By Andy Young
Archie Rose Distillery has revealed a number of changes to its production team, chief of which sees Dave Withers move from Production Manager to Master Distiller.
And while Withers told TheShout it would be business as usual for the distillery, he is understandably delighted with the appointment.
“It is great. It is business as usual in many ways, but it is nice to have the title change and to step into a position which is a bit more public. We’ve decided to make the change as the team is expanding immensely, so the Master Distiller title works well with such an expanding team,” Withers said.
“But we are still pumping out a massive amount of tasty booze every day.”
The changes to the production team will see the distillery get back to a seven-day production week but Withers said there will always be a focus on researching and developing new products such as the recently-launched Horisumi Autumn gin.
“We are spending a lot of time in a big drive of our research and development, both in terms of our gins and also the whisky. We have done some really interesting things, and recently we released the Horisumi gin, where we distilled some crazy things like miso paste.
“And there is one that I have got my eye on, which is to distil Vegemite, so we’ll see how that one turns out. I just want to see how it tastes.”
After enjoying a wine upbringing, Withers decided that he wanted to try his hand at something different and moved into distilling instead.
“My background is wine, my dad’s a winemaker and my grand-father was a winemaker and that was what I grew up with. School holidays were spent in a 3000-litre vat with a scrubbing brush and detergent, but I had to have my rebellion somehow and moving into spirits production was it.”
And in terms of how things are going at the distillery at the moment, Withers did reveal that the Rye whiskey that was put into virgin oak barrels is “coming along very quickly and is really tasty. We’ve just got to figure out when we are going to go to market with it.”
The production changes at the distillery also see Shane Casey move into the role of Head Distiller, leading the production floor on a regular basis, with the company looking to recruit an additional distiller to the team.