Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Interviews : Bar Keeper & Co.'s Craig Krueger on the B-Bag Bartender's Bag

Images courtesy of Clane Gessel Photography

The latest, and most interesting kickstarter making the rounds of social media is for the B-Bag Bartender's bag.  I talked to Craig about the inspiration for his project, design, and his favorite bar tool of the moment:

So I've used a variety of different bags, I typically alternate a Diesel denim large messenger bag, which is aesthetically pleasing, but lacking in compartments and space.  I also use a 5.11 style tactical bag, which is...Not exactly sexy.  I've often longed for the "perfect" bar bag, but I've never really seen the need to engineer one.  Did you have a specific moment where you were like "OK, this needs to happen!" or was it more of a gradual realization?

John and I had been talking about it and just decided to DO IT!  I just sold a mobile high-end bartending staffing company I ran for 8 years and he is still with a local distribution company.  We've tried carpenter bags, cheap bartending kits, tool rolls… Nothing really worked, so we decided to make our own.  The market had the Meehan Bag, but that was $1k and no bartender has those kind of funds just laying around.

The three things I like most about the bag are: The doctor's bag like design, which adds a sense of professionalism and touch of mystery, the waterproofing, and the custom insert which seems tailor made to prevent breakage.  I've certainly sweated a bit when I've been jostled in an elevator and feared (and later discovered) the worst.  Can you talk a little bit about what was going through your mind as you were designing of the product?

When designing the bag, we wanted to use high-end materials and an atheistic that would be appealing.  It needed to be durable, hand-washable and cost effective for both us and the end consumer.  The idea behind B-bag was to design a product that was functional, versatile, affordable all while being fashionable.  Having an adjustable and removable insert was essential for being able to tailor bag on any given day weather you would be carrying vodka, whiskey, or a mixing glass and shaker b/c all of these items are different shapes and sizes.  Throw everything out of it and it has a dual purpose as a weekend bag.

Lastly, what's your favorite bar tool of the moment?

My favorite tool at the moment is the Modern Mixologist Muddler.  It has been thoughtfully designed taking into consideration the act of muddling and crushing ice (TAG BAG to go with it) all-in-one. Tony Abu-Ganim has such a passion for the industry that his tools really stand out as elite.  Such a genuine man with a passion for cocktails.
To find out more about the B-Bag, and to help fund the project, visit their kickstarter page here