Belgian bartender turns beer into cocktails
There’s much more to mastering the art of the perfect cocktail than meets the eye. It takes lots of theoretical knowledge and practice.
Our 31-year-old compatriot Damien Baert knows all about it. While studying PR, he found a student job as a bartender. He immediately felt at home with the nightlife and the contact with customers. He then took over an old café in Namur’s university district, invested all his time and money in it – his motto being ‘better debt than regret’ – followed every mixology course he could and took part in a whole range of national and international cocktail competitions.
He frequently reached the top 5 and even managed to shake himself the place of honour in the final. His Égerie, prepared especially as a tribute to the Aegean Sea during a contest in Greece, launched his career and gave him the kick start he needed, he believes.
Back in his cocktail bar in a trendy part of Namur, Damien works with others, including the breweries InBev, Dubuisson and Lindemans, to transform special beer into sublime cocktails. The list grows ever longer thanks to his exploration, innovation and optimisation. You can clearly taste all natural flavours in his preparations, namely bitter, sweet, herbs or salt. Dying to know which ingredients he uses in his irresistible creations? The bartender will be delighted to give you a glimpse of the secrets behind his creative talent.