When Erick Castro, a bar owner in San Diego, started the podcast “Bartender at Large” in 2016, he did it with the goal of creating a space where the bartenders could discuss the nitty gritty details of their work without having to worry about mainstream guest questions or concerns. “It’s a podcast for bartenders by bartenders,” he says, explaining that he took cues from friends working in the video game industry who’d forged similar spaces to nerd out in.
A year in, Castro hosted an episode wherein his guests talked about the very real phenomenon of burnout, bringing forth conversation about the difficulties of working long hours, often past midnight, and how it affects a bartender’s quality of life. The episode got unprecedented feedback, and became an inflection point for the podcast and Castro’s path forward.
Since then, he’s had guests on to talk about heavy hitting issues like burnout, recovery, inclusivity while maintaining a space where bartenders feel comfortable enough to discuss their latest obsessions and share wisdom about the subjects they know best. Here, Castro explains how he built a business outside of bartending and how you can do it, too.