I'm Cody Kirkland

I write about drinks, places, and things that happen. I make drinks, too. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

I Quit.

I Quit.

Or rather, I am quitting. After six and a half years of working at the Rose Establishment, I’m moving on. I’ll be there until the end of the year and then … we’ll get to that in a bit. Although it seems like I have worked there for twice as long as I have, my time at the Rose has been very rewarding in so many ways. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I started as a barista when we only sold coffee and tea and there was a staff of six people. When Erica asked me to manage the place after working as a barista for a year and a half I was terrified and didn’t think there was any way I’d be able to do it.

But, looking back on five years of that, I’m proud of how much the Rose—and myself—has progressed. It is a super busy cafe now, and although I definitely can’t claim any credit for our success as a restaurant, I’ve had to bust my ass to make sure the drinks stayed as good as the food. Back when I was thrust to the helm I was given free rein to run the beverage program as I saw fit, and I was able to do some cool things with coffee and tea. Because of my job at the Rose, I got some rad opportunities and recognition that I totally didn’t expect. The Salt Lake Tribune put me on the front page of the dining section for being the first to do nitro coffee (R.I.P.) in Salt Lake. The coffee and tea industry magazine Fresh Cup saw my drinks on the Rose’s Instagram, asked me to write how-to articles about them and even put me on the cover. Now I’m a regular contributor, which led to more writing gigs for various outlets. Scrappy’s Bitters seemed to like what I was doing with their bitters—they made a video feature about me. The New York Times mentioned me in a story about the Salt Lake City coffee scene, which is wild. Four Barrel Coffee asked me for advice on coffee cocktails and high-altitude espresso and coffee preparation. Wut.

I’m not trying to brag here—I am perpetually plagued with Impostor Syndrome, so bragging is weird for me. I’m just trying to express how grateful I am for my time at the Rose Establishment and how much fun I’ve had. I mean, it’s been mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting at times, but it has been worth it. One factor that kept me going so long is the people, on both sides of the counter. I have worked with and served some great folks. I love seeing Rose alums out there making amazing art, starting their own businesses, and killing it at other great cafes and restaurants. And the regulars! How else would I have met the coolest people in Salt Lake if not for their patronage? It feels weird and sad to leave, but it makes it easier is knowing that the current Rose family is so talented, driven, hardworking, and nice. My Rose coworkers are seriously like a second family. They have supported me, inspired me, and they make every day at the Rose a fun one. Every single person at the Rose kicks ass and I’m excited to see where they take it when I’m gone.

So, what am I gonna do? I’m going to try making a living doing what I’ve already been doing on the side for years but couldn’t really expand upon amid the crushing pressure and exhaustion of a full-time foodservice management career: freelance writing and booze stuff. I don’t even have any gigs lined up, but I’m taking the leap anyway. I’ve been working on a booze-related project with an undetermined completion date and I’m going to start pitching to a few publications soon, but I’ll probably pursue part time employment at a bar to secure a bit of steady income and further my beverage education. I have a plan, but no plans. I’ll be a free agent, and although I have a couple things I’m set on doing, I’m open to opportunity. Hit me up. 

Sundance, Full Circle

Sundance, Full Circle

Worst Halloween Ever

Worst Halloween Ever