USC Judges

Nate Green
Nate Green
Senior Manager Spirits Innovation
Nate Green

As a mechanical engineer with an infinitely curious mind (and equally good taste), Nate Green is as fascinated by the composition of a perfect cocktail as he is by the intricate workings of high-speed automated packaging equipment. He paid his way through his agricultural engineering studies at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo by slinging drinks anywhere that allowed him to test, experiment, build, balance and serve a well-crafted drink.

After graduating with a Master’s in Engineering, Nate returned to his roots in California’s great Central Valley. After several years at Diamond Foods, he joined E. & J. Gallo Winery, where he progressed through positions in operations, facilities maintenance and supply chain. Nate’s natural thirst for curiosity drove him to continually “peek under the tent” of Gallo’s flavor, product and packaging innovations, learning all the details big and small about how Gallo’s portfolio of spirits are crafted and brought to market. This led to roles in Gallo Spirits’ Division, first in New Brand and Product Development, then most recently as Principal Product Owner in Spirits Growth & Innovation.

Nate has led development and launch of intriguing and cutting-edge new spirits products like High Noon Sun Sips, Lo-Fi Aperitifs and RumHaven. Additionally, Nate has led distribution partnerships with Whyte & Mackay on The Dalmore and Jura whisky, Diplomatico rum, Gruppo Montenegro’s Amaro Montenegro and the upcoming Japanese mizunara oak-influenced Canadian Whisky “Mercer + Prince by A$AP Rocky.” 

At heart, Nate is still a hard-working, small-town farm kid, proud of the calluses he’s earned on the farm and behind the stick. His interest in spirits and wine begins with their strong agricultural connection — a reflection of the bounty of the land. No more is this evident than his passion for reinvigorating premium California brandy, once California’s most important and popular spirit. Nate has managed Gallo’s acquisition of Germain-Robin, development of Argonaut Brandy, cohosting of the California Brandy Summit and the opening of the California Brandy House in downtown Napa, the first tasting room dedicated to this historic brown spirit.

Throughout his career, Nate has always made time to tend bar. He was Certified Bar Ready in 2019, as well as holds Certified Specialist of Spirits and Certified Specialist of Wine certificates. When he’s not pursuing his quest to craft the most balanced and intriguing three ingredient cocktails, he’s enjoying a Brandy Sidecar or Brandy Crusta at his home in California’s scenic Sierra Foothills gold country.