Derek Brown is the founder of the Columbia Room and author of Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World published by Rizzoli in April 2019. His work has earned several James Beard Award nominations, “Author of the Year” for the 2020 Nightclub & Bar Show Awards, and 2015 “Bartender of the Year” in Imbibe magazine. He is also Chief Spirits Advisor to the National Archives Foundation and a Distinguished Fellow at Catholic University’s Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship. Brown’s writing on spirits and cocktails has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vox and other publications. In 2019, Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema named Derek one of the fifteen trailblazers since 2000 that have made Washington, D.C. a better place to eat (and drink).