Erick Castro is co-founder of Raised by Wolves and Polite Provisions, two acclaimed destinations for cocktails and spirits by Arsalun Tafazoli’s Consortium Holdings that are placing San Diego squarely on the global drinks stage. He has worked in the hospitality industry from age 14 and his bartending experience spans both coasts, including San Francisco’s Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch, and New York City’s Boilermaker. His beverage programs have earned the highest accolades, including Esquire’s “The Best Bars in America,” Food & Wine’s “World’s Best Bars” and innumerable Spirited Award nominations at Tales of the Cocktail for “Best American Bartender” and “Best Brand Ambassador.”
Erick is a beloved figure and the creative force behind the highly influential podcast, Bartender at Large, as well as a co-founder of Bartender’s Weekend in San Diego, together with Raised by Wolves partner and long-time friend, Chris Patino. Through his work, Erick is a mentor and inspiration to thousands of bartenders across the U.S. and internationally. He believes that he grows the most when he grows those around him and makes them shine.
At Raised by Wolves and Polite Provisions, Erick leads crews of talented, passionate bar professionals and spearheads their groundbreaking cocktail programs. He is intensely involved with menu creation and bartender trainings, helps guide the mentoring of managers and oversees every aspect of day-to-day operations.
To provide an ongoing voice to bartenders and share hard-won career insights, Erick launched Bartender at Large, an acclaimed podcast for bartenders by a bartender. It won Nightclub & Bar’s “Best Broadcast Industry Podcast 2019,” and the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for “Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series.”
Erick interviews bartending luminaries across the country and attracts 1,400 daily listeners in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia. Erick rediscovered his fondness for interviewing people, which dates back to his graduating from San Diego State University’s School of Journalism, and, more directly, is an outgrowth of his documentary of the same name.