Beverage Director & Lead Mixologist

Melinda Maddox

Melinda Maddox, Beverage Director and Lead Mixologist at The Reserve by Old Elk Distillery, boasts a nearly two-decade bartending career. In her role, Melinda ensures guests at The Reserve—the distillery’s tasting room in the heart of Fort Collins, Colorado—are always treated to top-notch spirits and cocktails, as well as an exceptional experience. Her role also entails community outreach, liaising with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) and other bartender relations programs.

Melinda started her professional bartender career at a dive bar in Portland, Maine. In 2013, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to accelerate her bartending career alongside bartending mentors like Sam Treadway and Cameron Bogue. She was drawn to Old Elk Distillery in Fort Collins, Colorado, to lead activity at The Reserve in 2019.

Her achievements include competing in the 2018 “Most Imaginative Bartender” challenge where she won her regional competition and showcased her skills in the national competition in London. Her gin-based cocktail was featured in GQ magazine. She also won the popular head-to-head bartending competition “Cocktail Fights.” And she created a bar program called the “Cocktail Lab” at Earls Kitchen and Bar featuring pop ups with guest bartenders.

Melinda resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her fiancé Chris and their rescue dog, Weezey. When taking advantage of her work/life balance, she enjoys hiking, exploring the outdoors and spending time with her loved ones. Her favorite cocktail to sip is an Old Fashioned. But her favorite drink to make is which ever one the guest in front of her orders.