Tales & Cocktails: Lost Whale’s Sustainable Success

There’s a cocktail revival sweeping the continent and we’re here to cover it. Welcome to Yelp’s Tales & Cocktails, where we spotlight 5-star bartenders and the establishments where they work.

Located in Milwaukee’s ever trendy Bay View neighborhood, Lost Whale has been mixing up magnificence to the craft cocktails loving masses for a little over nine months. Inside this intimate Kinnickinnic Avenue cocktail bar, you’ll find an interior that is chic mid-century modern with hints of the aquatic. The cocktails they serve range from a solid list of house staples to the more innovative. As you linger at the bar, you may glimpse owner/bartenders Tripper Duval or Daniel Beres taking flame to cedar as they build one of their more visually captivating cocktails—the Getcha Smoke On, which features, among other ingredients, cedar smoke. With bartenders always ready with a smile and a story, Lost Whale is just the sort of spot one can revel at getting lost in.

We sat down with owner/bartenders Tripper and Daniel to discuss all things Lost Whale and to learn how it’s earned the moniker—Milwaukee’s Green Bar.

How long have you been bartending?

Tripper: Somewhere in the ballpark of a decade

Daniel: Ten years

What did you do before bartending?

Tripper: Before I was bartending I worked in HVAC, I credit a lot of my business knowledge and ability to prioritize and multitask to my time with that company.

Daniel: I was a traveling musician. And, that’s all you’re getting from me.

Who or what inspired you to go into bartending?

Tripper: I had planned on finishing my music degree. I needed a job to help sustain being in school. However, once I got my first gig and was trained, I knew it was game over, and this is where I wanted to be.

Daniel: I used to travel a lot in my more formidable years. Sometimes I would be in cities I’d never been before, and sometimes I’d even travel alone. No matter where I was there was always a friendly barkeep somewhere in town willing to tell me about the cool spots to check out while pouring an awesome cocktail. I just fell in love with the idea of being that guys someday, and am really happy to get to be him how

Can you tell me a bit about Lost Whale?

Tripper: We have 30 seats inside with a beautiful patio out back. We try to make innovative and approachable cocktails as quickly as possible. The great people in our community work really hard for their free time and dollars. We want to make sure their time and dollars are well spent.

Daniel: Lost Whale is a craft cocktail bar…that focuses on being eco-friendly through sustainability practices such as the re-purposing of in-house ingredients, recycling, and composting. We also focus on working with local charities to provide education and awareness of sustainability within our community. Oh, and we also like to make fun cocktails too.

What makes Lost Whale unique?

Tripper: Lost Whale is unique because of our focus on detail. We have been dubbed ‘Milwaukee’s Green bar’ for our sustainability practices and community support. We batch almost every cocktail and feature three cocktails on draft for speed and efficiency. We love to be ourselves and try to create an atmosphere where our guests can be too.

Daniel: Lost Whale is unique in the sense that it is a craft cocktail bar owned and operated by two seasoned cocktail bartenders, who made a point to work their initiatives of community driven outreach and sustainability into their business model from day one. This differs from many other bars and restaurants where sustainability came after being established, which can make changing practices more difficult.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make?

Tripper: It is cliché, but truly whatever the guest wants to drink. I want whoever is in my bar…to enjoy what they are drinking and who they are with. If that means a gin and tonic or Manhattan or Ramos gin fizz, I’ll make it all. Happily.

Daniel: I would have to say a Tom Collins with a dash of locally owned Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters. It’s literally my favorite cocktail to both make, and imbibe—anywhere, anytime.

What’s your favorite spot to grab a cocktail when you’re not working?

Tripper:  I love Tin Widow. Great people, great atmosphere, great selection.

Daniel: That’s a really tough question to answer because there are so many great spots in town. I’m going to have to go with MOVIDA. I always get a really balanced cocktail when I visit, and grabbing some croquetas at the bar is great after a long day as well.

Come meet Tripper and Daniel and check out Lost Whale April 8 as part of Yelp Milwaukee’s Tales & Cocktails event series. Details, required RSVP: here.