Euclid Hall's Ryan Conklin is the only certified Cicerone behind a Denver bar. Cheers!

Categories: Behind the Bar

ryan conklin.jpg
courtesy of Ryan Conklin
Ryan Conklin, certified Cicerone and head barman at Euclid Hall, doesn't think his reasons for going into bartending were very different from what motivates other professionals in the industry. "Like a lot of bartenders, you just kind of have some sort of drive to it, whether that's getting behind the bar before you turn 21 and pouring a couple of beers, or being a kid and mixing together orange juice and lemonade or pouring a suicide from the soda machine," he explains. "You know you like mixing things together and seeing what you come up with. I think everyone knows early on."

Still, he didn't actually get behind a bar until he was of legal drinking age. "My first shot behind the bar was shortly after I turned 21, when I got a chance to bartend and pour beers at Rock Bottom," he recounts.

Shortly after Conklin's first exposure to beverages, he moved back to Colorado. "I focused my life on professional snowboard photography," he says. "I did that for five years while I bussed tables at Sweet Basil in Vail. I took a major step back in developing my restaurant skills, but I was learning about wine and the nuances of fine dining service."

Conklin developed a love for those nuances of hospitality and for educating guests who came through the door. So when he got another chance to get behind the bar in 2005, he took it -- and never looked back, working at places like the Gashouse and Zach's Cabin before coming on board at Euclid Hall, where he was afforded a unique opportunity to pursue the Cicerone program, which certifies professional beer servers -- much like the Court of Master Sommeliers does with wine. Six months later, with the help of a big community of mentors, Conklin had passed level one and level two of the program, making him the only certified Cicerone behind a bar in Denver.

What follows is Conklin's view of life behind the stick (or taps):


Location Info

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
BgreEn
BgreEn

Ryan is a great guy and deserves the recognition. Good show RyGuy.

Jenni
Jenni

Don't forget about Mike Burns also a certified cicerone at Coohills in Denver! 

Mjmatousek58
Mjmatousek58

Ken Grossman, not Griffin, is the founder of Sierra Nevada.

Guest
Guest

Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery.  Steve Hindy & Tom Potter are the owners and founders.  Quick fact check would have caught that.

Cgb2000
Cgb2000

Couldn't find Mike Burns on the Cicerone.org roster. Checked Certified Cicerone and Master Cicerone Levels and then went and looked through the 8000+ Beer Servers and he doesn't show up.  If his certification is through Cicerone.org tell him to contact them and get him listed.

Laura Shunk
Laura Shunk

Thanks, all, those errors were mine -- I've fixed them.

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