SB meets… Andy Gascoigne, Haworth Steam

The former rugby league player turned publican discusses his career off the pitch, opening his first venue and the creation of his sweet shop-inspired gins. Where did your interest in the drinks industry come from? I used to be a professional sportsman, playing rugby league, but at the end of my career I didn’t know what to do. I had a beautiful house in the foothills of the Pennines and my wife Mandy and I…

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SB meets… Mark de Witte, De Kuyper

As Dutch drinks firm De Kuyper celebrates its 325th anniversary this year, CEO Mark de Witte tells SB about the company’s plans to tap into the low- and no-alcohol space and modernise the liqueur category. This year De Kuyper celebrates its 325th birthday. What activities do you have planned to mark the occasion? We had a lot of festivities planned with our business partners, employees, customers and the De Kuyper family, but due to the…

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Protected: SB meets… Chao-an Chan, Nantou Distillery

The director of Nantou Distillery, owned by the Taiwan and Tobacco & Liquor Corporation (TTL), on the company’s expansion plans and the Taiwanese whisky category. When was Omar Whisky founded and how did you establish the distillery? The whisky distillation line at Nantou was established in 2008, 31 years after Nantou Winery was built. Nantou Winery has produced wine, brandy, fruit-based wine, and rum since 1977. The whisky business started by importing whisky to blend…

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SB Meets… Bhagath Reddy, Comte de Grasse

French distillery Comte de Grasse took inspiration from the region’s perfume industry when creating its inaugural gin – Comte de Grasse 44°N. SB caught up with founder and CEO Bhagath Reddy to discuss botanicals, ‘peak gin’ and moving into brown spirits. What inspired you to make Comte de Grasse 44°N Gin?  I grew up in Bangalore, in a family that shared a deep passion for fine spirits. After years of research and planning I decided…

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SB Meets… Shinji Fukuyo, House of Suntory

The legendary master blender behind some of the world’s most coveted Japanese whiskies – including Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu – tells SB about overcoming challenges while perfecting his craft. How did you first get into the whisky industry? Actually, after graduating from university I joined the Suntory HR department. They told me you should go to Hakushu distillery in 1984, and since then basically I have always worked in whisky production. At the distillery, I…

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