We’re all about craft cocktails.
If you’re a bartender, bar operator, or just someone looking to make delicious cocktails at home – you’re in the right place!
Hi there – We’re Julia and Chris, the husband-wife team who founded A Bar Above in our dining room way back in 2013. Over the years, we’ve done many things from creating an educational site to crafting our own bar tools starting in 2016. But you’ll quickly find that everything we do serves one purpose:
Make craft cocktail skills accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a total nerd bartender who shares Chris’ obsession with Green Chartreuse, you’re in the right place.
We serve the bar & hospitality community as well all cocktail lovers by doing these three ridiculously well:
We share cocktail tips, tricks, recipes and training across the web, and we also create and offer advanced training courses too.
Community & Mentorship
Our online communities give everyone a welcoming place to share their cocktail creations, learn techniques, and grow their cocktail skills.
Ridiculously Great Barware
We support all of these things by creating and selling really, really great barware! Our products are durable, beautiful, and designed by Chris to be the best bar tools you can buy.
How it All Started
- 2008: Chris was working behind the bar in Northern California and was fascinated by mixology – but couldn’t find many resources online. He thought of the name “A Bar Above” and registered the domain. (Good move, Chris!)
- 2008: Just two weeks later, Chris asked Julia out on a date. (Another good move, Chris!)
- 2012: We moved out of San Francisco to a suburb where we could buy a house. (For some reason, our SF landlord wasn’t too excited about Chris’ plans to build a bar in the apartment…)
- 2013: Construction begins! Chris built a bar in our dining room, and Julia started learning to create websites.
- May 2013: The website is done! Plus, A Bar Above published its first YouTube video.
- July 2014: We recorded our first episode of the A Bar Above Podcast (formerly Mixology Talk Podcast).
- 2014: We created and launched the Mixology Certification Program to provide the bar education Chris had so desperately wanted back in 2008.
- 2013-2016: We kept getting requests for barware recommendations, but Chris didn’t really like any of the barware out there. Hmmm…
- Early 2016: Julia started researching how to create our own line of barware, starting with Chris’ favorite weighted-unweighted combination cocktail shaker. We ordered samples, tested them, got more samples, and eventually found a factory that could make exactly the shaker Chris wanted.
- July 2016: The Tunstalls bought 1,000 cocktail shakers using their personal savings. (Yikes!) They were launched on Amazon and sold out in just under a month. (Yay!)
And that’s how it all began! Since then, we’ve recorded over 200 podcast episodes, published hundreds of educational blog articles, and developed over 80 customized barware products.
The idea that started with just Chris and Julia, armed with a home-built bar and video camera, has grown a lot! Nowadays, we’re headquartered in Carlsbad, California and work with a growing team of awesome people who are all dedicated to serving the craft cocktail community.
Co-Founder, Chief of Brand and Product Development, and Bar & Cocktail Expert
“I am a bar professional with ten years’ hospitality experience – both working behind bars and managing them– while also having the privilege of designing cocktails for some of the finest spirit brands.
A Bar Above is a bartender-owned company based on what I’ve learned over the years. I’ve dedicated my career to learning the advanced mixology and cocktail techniques that differentiate the best bartenders and sharing what I’ve learned with the community.
I bring my industry expertise and passion for bar education and products to A Bar Above by helping our team create all of our bar education content: Creating cocktails, developing bar training, hosting the A Bar Above Podcast, and heading product development to make sure our barware continues to be the best of the best.
On any given day, you’re likely to find me nerding out about new cocktail techniques or sneaking off to the beach to teach our two sons how to boogie board.”
Co-Founder, CEO, and Chief Cocktail Taster
“Before I met Chris, I was working as a business and data consultant. Nowadays, I leverage that expertise to help the business side of A Bar Above run smoothly.
As CEO, I’m in charge of all company operations. From manufacturing and inventory to marketing and product launches, I work with our team end-to-end to keep things running smoothly. One of my proudest accomplishments is implementing a 30-hour work week to promote work-life balance at our family-owned company.
For my own personal balance, I spend my days off hiking and going to the beach to watch Chris attempt to teach our kids to boogie board. (Hint: They have a long way to go!)”
Education is the core of A Bar Above. From our very first YouTube video (Wait, that’s embarrassing– Don’t click that!), our focus has always been on helping people make delicious craft cocktails. In our early days, we focused on professional bartenders; but nowadays, we’ve branched out to help anyone interested in making tasty drinks!
- Subscribe to our Podcast for over 200 episodes about bartending and making better drinks.
- Check out our blog to learn about things like cocktail skills, bar ingredients or (gettin’ nerdy here) more advanced mixology.
- Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for tips, tricks, and cocktail inspiration.
COMMUNITY & MENTORSHIP
We believe that everyone benefits from a stronger and more supportive bar community. That’s why we founded the Craft Bartender Community for pro bartenders and the Craft Cocktail Club for non-professional cocktail lovers.
These Facebook groups are:
- Positive, supportive places to share your cocktail creations.
- Brilliant communities of other bartenders and cocktail creators to help answer your trickiest cocktail questions.
- Fun groups with monthly challenges, contests, expert Q&A’s and more!
Both of our groups are already 6,000+ members strong and growing fast. You should totally join us!
COMMUNITY & MENTORSHIP
So how in the heck do we support our growing team of people who help us create all of this awesome content and build our communities? That’s where our barware comes in!
In 2016, we launched our own custom line of really great barware. Our goal was to fix all of the problems that Chris found with the tools he was using in his 10 years behind the bar. Sometimes that makes us a bit of a pain in the butt to our factories, but the result is ridiculously durable products made with high-quality materials that will last a lifetime behind your home or professional bar.
Since 2016, we’ve added more than 80 items to our barware store, customizing each and every one to be the best possible tool out there:
- Chris partnered with Julia’s dad to design the Hawthorne Strainer he always wished he had.
- We made the muddler Chris sketched years ago and brought it to market in both wood and plastic formats.
- We created the best dang bar mat in the whole world (#biased).
- In 2021, we launched (what we think is) the first-in-the-industry line of gold barware that’s dishwasher safe.
And the catalog is growing fast! Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we launch new products and get exclusive discounts.
While we sure do love people, we also love our planet and do our best to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible. Committing to sustainability is important to us, and we are constantly expanding our sustainability efforts in the following ways:
- Buying carbon credits to fund environmental projects and offset the carbon footprint of our inbound inventory
- Working towards 100% compostable, recyclable materials for all of our packaging– which is also reusable!
- Reducing and working to eliminate our use of non-recyclable plastic in all packaging
Ridiculously Great Quality
Customer service starts when we design our products. From the moment we conceive a new piece of barware, we consider you and how to make your cocktail experience the best possible.
Whether our team, community, or customers, we promise to treat you well and do right by you however we can.
Differences make the world beautiful! We respect other people’s backgrounds and perspectives, and we build our team based on integrity and open-mindedness.
Work and life shouldn’t always be so serious! Having fun with our brand marketing and being able to show our personalities is super important to us.
It’s our core foundation to look after our customers and to bring hospitality to hospitality folx and all lovers of cocktails alike. We pride ourselves on being there for you!
Our 30-hour work week is one way we encourage our team to maintain their own lives outside of work.