Daniel Godinez, an emerging leader of the West Philly cocktail scene and the flavor ace behind Dock Street Cannery’s beer-fueled cocktail menu, joins us for a beer cocktail workshop at the bar at Art In The Age. And no, we’re not talking about Snake Bites and Irish Car Bombs. Working with an understanding of how widely beer flavor profiles can vary, Daniel uses his insight into those flavors to mix up both familiar and surprising drinks that show how versatile an ingredient beer really is.
Daniel brought his years of experience bartending in San Francisco to Philadelphia last year and quickly found a home at Dock Street Cannery, the stylish new cocktail bar in a garage behind the O.G. West Philly brew pub of the same name. Daniel’s effort, along with the rest of the staff, won Dock Street Cannery a Best of Philly award in the ‘New Bar’ category this year from Philadelphia Magazine.
$40 admission includes an informative group chat with Daniel, clever tips and tricks for using beer in cocktails, hands-on instruction at the AITA tasting room bar, and two cocktails.
Get to know your instructor with a little Q&A:
AITA: How and when did you get into the bartending world?
Daniel: I got into the industry, like most bartenders I’ve met. It was a way to pay to pay for a college education. Not knowing that this was a true passion of mine. When I graduated high school my father offered me a job to join his roofing company. After a few summer of hard labor, I knew that I wanted to pursue a different path. I later applied to my first bartending job at the local bar, San Benito house, being 19 I knew I wasn’t allowed to tend bar, but one will do anything to pay for their education.
AITA: As a transplant from San Francisco, how do you compare the drink scenes in each city, and what makes Philly unique?
Daniel: San Francisco is a connoisseurs market for bars, we love them. They have special bars just dedicated to certain spirits. True Normad only serves calvados and brandy cocktails; The Riddler is exclusively a champagne bar. Cocktail technique and trends are on par with the New York bar scene, but leave little to no room for the low-brow or ultra-casual. Philly, on the other hand, is a growing and expanding scene that has something for everyone and high-quality drinks are still accessible to all. This is a great place to be right now. Philly definitely feels more diverse and this shows up in the cocktails. Rather than obsess over classics and Americana like many other cities do, Philly leans into flavors and techniques from its immigrant populations. I have a deep appreciation for the brashness of Philadelphia and also for the free-thinking aspect of San Francisco. Both cities are breeding grounds for great ideas but I’m definitely ohappy to be in Philly right now.
AITA: What's the best thing about working for Dock Street?
Daniel: Getting to understand my amazing neighborhood. I get a chance to introduce people to new beers and cocktails and having people tell me that they don’t have to venture out anymore for a carefully crafted cocktail is truly something special. Also the beer is exceptional and makes crafting beer cocktails much easier. Mark and Eddie our brewers are always working on new flavors, it’s a great think tank.
AITA: What amens a perfect beer cocktail?
Daniel: Balance, just like any cocktail without beer. You should be able to taste the beer, but the result shouldn’t taste watered down. The beer should play nicely with the other ingredients and the end product should be cohesive and delicious. Our motto at the Cannery is “delicious, not pretentious” which is something I brought with me from SF. Simple is best!