Raise A Glass with Garrett Lee Williams

Co-Owner of Home Brewed Events and G.M. at Evil Genius Beer Co.

  • Introduce yourself and talk about where you are currently working.

I’m Garrett Lee Williams and am currently the General Manager at Evil Genius Beer Co: The Lab located in Fishtown. Additionally I am a Board director for the Philadelphia Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild.

  • What experiences and/or jobs led you to where you are now?

I’ve been behind a plank of wood for almost every job I’ve ever held. From my first job washing dishes at the pizzeria across the street from my house, to many years as a barista anywhere from local Camp Hill Cornerstone to Starbuck in Maui, and lots of time slinging burritos at Neato Burrito. Leading up to my current job though, my wife Meredith and I started Home Brewed Events about 6 years ago and through various connections ended up talking with the owners of Evil Genius and helping them with a series of pop-up beer gardens while the building was being finished. After that, I got the dream job I didn’t know that I even wanted and now I get to spend every day planning silly events, working with an amazing amount of amazing people, and of course drinking stellar beers. It’s. Rad.

  • What did you want to be growing up?

Carpenter. When I was about 8 I thought I was going to look like Tony Danza when I grew up (I don’t) and that he was a carpenter (he wasn’t).

  • What was your gateway beer? Do you still enjoy it?

Magic Hat #9 was about as weird as it got locally when I came of age. I drank it a lot. I haven’t had one in a while but I bet it’s exactly the same and still delicious. Prior to my legality in the states though, I took a long vacation to Leiden and had my first “legal” beer there. It was Duvel and I’m still in love with that beer.

  • What is your favorite band or album to listen to while drinking a good beer?

HOW IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION THAT YOU CAN ANSWER? Much to the chagrin of my wife, staff and co-workers, I was raised a Parrot Head so I listen to Jimmy Buffet a lot. Any ‘Cryin and Dyin’ country music gets me groovin’ and also my love for Paul Simon knows no bounds and is everlasting.

  • What’s your ‘local’ in Philly and why?

Well, on the way home is this mostly Puerto Rican bar that I drink at about twice a week on the way home. I am the only 30 something gringo that hangs out there and they are amazing people who tolerate me reading while I’m at a loud, dark, cheap bar. Otherwise, I try to bounce around the neighborhood of Fishtown as much as possible. Oh, not a real shocker here but The Lab is somewhere I drink a lot. They ALSO tolerate me reading at the bar.

  • Who do you look up to in the industry?

Oh that’s easy. I’m only 5’9” so most people are taller than I am. I look up to just about everyone.

Seriously though, I’d like to shoutout to Canyon Shayer over at Philadelphia Distilling. He’s the Bar Manager there and may actually be the kindest and most competent person I’ve ever met. He also makes one helluva gimlet.

  • What is something that not many people know about you?

When I was 8 my parents signed me up for ballet. I did ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, gymnastics and sadly also did some Hip-Hop classes. I left ballet when I sustained an injury to my right hip (which is why I limp when I’m tired) where I pulled it out of its socket. It was really lame. I still miss ballet all the time and if you buy me a couple drinks I’ll show you my intro from the last Nutcracker performance I did.