5280 Top of the Town

Our own Chad Michael George is named Editor's Choice Best Bartender.

Chad Michael George used to be a bartender without a bar. As president of the Colorado Bartenders’ Guild and a certified sommelier, the 38-year-old had the credentials and a regular gig crafting drinks at Williams & Graham, which was named Best American Bar at last year’s Spirited Awards. What he didn’t have after four years in Denver’s booze scene was a place to call his own—until he and partners Kade Gianinetti (of Method Roasters) and Jared Schwartz (of American Grind) opened the Way Back in West Highland this past March. Four months in, George’s depth of beverage knowledge is obvious: He’s a walking encyclopedia of cocktails, wine, and beer. Order the house old fashioned with Patrón Añejo (you can also choose a traditional whiskey base) which adds a compelling yet subtly smoky note.