Bad Dog Bar Craft is a bitters company based in Austin, Texas.
The company was founded by Lara Nixon, a cocktail enthusiast and spirits educator (among several other day jobs). Nixon founded the company after deciding that she might find more joy in life by shifting her hobby towards the bar craft production side of the industry. Bad Dog Bar Craft was born in late 2011, when Nixon teamed up with local bartending champion Jason Stevens.
Bad Dog currently offers two flagship bitters flavors — Sarsaparilla Dry Bitters and Fire and Damnation Bitters. Both are hand-crafted and produced in small batches (3-5 gallons at a time). There are also plans to release many other products including bar utensils, syrups, cordials, Amari, fortified wines, spirits, and of course, more bitters.
The Alpha Dogs
Lara Nixon: Her lifelong love of culinary traditions turned into a passion for cocktails and bar craft after being introduced to historical cocktails through antique manuals, which led to her re-envisioning classic cocktail recipes to include locally sourced and sustainable organic products. After studying bar craft in Santa Rosa, California, she founded Boxcar Bar, an Austin-based bartending and consulting service. Lara’s original cocktail recipes have won awards, as has Tipsy Tech, a spirits education program co-developed with Tipsy Texan David Alan.
Jason Stevens: Jason has been in the bar, management, and service industry for over twelve years. Currently he manages Bar Congress in Austin. In addition, Jason operates a craft-forward bar catering service, conducts in-home bar education, and consults with farm-to-market and slow-food caterers. His passion for bar craft lies in drink creation and development of original house-made cocktail ingredients using locally sourced products and produce, as well as educating others on the craft of the cocktail.
The face behind the brand
The name Bad Dog Bar Craft came about as an homage to Nixon’s most beloved family members, her dogs Penelope, Kyoshiro, and the newest addition, Fiona. Penny’s profile, in fact, is the logo for Bad Dog Bar Craft, which has inflated her ego to astronomical proportions.