We decided to expand our Artist of the Week feature to “Craftsperson of the Week” to better cover the diverse range of talented creatives we have here in Uptown Saint John. This week we are proud to feature “mixologist” Shawn Horgan who is leads the crew at the Saint John Ale House in creating amazing concoctions every night.
Here is the scoop on Shawn:
Where were you born?
Saint John, NB at the Old General
How did you get interested in bartending & “mixology”?
Around 18 I really wanted to get behind the bar and make drinks because I thought it was cool. A working holiday to Australia really opened my eyes to the culinary aspect of creating and making cocktails and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study in some of their top establishments.
Do you have any formal training?
Formal training is over-rated. If you are going to take formal training don't waste your time paying 300$ from some guy who doesn't know what he's talking about cause he worked at a dive bar 10 years ag for 6 months, really do some research and find out what their credentials are.
With that being said, I do have an 2 Responsible Service of Alcohol courses, my pre-Somellier, and pre-Cicerone (which are professional wine and beer designations, respectively).
How long have you been with the Ale House?
I've been with the Alehouse since May 2004, with a year and a half break when I was in Australia.
What do you like best about uptown Saint John?
I like the old architecture and the small town feel of it.
Have served any any famous customers over the years?
I served Mena Suvari multiple times when she was in town filming a movie, Vladimir Putin and his entourage showed up at a vodka bar i was working at, and I once regrettably met Matt Good while he was coming out of the can at a Mexican restaurant.
What drinks to you most enjoy making most?
I enjoy making the classics and any drinks that don't use pre-mixed juices.
Where is the most interesting place youve ever been?
Although I would probably not go back there, Egypt. I was amazed by their religious rituals throughout the day, their night markets, the nile, the pyramids, and turned off with the crime and sanitation.
Do you have any pets?
Yes my girlfriend Katlin and I have a Maltese pup named Zuri.
Whom are your mixology role models?
Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, Jerry “The Professor” Thomas..RIP
What is your favorite drink?
Depends on the mood I'm in, the time of day, and the temperature. A good anytime go-to favorite cocktail is a well made gin martini.
What do you like to eat for breakfast?
I like to eat hashbrowns with ketchup, bacon, and a bowl of nutty cereal. And a ceasar 😉
Who is your favorite musician?
John Butler or Zach de la Rocha
Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall?
Do we have summer in Saint John?
Can you play a musical instrument?
What is your favorite hangout uptown?
Happinez and Urban Deli
Describe yourself in three words.
Professional, Entertaining, and Ambitious.