recall as the genesis of his carpal tunnel, as well as the source of his vast reservoir of knowledge and hospitality.
Jack navigated about the Underground Food Collective bar works, eventually stepping up to become bar manager at Forequarter. When Jack is not working, he can be found at the UW seeking internal serenity through study and performance of a traditional Javanese style of court music called Gamelan, as well as fulfilling aspiring night life impressario dreams with DJ sets at Genna's Cocktail Lounge.
CONTENDER: JACK NEIWEEM
Place you work + your shift schedule:
Forequarter Bar: Friday 9p-2a; Saturday, open-9p; Sunday: 6-12a; Monday 6-12a
- IG: crocs_convert
Who do you consider a mentor? Most important lesson they taught you?
I consider Dougie Haystacks Hastings Cameron my "Bar-Mom." He taught me to persevere in the face of heckling, stay agile/whimsical/take short steps, and to always prove that you're better than someone else by doing what they are doing faster than they can do it. The latter being a sub-concept of "powering through," which is when you essentially force a square block through the circle hole, preferably to some MOP or really any other bangin' hip hop played on repeat, over and over again, to stay in the zone, and powering through.
What sensations/emotions does the phrase "personal brand" immediately invoke?
See Ed Hong's influence on community bar-slang; Beau Deveraux's single cougar-bait braid; or Mark the Spark's cornucopia of rail eau de vie.
Favorite work of art:
A paloma DHC made for me in 2012
Tequila: sip neat, or in a cocktail?
I love Tequila Sunrises.
MSG: Parmesan or Uncut Powder?
I prefer capsules.
Setting aside lime & orange – what are your go-to flavor combinations for agave distillates?
What's your favorite Wisconsin/Midwestern source of acid – something tart/tangy to balance a cocktail?
Over-under on how soon Wisconsin will be wine country:
I'll run that one by Bob.
Your favorite tool (bar... or life):
Raffy (Centrifuge if that's too mean.)
Favorite vessel you've sipped out of: