Angus Winchester

Louis Lewis-Smith, Angus and Alex Winchester

Wild West Group, which owns the Dark Horse Bar in Bath and Crying Wolf in Bristol, has announced the appointment of Angus Winchester as director of drinks & people, focussing on training and its beverage programme.

Starting off as general manager of the Dark Horse Bar in Bath to gain insight into the operation, Winchester will then move into his wider role across the Wild West Group, which owner Louis Lewis-Smith plans to expand. 

Winchester has returned to the UK after a stint with the Jigger & Pony Group in Singapore in 2021. He will now join his brother Alex Winchester who joined as the Wild West Group’s managing director early last year.

Over his career [Angus] Winchester has held roles across the bar world. Based in the US, he was the Tanqueray global ambassador and then vice president of training for Barmetrix. More recently he added education director for BCB and executive director for the Tokyo-based Ginposium to his CV.

In the UK he set up one of the country’s first bar consultancies (IPB) as well as managing Trailer Happiness and Salvatore at Fifty.

Winchester said: “It’s been well over 15 years since I last worked in the UK but when Louis reached out to discuss a possible role I jumped at the chance. It’s not just the stellar reputation that his bars have but also the burgeoning food and drink scene in the West Country that attracted me as well as the chance to work with Louis who I have known since his Milk and Honey and then Hendrick’s days.

“It’s odd being back in the UK and working with a team who frankly have no idea who I am and I look forward to developing them and re-establishing my reputation.”

Lewis-Smith added: “I’ve known Angus for over 20 years and I’m absolutely thrilled to have him on board; his appointment comes at a very exciting time for Wild West Group, as we switch gears from surviving the pandemic, to expansion.

“We are looking at new sites across the south of the UK, including a broadening of the portfolio to include food-led operations, and a Wild West Group distillery is on the horizon.

“Angus, alongside his immensely talented brother Alex as managing director, will be key in seeing these ambitious plans to fruition. It’s a really exciting time for us, and with Angus now on-board Wild West Group’s future is looking very bright indeed.”

Wild West Group was founded by Louis Lewis-Smith – a brand ambassador for William grant & Sons for ten years - with the opening of The Dark Horse in 2015, which was followed by Crying Wolf in Bristol.