Industry Icon, sponsored by Botran Rum

Industry Icon 2017: Julio Bermejo

Few have done more for the drinks industry than Julio Bermejo. His family-owned bar, Tommy’s in San Francisco, which has featured on five World’s 50 Best Bars lists and celebrated 50 years of business in 2015, is a shrine to 100% agave tequila. It is also the cradle of the Tommy’s Margarita – Bermejo’s twist on the classic that has assumed classical status itself.

Aside from the drinks, a visit to Tommy’s is to sample home-from-home hospitality. Bermejo extends a warmth and inclusiveness to all his guests, thinking nothing of offering samples of the most precious jewels of his unequalled tequila collection, which numbers around 400 bottles. Through his bar’s Blue Agave Club, tequila lovers can earn qualifications as they drink, which rise as high as PhD in tequila – all unofficial, of course. And away from Tommy’s, Bermejo’s role as the official tequila ambassador to the US, means he is forever seeking to spread knowledge of his beloved spirit; he has spent decades travelling the world in its pursuit.

All this without mentioning he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet – an exemplar of the hospitable bartender. The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy recognises Julio Bermejo for all he has done for the bar industry and names him the inaugural Industry Icon for 2017.

Tommy's
5929 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco