Community camaraderie/always innovating
While the hours may be long (Keifer works four to five nights a week), the bartender praised the camaraderie within the Valley’s cocktail community.
“We all have the same mission of making this city a great drinking city and the group definitely all comes out to support each other anytime that the opportunity comes up,” he said, even when they go head-to-head at events like Bar Brawl (which Keifer won).
In addition to taking home a win at this year’s Bar Brawl at Sanctuary’s Jade Bar, he’s won the title of Best Bartender for the New Times’ yearly Best of Phoenix issue for his dedication to the hustle, and ability to spark the party behind the bar. As head bartender at Counter Intuitive, Keifer takes great pride in the fact that CI also took home the proverbial gold in the “Best New School Cocktails” in the same best-of issue. Counter Intuitive also received the Arizona Restaurant Association’s 2016 Foodist award for Premiere Cocktail Program, which gives credit to an outstanding restaurant, (or in this case cocktail bar) that demonstrates excellence and innovation.
Keifer’s name, and the bars he’s worked at, have also made a handful of appearances in other local and national “best of” lists. We’ll likely see a lot more of these awards and mentions in the future.