Award-winning mixologist Jeret Peña was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. The ambitious Peña has been an integral part of the food and drink renaissance in San Antonio and is known for being the mastermind behind some of the best drinks in the nation. As a Bar Smarts graduate, Peña has transformed the cocktail culture in places such as Pesca, Bohanan’s, Le Midi, The Green Lantern and the historic Esquire Tavern. Under Peña’s leadership, the Esquire Tavern was nominated as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award’s Outstanding Bar Program. In the same year, Peña was also recognized as a “Rising Star Mixologist” by StarChefs.com. He has been featured by the likes of Imbibe Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine and the Travel Channel.
After cultivating some of the city’s finest cocktail programs, last year he opened his own concept, The Brooklynite. While The Brooklynite is known for its award-winning cocktails, its attention to customer service and uniquely designed atmosphere are equally noteworthy attributes. Since opening its doors, the buzz has circulated from local to national levels. Such mentions include; Southern Palate Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine, Spirit Magazine, Southern Living, and Texas Monthly among others.
Peña has also opened Stay Golden Social House, a casual alternative to The Brooklynite’s high-end speakeasy feel. Stay Golden offers a wide variety of beers, as well as carefully crafted cocktails, and allows guests to sit outside and enjoy the San Antonio night air. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a movie projected on the side of the building.
Beyond The Brooklynite, Peña has founded the Spirits Enthusiasts of Texas, an organization which aims to cultivate a cocktail culture by the means of education, for bartenders and customers alike. In addition to this organization, Peña and his peers have formed The Boulvardier Group, which consults restaurants on a variety of levels in order to create a long lasting cocktail culture of infinite reach. Jeret is also on the beverage division of the Board of Directors of Culinaria, San Antonio’s non-profit organization dedicated to benefiting the food and beverage community, as well as a mentor and panel member for 3 Day Start Up Culinary, an entrepreneurship education program designed with an emphasis on learning by doing.