Growing up in Reefton, Patsy remembers the simplicity of life on the West Coast, picking fruit in the garden, riding horses, and sipping on milkshakes at the milk bar. Her love of the region has been a constant and decades later when Patsy’s work as a project manager saw her return home, she began to look for ways that she could contribute to the revitalisation of her home town. Having spent her early years living on the site of the Westland Brewery, establishing a distillery was a natural step.
Nick comes from Blackball on New Zealand’s Wild West Coast. A science graduate from the University of Otago, where he studied Botany, Nick has spent the last 5 years working in various industries including dairy, tourism, hospitality, and conservation. This unique mix of experience sees Nick well placed as Distiller at Reefton Distilling Co.
Cutting short his UK O.E. to join us, Nick spent time in London and Scotland visiting household distillery names such as Glenfiddich and Dewars, where he gained valuable experience that is being put to work here at home.
With a Bachelor of Science from the University of Otago (Food Science & Marketing), Beth specialised in food quality, moving from sampling and sensory lab, into chemistry and new product development before a career move into distilling.
Beth has been instrumental in reviewing and documenting our processes, and working with Nick to continuously improve our quality management system.
From Franz Josef originally, Beth made the move north to Reefton to join our team, and promotes our products at events around the country.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE / DISTILLERY ASSISTANT
With over 30 years experience as a Chef and the owner of a successful café/bar, Shane went on to complete his Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Food Technology and Outdoor Education), and has worked at High Schools in Canterbury and the West Coast, teaching hospitality and food technology. Shane is a NZQA Assessor (Hospitality Service Industry ITO) and holds the Professional Chef City and Guilds qualification.
FRONT OF HOUSE/MARKETING ASSISTANT
A recent graduate of Lincoln University, Ali's degree in Agribusiness and Food Marketing is being put to good use promoting Reefton Distilling Co. products to our customers, New Zealand and the world. Ali can often be found providing product tastings both on our distillery tours, and at events around New Zealand.
STEFFAN AND NIGEL MCKAY
AMBASSADORS, BOTANICAL AND WATER PROSPECTORS
Steffan and Nigel are very proud of both their Scottish heritage and the culture of their home town. The twin brothers who were born and grew up in Reefton, are authorities on everything there is to know about the area, its people, and its rich history.
Their ability as “water and botanical prospectors” has been instrumental to the distinct West Coast flavour in our products.