As the beer director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Greg Engert draws on his extensive knowledge to source beers for the group’s concepts. To create unparalleled selections, Engert sources from both widely and little known breweries around the globe to find the best beers available. He also draws on his own formula of beer “flavor profiles” – Crisp, Hop, Malt, Roast, Smoke, and Fruit & Spice – to influence all aspects of his work from menus and food pairings to beer classes and brewery dinners.
Engert’s appreciation for craft beer began at a young age. The earliest influence was his father who supported then little-known microbreweries, such as Samuel Adams and Saranac, and made a lasting impression on his son. Later after Engert enrolled in Georgetown University to pursue a graduate degree in English Literature, he officially entered the beer industry at the venerable Brickskeller in Washington D.C., where Engert quickly rose to manager, and focused on developing both his beer knowledge and palate. In 2006, Engert signed on as the Beer Director at beer-centric restaurant Rustico in Alexandria, before expanding his position to Beer Director for all of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, including concepts such as Birch & Barley, ChurchKey, Bluejacket Brewery and The Arsenal.
Recognized for his work, Engert was a 2012 semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional.” In April 2010, Food & Wine named Engert one of its “Sommeliers of the Year,” the first time the publication recognized a beer professional for this honor. He also received a StarChefs Rising Star Award in 2010, making him the first beer professional to receive their Sommelier honor. In 2014, Greg Engert was named “Beer Person of the Year” in the annual Imbibe 75 issue.
Engert has been featured in some of the most prestigious media outlets in the country including The New York Times, USA Today, Food & Wine, Real Simple, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Men’s Health, Slate, Beer Advocate, Imbibe, Draft and Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and appeared on national television and radio programs such as Cooking Channel’s Foodography and Splendid Table.