Beer sommeliers, mixologists, restaurant social media managers. Ah, the "fancy" job titles for new careers in the food world. Not that artists/brothers Andrew and Thomas "Lee" Bakofsky care. They're too busy painting (literally) while they sip a beer. Now that's a good job.
The brothers are known among homebrew geeks as two of the Yeastside Brewers founders. You'll also regularly find Lee behind the bar at Eagle Rock Brewery serving your pints (the shaggy-haired, laid back guy summing up whether to hand you a Solidarity or Revolution tasting glass). What doesn't usually come out in the average pilsner bar chat is that the brothers have long paid their Friday night pub bills as graphic designers. Very good graphic designers. They're even better artists, as so many local craft beer bar owners have come to appreciate.
If you've sipped a pint at any of L.A.'s new craft beer bars the past few years, you've likely seen the Bakofsky's art. The brothers are the creative force behind Eagle Rock Brewery's new growlers (Lee), bottles (Andrew) and t-shirts designs (Lee; The brewery's original T-shirts were by another designer), event posters (Andrew), as well as the new menu wall that just cropped up on behind the bar.
That big goat painting at The Surly Goat? A collaborative work by the Bakofskys. Lately, they've been working on Ryan Sweeney's latest downtown pub, The Little Bear, which opens tonight. You'll find their gold hops designs painted directly on the bar (top photo above), as well as their bar logos painted about. All of The Little Bear designs and logo paintings were collaborations by both brothers.
So what job title do you bestow upon a couple of artists and brewers who have managed to combine their two favorite pastimes? "I don't know what you'd call us," laughs Lee. "I don't think anyone knows what to call us."
"All of this really just happened," he continues. "We know a lot of beer people in this town, and now [restaurant and bar owners] just call us when they want something. Basically, they have someone come in to design their new place, and we come in and make it much better than the designer. Ha. I'm just kidding. Sort of?"
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Well, we like it. Enough with efficient (and ego-driven) titles like mixologist. Until we come up with something better, we're calling them L.A.'s Best Beer Artists Who Are Better Than Restaurant Designers.
More from Jenn Garbee @eathistory + eathistory.com