Will Edwards, founder of Archie Rose, started in his early 20s with a passion for spirits and the chemistry and engineering that underpins distillation.

After visiting distilleries in New York and Tasmania, he eventually left his corporate job to further explore why there wasn’t a working craft distillery in Sydney. Fast forward to March 2015 and Archie Rose Distilling Co. opened in Rosebery, just 5km from the Sydney CBD.

Archie Rose head of operations, Mark Champion speaks to Retailbiz about the distillery’s journey to date defined by a commitment to innovation, quality and heightened spirits experiences.

“We set out to redefine Australian craft distilling by combining innovative new techniques with a respect for tradition. Our aim was not just to produce exceptional spirits, but to offer an experience that allowed customers to engage with the creative process,” Champion says.

“Since our inception, we’ve been dedicated to using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, ensuring that each bottle of Archie Rose captures the essence of Australia’s diverse terroir. Our diverse range of products including gin, vodka, whisky, and rum, reflects this commitment to quality and authenticity.”

A focus on environmental sustainability has also been a core part of the brand’s ethos from day one, sourcing 100% of its malts from Australian growers and smoking them using native Australian stringybark instead of Scottish peat.

“We continue to see the rise of conscious consumerism as more Australians value where their drinks come from and what goes into them. We’re always striving to highlight locally and ethically sourced ingredients in our spirits while maintaining quality and clarity of flavour through our distillation techniques,” Champion says.

“We’re constantly innovating how we bring the highest quality Australian spirits to more people. For example, we created our Fundamental Spirits range to give Australians an alternative to the dozen or so international brands that still make up 90% of the local market, so you don’t have to compromise on local flavour and quality when enjoying cocktails.”

A key challenge for Archie Rose has been effectively managing domestic and international shipping processes to meet customer demand in regional and rural Australia, as well as international clientele.  

“To address this challenge, we forged a strategic partnership with FedEx. This collaboration enabled us to optimise our operations through cutting-edge digital solutions, facilitating seamless connectivity with our customer base both locally and globally,” Champion says.

“Leveraging FedEx Express’s time-definite services, we ensured prompt deliveries and enhanced customer satisfaction. Their proactive approach aligns perfectly with our dedication to delivering exceptional service to customers and overcoming logistical obstacles.”

Looking to the 12 months ahead, key focus areas for Archie Rose revolve around innovation, heightened experiences and global expansion.

“We’ll be releasing some special limited-edition spirits to celebrate our 10th birthday, and our commitment to innovation in spirits production over the last decade. We’ll continue to bring better drinking experiences to more people Australia-wide through our products and personalised spirit experience,” Champion says.

“We’re also exploring opportunities for further international expansion into global markets. This includes forging strategic partnerships with distributors and increasing our brand presence on a global scale with shipping and logistics support from FedEx. We’re excited to share Archie Rose spirits with the world.”