Story by Jeanette Wages
Photography by Matthew Aughey
The DC area cocktail scene has been going strong and cranking out delicious drinks from some real masters in the industry for years, but never gets as much notoriety as larger places like NYC. We are also home to a booming distilling industry making whiskey, gin, rum and vodka right here in our backyard. E “Brocky” McKnight had always been the “drinker” of his friend group but after one proper whiskey tasting at Jack Rose Dining Saloon he made the switch from drinker to true appreciation of spirits and cocktails. “I had always been into Gin and Rum. I went to Jack Rose with a friend and he ordered George T Stagg. I had no idea what it was. It came out on a metal tray with an empty glass, a water dropper, ice and the bottle. They measured and poured it. He told me to try it. I had never had whiskey before. He said just let it touch your lips then taste the whiskey. Don’t drink it. I did as ordered and every pore on my body opened up. I was hooked instantly.” That one taste led to something bigger than he could imagine, as he founded and hosts the YouTube show and brand Whiskey & Kicks.
Whiskey & Kicks is exactly what you think and then so much more than that, it’s a show combining Brocky’s love of Hip Hop culture, especially shoes, and his passion for finding the best drinks and bartenders around the DMV area. He’s sat down and chatted with bartenders about what brought them to the industry, their favorite drinks, their brand and of course those things on their feet, whether it’s industry standard work boots or their collection of Nikes. You’ll even see interviews with local favorites like Brett Oye at Brabo, Nate Wilkinson at Vermilion, Jon Schott of The People’s Drug and an upcoming episode with Adris Tabibi of Majestic.
Realizing how much people love what he’s doing because it’s local, relevant, fun and relatable Brocky keeps expanding his brand with merchandise and event partnerships including whiskey and cigar tastings. He even throws an annual shoe drive called Soles for the District, where people donate shoes for those in need right here in our communities, each shoe drive ends with an actual event partnered with MAJOR, a high-end sneaker boutique, and spirit sponsors which have included FEW Spirits and Jack Rose in the past. Of course, the next step in his evolution we are most excited about is his new partnership with VIP Alexandria magazine, bringing his passion for shoes, booze, cigars and so much more to your doorstep.
WATCH WHISKEY & KICKS: REAL TALK ABOUT BOOZE & SHOES AT WWW.WHISKEYANDKICKS.COM