Max Messier serves the greater New Orleans area under the moniker of “WTF Cocktails” with weekly Farmer’s market visits, exotic spice collections, historical cocktail canon knowledge and DIY culinary smarts.
Max Messier is an established cocktailian/craft bartender who creates his own vermouths, syrups, bitters, concentrates, shrubs and infused spirits and liqueurs.
Max has grown up in the food and beverage world since a young child with his father’s involvement in several bars and comedy clubs in the Southern California area. During his teenage years, Max worked with his father in producing several comedy club shows in both Northern and Southern California. In his early twenties, Max learned first-hand the service industry by working in several nightclubs in the San Francisco area.
Max entered the corporate world in his mid-twenties and excelled as a valued manager during his five-plus years working in various managerial roles in the technologic field of Silicon Valley. The collapse of the “dot-com” economy in the early 21st century sent Max back to college in pursuit of his undergraduate degree in history from San Francisco State University. After graduation, he served as General Manager with Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco, CA. At Cobb’s, Max learned invaluable lessons in properly managing a 420-seat comedy room with a weekly revenue exceeding $75,000 and supervising a staff of over 50 people.
In 2005, Cobb’s was acquired by LiveNation and Max decided to move to New York City and join Comix Comedy Club, a 320-seat comedy room in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Max built the spirits program and oversaw the daily operations for over a year. In 2008, Max joined the bar team of Smoke Joint of Brooklyn and produced innovative cocktail lists.
In 2009, Max joined No. 7 Restaurant, one of Bon Appetit‘s 2009 Top Ten New Restaurants of America, as the company’s resident mixologist and produced several inventive and seasonal spirit and cocktail programs. In 2011-12, Max served as bartender at The Vault at Pffaf’s, Bishops & Barons and Highlands. In 2012-13, Max served as North Eastern Regional Marketing Manager for Rhum Clement and Rhum J.M. In 2013, Max moved to New Orleans, LA and served as Bar/Beverage Director at Fulton Alley with Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal of Cure, Bellocq and Cane and Table.
In 2013, Max was awarded NYC Chapter Champion for the Campari / USBG Aperitivo Cocktail Competition and attended the National Finals in Portland, Oregon on October 23, 2013.
Max has been profiled in the New York Post, Time Out New York, The New Yorker, various food and cocktail blogs and Imbibe Magazine. Max was recognized as one of “The Black Grouse NYC Distinctive Bartenders of 2012” and has been involved industry seminars at 2012 and 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic and 2012 Portland Cocktail Week.
Previously, Max oversaw an underground pop-up speakeasy called “The Cocktail Front” during the Summer of 2012. In addition, Max served as host/the dude of a series of pop-up cocktail events entitled “The Brooklyn Pop-Up Cocktail Hour” all around Manhattan and Brooklyn in people’s homes and businesses since Spring 2011.
Max has been featured in the NY Post, Thrillist.com and various New York-based blogs.