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By Emily Deacon, ContributorISSUE #040 BEHIND THE DISTILLERY | News

Meet Geoff, Archie Rose's New Bar & Cellar Door Venue Manager

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of pulling up a seat in our Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door, you know the vibes are high and the drinks are 10/10. It’s a space that showcases the full Archie Rose spirits range, including a number of unreleased products, while also offering a selection of local craft beers, award-winning biodynamic wines and food by local producers. We had a chat with our new Venue Manager, Geoff, to hear about what he’s got planned, the cocktails you can’t miss and the experiences everyone should book.

1.Congrats on your new role as Venue Manager of Archie Rose’s Bar & Cellar Door! How does it feel?

“Great! It’s always nice to be working with a great bunch of people. I have been a fan of Archie Rose’s products for quite some time, and it's great to be heading up our home venue.”

2.What was the first cocktail you made in the role?

“It was a Martini – 50/50 with Bone Dry Gin and an olive. The first drink we went through the creative process for was our Hot Buttered Rum, using our new Triple Molasses Rum. We wanted some hot drinks for winter, and we had a great new limited-edition rum that the production team had just released. Being a big navy-style rum, it lent itself to a Hot Buttered Rum recipe, while the apera casks offered a rum and raisin flavour profile. Adding apple pie flavours was a stroke of genius by Jono our Assistant Venue Manager. All that was left was to add contrasting flavours in the compound butter – we went with lemon, lemon myrtle and vanilla to emulate the feeling of hot apple pie with chantilly cream. Delish!”

3.What were you doing before you became Archie Rose’s new Venue Manager?

“I was running the bar program for Golden Age Cinema, and helping them do concept work on new venues. Prior to that, I was running Lee Ho Fook in Melbourne and learning about the wonderful world of home delivery through some COVID lockdowns.”

4.What’s your drink of choice?

“It really depends on when and where. I’m a fan of pretty much all types of drinks. We’ve had an infinity martini in our freezer for the last two years, and there’s always a bottle of textural white wine or sherry in the fridge. We generally have a bunch of open whisky at home as well, along with Mezcal and vermouth.”

5.What’s involved in your role as Venue Manager?

“Plenty of spreadsheets, compliance and procedure. Most of my work is done in the office. The real fun is creating new drinks and tasting new products which we do collaboratively with the management team. The best part of the role is interactions with people – whether it’s staff, my boss or the couple enjoying their first drinks together at the bar. The human interaction element of hospitality is one of the most dynamic and enjoyable aspects of the role.”

6.What cocktail do you wish more people ordered?

“I think it really comes down to personal preference – everyone’s taste is different. I’d love to see more people experiment with their drink choices, and also considered drinking seasonally.”

7.What’s your favourite drink to make?

“Whatever is easiest! I love a neat whisky. I also have a pretty big soft spot for a perfectly diluted Martini.”

8.What can people expect when they set foot in Archie Roses Bar & Cellar Door?

“Great service and delicious drinks. Our team offers some of the best spirit education classes in Australia. From WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) to interactive and fun classes where customers have the opportunity to create their own finished spirits and cocktails. The space sets the tone; it’s surrounded by oak casks and copper stills and the drinks complete the experience.”

9.A great drink deserves a snack to match – what can you tell us about the food menu?

“We like to focus on one thing: spirits. We also know a tasty bite to eat goes down a treat with a drink, so we’ve selected some great produce from around Australia that compliments our booze offering. The Bay of Fires Cheddar with our Dry Grown Rye Whisky is pretty delicious.”

10.How would you describe the atmosphere in the Bar & Cellar Door?

“There’s an ambience that combines sophistication with a welcoming and relaxed vibe. It's a place where the passion for distillation meets conviviality, creating an atmosphere that fosters conversation. But don’t take my word for it – come down and find out for yourself.”

11.What exciting things have you got planned for the Bar & Cellar Door?

“Where do I start? The drinks are already really good, with great products at their core. We’re trying to shift to supporting other local distillers more and reducing the amount of imported products. That said, there will always be a great Scottish whisky selection in this bar. We’re also working on how the bar team thinks about cocktail construction, flavour creation and balance. The crew have already rolled out some new hot drinks for Winter and monthly Sunday trivia – and we’re currently planning new classes and experiences which we’ll be rolling out very soon. Keep an eye out for our next distillery open day too! And if you’re a gin fan be sure to check out our gin blending classes that will feature some new flavours. Finally, we’re gearing up for an Archie Rose whisky blending class featuring all our own distillates (10 years in the making) and working on a tour of our Banksmedow production facility. It’s a busy and exciting time!”

Book your spot at the Archie Rose Bar here.