// Day-to-day and outlooks on beverages with Clyde Davis, Jr.. //
Clyde is a Regional Director for Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits, and has an overlap with friends of mine outside the industry. We interviewed Jen Collins in September who works with Clyde on events and such. It was a matter of time before we reached out to Clyde and picked his brain for a Q & A.
I've never met Clyde personally, but anyone that balances work well and gives 100% to fatherhood is my type of dude. It was great diving in and getting Clyde's perspective on several industry issues, plus seeing if Beyonce would intimidate him at all. Supposedly not. Thanks for the time and chat, Clyde!
~ Jason with The LAB team
Photos provided by Clyde Davis, Jr.
The LAB: Outside of recipes, menus and fancy garnishes what changes do we need to see the most in the craft cocktail industry?
Clyde: I think there needs to be more mentorship and inclusion of underrepresented minorities. We've come a long way since I first started in this business, but we can do a lot better.
The LAB: I like this answer Clyde, and I agree. Part of our goal with BeverageLife is to give a voice to more people, and hopefully encourage others whether new to the industry, or wanting to get in to see that the industry needs the strength, diversity and beauty in having a wide variety of professionals when it comes to skin color, religious beliefs, sexual preference, and more females in lead roles with brands.
The LAB: Should more education and degrees center around the beverage industry, or craft, just like the growth in the culinary arts at the university level?
Clyde: I'm all for increasing education in our industry, but I don't want it to ever to be a barrier of entry for talented passionate people. Too many talented people are not given the opportunities to advance because they didn't go get a degree full of courses that have nothing to do with the work required.
Photo provided by Clyde Davis, Jr.
The LAB: What’s your favorite go-to food and drink pairing, and your favorite if someone else was making it for you?
Clyde: I'm a lover of all food. I probably have a new favorite food every week. This week it's tacos, next week it could be ramen. The same goes for cocktails. For the last couple months I've been fixated on Negronis.
Photos provided by Clyde Davis, Jr'.
The LAB: What's your favorite activity with your kids and has age slowed you down?
Clyde: When it comes to activities with my kids I pretty much let them call the shots. My youngest goes from taekwondo to Rubik's Cube tournaments, and now he's into skate parks. My oldest is in college and working on his rap album. I really just enjoy them becoming the person they want to be and having the freedom to explore and find their own path not one set by someone outside of them. I'm thankful to watch them on their journey. But, as far as my age I just figure I'll keep running, jumping, and lifting heavy things while I still have the ability. I just finished my first half marathon this past Sunday.
The LAB: That’s good advice for fathers out there. I need to follow those guidelines more myself. My son and I have very similar interests, but he needs to continue to create his own path.
Photo from Fox Searchlight Pictures' Notorious (2009) of Derek Luke as Sean Combs
The LAB: If you could have any actor portray you in a film who would it be?
Clyde: The obvious choice would probably be Gary Coleman, but since he's no longer with us I would want someone like Derek Luke to play me.
The LAB: Who are you most intimidated making a drink for - Beyonce, Serena Williams, Melinda Gates, or Michelle Obama?
Clyde: Since Beyoncé is pregnant, I'm pretty sure making her a drink would get me jumped by her legion of fans. I'll be happy to get her a lemonade.
Photo from Clyde Davis, Jr's social media accounts.
The LAB: If an investor put up the money, and said go for it, would you start your own distillery or bar? And if so, what city would you pick, and what would your theme be?
Clyde: That's classified information.
The LAB: Do you think we're hitting a ceiling on consumers spending money on craft spirits?
Clyde: I try not to use the word craft spirits it just sounds obnoxious to me. I think there is never a ceiling If we continue to educate consumers on the value of different spirits.
The LAB: Well said. Thanks again, Clyde, and looking forward to follow your journey in the industry and as a father. Good luck with the skate parks, and be sure to paid up!