We firmly believe that the strength and success of a small business is directly correlated to the awesomeness of its staff. Andy has been with Fernie Distillers since its early days. He originally declined the job, not wishing to mix business and friendship. Luckily he couldn’t resist getting involved after volunteering to help out on opening day. Let’s just say that the lure of the distillery was somewhat intoxicating (we’re all good at bad puns by the way, it’s a prerequisite for all staff members).
Andy grew up many miles away from Fernie, BC, in rural Scotland. He enjoyed an idyllic “berries from the garden and rusty penknife kinda childhood”. He moved to Edinburgh in his late teens and started bartending shortly after he turned 18, which turned into a means of travelling ‘from town to city, from sea to summit’. British Columbia was a stop en route which sparked a passion for Canada, and after years of trying to get another visa, he returned to B.C with his soul-mate, and they discovered Fernie together.
In the process of finding the place he wanted to set down his roots, Andy’s means of getting by had become his passion, and he was keen to develop his career in bartending and hospitality management. His focus is to provide a memorable guest experience as well as managing everything from employee development, creating new and exciting cocktails, front line management, and exceptional front of house service. Andy says that patrons at Fernie Distillers experience “friendly honest service, with some serious cocktail geekery! We love what we do, we love talking about our products, providing in-depth complimentary tastings, explaining the process and the distillery, the stories behind our drinks, and our ethos”.
Guests can expect some really outstanding drinks, created and curated by Andy. There are many concoctions on the testing table (as always), but his favourite from the current menu is the ‘Brake Club’. Andy describes it as “a 3oz cocktail with a ton of personality, No.9 Mine Vodka, Sweet Vermouth, Chartreuse, Absinth and Bitters”.
Outside of the distillery, Andy is busy bringing up the next generation and loves sharing his passions and hobbies with his two year old son. He makes the most of Fernie with his young family, spending his free time cooking with his wife and relaxing over a game of scrabble. He also loves biking and snowboarding, followed by après-ski (obviously), and his guilty pleasure is a Miner’s Mule. Come in and say hi and try it for yourself.