Vice President of Beverage Operations
Sage Restaurant Concepts
As vice president of beverage operations for Sage Restaurant Concepts, Brandon Wise oversees the development of award-winning beverage programs and the training of all bar teams. Having opened more than 20 bars, restaurants and cafés with the company, Brandon brings extensive expertise and an impressive roster of accolades, including being named to Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40” list and the recipient of Cheers Magazine’s “Raising the Bar” Award, as well as seeing his work featured in publications such as Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Saveur, Tasting Table, Nation’s Restaurant News, NPR, Imbibeand many others.
Brandon began his career with a love of wine that he discovered while working as a manager at Detroit restaurant Opus One. The exposure to an extensive wine cellar stocked with vintage Bordeaux allowed him to explore pairing flavors and creating one-of-a-kind beverage experiences for guests. His interest in beverage culture grew while managing a cocktail bar in Chicago, where he realized the journey of beverage discovery would become his life’s work.
Since then, Brandon has worked in a variety of roles for high-profile bars and restaurants, including as general manager of Beaker and Flask, one of Esquire Magazine’s Best Bars in America (2010 and 2011); as a bartender at Portland’s Irving Street Kitchen, where he was named “Bartender of the Year” by Eater Portland; as the opening beverage director of Imperial, which was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Bars of 2013,” a finalist for the Tales of the Cocktail Award for “Best Restaurant Bar in 2013,” Food and Wine’s“People’s Choice Best New Bar Northwest,” Willamette Week’s “Best Restaurant 2015,” and listed as one of Thrillist’s “Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.” in 2014.
Since joining Sage Restaurant Concepts, Brandon has continued to earn accolades, with Poka Lola Social Club named to Supercall’s “Best New Bars in America 2017” and 303 Magazine’s “Best New Bar 2018;” The Cruise Room listed as one of Best Things Colorado’s “10 Best Cocktail Bars;” Assembly declared one of Thrillist’s “Best Rooftop Bars in America 2017;” and Departure Portland as one of Conde Nast’s “10 Best Rooftop Bars in America 2017,” among others.
Brandon was previously elected to consecutive terms as vice president and president of the Oregon Bartenders Guild and has served on the board of the United States Bartenders Guild Nominating Committee. At Sage Restaurant Concepts, he’s brought many unique projects to life, including blending a private label Urban Farmer Pinot Noir in partnership with Angela Estate and renowned winemaker Ken Wright, creating our signature Flora Vermouth in partnership with the makers of Imbue Vermouth and partnered on a variety of signature spirits, beers and wines exclusive to our restaurants and bars.