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Raise a glass to our newest Traeger Pro team member Top Shelf. If you’re looking for some of the best mixologists in the business, look no further than Top Shelf. This smokin’ crew is grilling their spirits and giving their drinks a wood-fired pour over. Casey Metzger, lead bartender and owner of Top Shelf is no stranger to mixin’. With over 20 years of experience, he’ll fill your cup time and time again with drinks that’ll have you asking for another round. In 99’, he landed his first gig as a barback where he realized his passion for bartending. Throughout his career, he’s tended bar in the fine dining space, worked in nightclubs and raised customer spirits at popular spots in Park City, UT. His experience eventually led him to start his own private bartending company, Top Shelf where he’s wowing his crowds with this Traegered grilled cocktails to create memorable and flavorful experiences. Casey is joined by his right-hand man, Phil Testa who’s no stranger to the game himself. He’s spent his career traveling the country working film festivals and some of the most esteemed hotel and nightlife companies. Most recently, before joining the Top Shelf team Phil was cranking out cocktails as the lead bartender for High West Whiskey at their main distillery location in Park City. This dynamic duo come together to blow away crowds with just one pour. The team is rounded out with Grayson West, the man of many talents who gets down with a shaker and helps them with his killer photography to spread the word about grilling cocktails over a Traeger wood-fire. With these three calling the shots, happy hour doesn’t get any better. We’ll drink to that.
Tell us about your most memorable food experience?
Bartending during the 2002 Olympic games in Park City may have been the best time I’ve every had behind a bar. I served people from all around the world. Sharing my town in that amazing setting was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Who do you credit with helping you most in your career, any mentors or people you look up to?
Too many to pick one…Everyone by my side along my journey has played a part in the advancement of my career. I’ve been taught to listen as much as possible to those around me and surround myself with great people. Its the Top Shelf Services Team that continues to help me further my career and allows me opportunities to grow in my career. Most importantly, I would say my wife gives me the confidence and push to continue to get better.
For beginner bartenders or mixologists, what’s the one bit of advice you would give?
Learn as much as you can about the craft, and always own it when behind the stick. (Never stop learning the craft/there is always more to learn about the craft/The craft continues to evolve and you will always have something to learn…
What’s your favorite thing to eat when no one’s watching?
Cold leftover pasta and meatballs that my mom cooked. That's right, directly from the fridge and straight out of the tupperware. Yes, my wife judges me.