Samantha Johnson Miller, bartender at The Pub Polaris: "This is really what I want to do with my life - learning how things are made, how to pair liquor, and doing bourbon and Scotch tastings. I'm learning so much about Scotch it's ridiculous, and I love it."

Samantha Johnson Miller

Home neighborhood: Campus

Hometown: Dayton

Years behind the bar: 2

You're pretty new to the field. How did you learn how to bartend?

My first job bartending [in Dayton], I was almost fed to the wolves. It was sink or swim. [My boss] kind of just threw me back there, didn't train me a whole lot, but that was the best way to learn, just to jump in and figure it out.

What have you learned here at The Pub?

This is really what I want to do with my life - learning how things are made, how to pair liquor, and doing bourbon and Scotch tastings. I'm learning so much about Scotch it's ridiculous, and I love it.

Have you had any flops?

When you start learning, yeah, you have to mess up a couple times to figure out that something does not taste very good.

What do you want to do with all this knowledge?

I've thought for a long time that I really want to own my own bar. I'm young right now, so I'm learning the more difficult aspects of it, and the business part of it will then come later.

Where do you like to hang out?

I like to go to Carabar. It's a good music-scene place. When I'm in Dayton, I like to go to the Century Bar.