While there were challenges to the complete lack of a handbook to guide us to create a distillery of our size, the upside is that we learned from the ground up the craft of spirit making from people who have done it before us.
They say good things come to those who wait. In our case, the wait for our distilling equipment to be built was exactly one year to the day we engaged craftsman Peter Bailly to create it. With the finest copper shipped in from Scandinavia then hand-hammered and fabricated to our exact specifications, we are proud to say Archie Rose has three of the most unique copper pot stills in the world.
With the exception of the washbacks and grist mill, Peter made all other equipment on the production floor, so it’s fair to say we have a grassroots culture of creating things by hand - right through to the bottling and labelling of our spirits on site.
The City of Sydney has existed without an independent distillery to call its own since 1853 – until the launch of Archie Rose Distilling Co.
Inspired by the first craft distillers of New York, London and Tasmania – and by learning from, and challenging, many of the traditional distillation methods – Will sought to redefine local, grassroots distillation in a uniquely Australian way.
By experimenting with both traditional and experimental malts, grains and botanicals, Will and his team have created a unique range of spirits with the aim of inspiring others to explore the world of local distilling.
With over two decades of experience in the global spirits, events and hospitality industries, Nigel brings both a professional edge and creative mind to Archie Rose.
Nigel’s early career saw him developing his knowledge of fine spirits and bartending through his work across bars including Salsa, Henry J Bean’s, TGI Fridays and Smollensky’s.
Instrumental in developing and implementing brand strategies for Campari, Grand Marnier, Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Appleton Rum and Woodford Reserve, Nigel has rightly been recognised amongst the 50 most influential industry heads by Australian Bartender Magazine.
Nigel’s accolades include 2004 Winner of the Stolichnaya UKBG Cocktail Challenge – the largest cocktail competition ever held in the UK – as well as his role as the UK’s representative at the International Bartenders Association World Cocktail Championships, Las Vegas.
With over 18 years’ experience in a wide range of hospitality venues in both London and Sydney, Harriet heads up the Archie Rose bar and events team.
An avid gin drinker from the time she could walk, and whisky from the time she could talk, Harriet brings a lifetime of self-described “connoisseurship” to the Archie Rose table. She can’t believe her luck that she gets to work in a distillery every day, although she is still miffed the distillers won’t let her swim in the gin. Nicknamed Mum by the bar team, she rules with an iron fist, although to the untrained eye it may look a lot like cat-wrangling - It’s not.
As a renowned spirits authority, Dave is the leader of the Archie Rose production team and the driving force behind Archie Rose’s spirits vision. Born into a family of wine makers, Dave showed a keen interest in the field of wine production early in life, however quickly managed to impress his friends and disappoint his father by becoming a distiller. Rebellion can be a great motivator after all.
Never content with the status quo, Dave is constantly striving to improve the quality of spirit produced at Archie Rose, delving deep into the science of spirits production, and working alongside our Head Distillers to put theory into practice on the floor. In his spare time Dave can be found sipping on a rare malt or obscure rum while reading 400 page books on water chemistry. He is, in our view, the very best yeast-tickler and grain-fondler in the land.
Hailing from the Hawkesbury in Sydney’s west, Shane joined Archie Rose in 2015, making the move to the city to forge his career in distilling.
With over ten years’ experience in mechanical engineering and having worked in both the commercial brewing and distilling industries for the past five, Shane brings a methodical, innovative and detail oriented approach to the production floor along with a genuine passion for his craft.
An incredibly hard worker, Shane is constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of the spirit from both a theoretical and practical standpoint, and has an uncommon natural talent for all aspects of distillation.
Always up for a chat, you’ll likely see Shane leading the production floor during the week or enjoying the fruits of his labour at the bar on a Friday evening.
Jack of all trades and master of some, Archie Rose is Mikaela’s first foray into the hospitality industry. Previously hailing from the world of IT, video games/vfx and customer service, Mikaela utilises her extensive experience to keep the back of house running smoothly and the printer printing.
As someone with a penchant for all things tasty, Mik can be found enjoying a cocktail at the bar on a Friday, drinking only the best coffee on the weekend or preparing the best boozy tiramisu anyone’s ever had. Ever.
Throughout his nine-year career, James has worked across a number of top bars and restaurants including Tetsuya’s, Black by Ezard and most recently Noma. Only in his mid-twenties, James’ many accolades include 3 Goblets from Gourmet Traveller and 2 Goblets from Wine Spectator as well as the 2012 Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter of the Year – amongst many others.
Now working on his own wine distribution business, Lo-Fi Wines, James brings his wealth of knowledge to Archie Rose as our Sommelier and Gin Consultant. When you see him around, be sure to stop him for a chat – he’s as approachable and friendly as he is a massive overachiever.
Over the past eight years, Lachie has been perfecting his craft throughout Sydney’s premium cocktail bars including QT Hotel, Button Bar, Hunky Dory Social Club, the White Hart and most recently the Archie Rose bar.
Having now stepped away from the bar, you’re most likely to find Lachie out on the road or guiding some of Australia’s best restaurant and bar teams through the distillery. Fancying himself as a bit of a distiller he’s always keen to pick up the tools and often arrives early to help Joe and Shane on the production floor.