Drawn by a common passion for the precision and innovation of craft distilling, a group of individuals came together to create artisan spirits in a historic location in the Surrey Hills.
Ian has tried to work silently and behind the scenes, but failed spectacularly. An ex-city dweller, he makes the most of his new countryside location by wearing shorts every single day to show off his never-ending supply of white socks. You can find him surrounded by paperwork, peering out of his window side desk facing the courtyard, micromanaging every part of the operation. Despite his tough manly exterior, deep (deep, deep) down, he is very soft and caring, just like a lobster.
With oversight of International Sales, James is fluent in 4 languages: English, American, Canadian, and Australian. The harsh realities of James’ responsibilities mean that he has to spend a lot of time away, drinking his way across Ibiza, St Tropez, New York… the list goes on. The invention of Skype has revolutionised James’ life. In this golden age of computing, he can conduct business meetings wearing no underwear, which he thinks nobody else has figured out.
Aussie Steve is our favourite (and only) South African – or was it the other way round..? Intelligent, efficient and pragmatic, Steve is everything you’d hope for in an accountant. A leading expert on Health & Safety, if you ever spot Steve on a tour, be sure to ask him about barriers to entry – his second favourite topic (a close runner-up to talking about how our fabulous gin is made).
Tom slaves away at the hands of The Major (our traditional wood-powered boiler) at all hours of the day. He is responsible for the continued flow of delectable gin emanating from the still. As you’d expect, he is also a fantastic cook, which we take advantage of at every available opportunity. When on a rare day’s holiday, you are most likely to find him stranded on a country road in Wales, trying to find motorcycle emergency replacement components using his edgy Android phone, on his last 4% of battery remaining.
Finance & Operations Manager
Those who believe beauty and brains can’t coexist have yet to encounter Sophie. Originally from t’north (‘the north’ in Northernish), she is an award winning CIMA accountant, and is well equipped to look after all our money (clothed in dungarees and drinking Yorkshire tea). Presumably this is related to her northern upbringing. Sophie recently relocated to the comparatively tropical Surrey hills where can commute t’werk (to work) on a John Deere tractor. She is the Torvill to Ian McCulloch’s Dean, except a great deal less graceful on ice.
Research & Development
Having over 14 years experience in the international drinks industry, Stuart first began bartending in Glasgow and Edinburgh, before moving to London in 2008 to further develop his career.
Progressing to be part of the tight-knit team at industry benchmark 69, Colebrooke Row, he nurtured an enthusiasm and understanding of the science behind drinks. This involved working with various distillation techniques, experimental flavours and ideas. After absorbing these skills Stuart moved to the innovative bar consultancy, Strange Hill, where he made himself an essential part of their reputation within the industry. This developed into an excellence for a range of elite brands and he was a key role in their new brand development. Within this role Stuart was responsible for creating, amongst others, a renowned drinks menus and training programme for the world-class Bulgari Hotel, London Edition Hotel, and The Sanderson. Moving up to date Stuart now consults for Silent Pool, heading up their new product development.
Local Sales Manager
As the leading member of the sales team, Keith’s friendly face often shows up in the local area. A little-known fact about Keith is that he’s a supreme water-skier and fly-fisher. His previous haircut, luscious beard, and cargo pants would have you believe that his true calling is a crocodile hunter. His eagle eye for detail means he doesn’t miss a thing – another reason that Keith’s expertise is invaluable!
Chief Brand Ambassador India was thrust into the world of bartending as a baby; her parents were in the business of running bars. Having worked front of house and behind the bar for many years, she knows where all the best bars and clubs are, and has a charming knack for getting our gin into prime position on their busy shelves. When not planning awesome Silent Pool themed parties, India likes to live the high life and find fun places to eat and drink with her friends.
Joe Van den Berg
Joe runs the show in the bottling and packaging section. An accomplished musician, he conducts his string of bottlers to the beat of the music of his choosing. This often annoys Simon, as Joe’s love of the UK Top 40 Chart is not shared between them. Easily distinguishable by his salmon coloured chino shorts, you’ll see Joe at our distillery or sometimes on the market stalls.
Distillery Sales & Stock Supervisor
‘AP’ is a multi-talented team player – he often finds himself organising markets, running markets, or driving the Silent Pool van on deliveries. His pet hate is people who don’t indicate when turning off on roundabouts. Heroically protective of the Silent Pool van, Alex recently acquired a dashboard camera, which apparently now allows him to sleep soundly at night (something which didn’t appear to be a problem in the first place).
In-house distillery DJ Todd is not only crucial for motivating our bottling team (his thesaurus-like musical knowledge is unparalleled) but he’s also king of the ‘on the spot’ tour. With his flowing locks, easy smile and collection of beer-related t-shirts, you’d never believe our resident surfing enthusiast arrived with us somewhat preppy looking! We look forward to seeing the dreadlocks that we imagine will come with his full transformation into a Silent Pool distiller.
A true (Australian) Scotsman who survived his perilous journey from the colonies, our modern day (and somewhat hairless) William Wallis battled his way to the team with only the clothes on his back and a thoroughly apt back history in law. A Hamish tour is always a treat; his enthusiasm and passion for travel and seeing the world are reflected in his work. With his hatred of ‘a desk’, it appears he is on a one-man mission never to lose his ‘freedom’.
WOOD FIRED BOILER
We like to say that sunshine is one of the ingredients of our gin because the sunlight that falls on the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, where we’re based, grows the trees which we feed The Major. The Major powers the steam jacket of the still, which would make it possible for us to make gin in the event of a National Grid outage or apocalypse (ever the optimists here at SPD).