Will Edwards: Archie Rose: Sydney

I reached a point where I knew I was not doing what I wanted, and the distillery idea was constantly in the back of my mind.


Name: Will Edwards
Occupation: Founder – Archie Rose Distilling Co.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Current Location: Sydney, Australia
When I was a kid I wanted to be… A dinosaur… and then a geologist.

The studies I took to get where I am… Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Management, but in reality those don’t really get you to where you are. It’s more the collective experience of everything in your life and the people around you that shape where you end up. And at the end of it all, the choices are yours to make.

I’m most creative when… I’m alone, for some reason usually in the city or a busy environment where I can just disappear into the crowd and think about what I’m working on.

I started …Archie Rose Distilling Co. in 2015 because I always had a passion for spirits. I used to do a bit of homebrew, make some pretty terrible spirit based infusions and play around with oak maturation, but it remained a hobby and I went down a fairly standard corporate path for a few years.

In 2013 though I reached a point where I knew I was not doing what I wanted, and the distillery idea was constantly in the back of my mind. I took some annual leave and headed to NYC for a break and to check out some of the first distilleries since prohibition that had popped up in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. After seeing their setups and hearing their stories, I just couldn’t figure out why no one had started up a distillery in the City of Sydney in recent years. Like NYC, we have a unique history of distillation, amazing craft brewers, an incredible bar scene and people who are genuinely interested in where their food and drinks come from and how they are created.

When I returned to Sydney, I knew that there must have been a few people that had considered starting a distillery, but none had eventuated and survived. In my mind there had to be a reason that I didn’t know of as to why you couldn’t start (or successfully operate) a distillery in Sydney. I thought that if I did the research and found that reason, then I could put the idea to bed and get on with other things. I spent six months working on finding the reason, but never found anything I considered an absolute roadblock, so it was then I committed to starting Archie Rose.

I choose this career because… I really wanted to make something from scratch – and I loved Gin, Whisky, the science behind distillation and the equipment required.

The tools I can’t live without… Headphones.

I’m inspired by… Brewers, Other Distillers, Chefs, Winemakers, Bartenders, Carriageworks, MCA, Australian Museum, Opera House, Vivid, Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Operators in related industries really committed to pushing their offering forward – whatever it may be.

I’m currently reading… Whatever pops up on my Flipboard feeds.

The website I hang out on the most… I love a good Wikipedia bender.

The last film I watched was…Spotlight

The highlights over the past 12 months have been… Seeing the distillery come into existence after so many years as just an idea. Seeing a bottle of our product behind a bar for the first time (Ramblin’ Rascal). Tasting our first one-year-old work in progress whiskies. Seeing our team grow and still stay so passionate about what we are doing. Getting my Sunday’s back (usually).

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Photographer: Katie Kaars

Interview: Almost Real

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