DRINKS WITH Morgan Guerra-Heuwetter – Anchor Distilling

Southtrade's Manuel Terron with Morgan Guerra-Heuwetter

Bartender magazine and 4bars.com.au got the chance to meet Morgan Guerra-Heuwetter brand ambassador for the Anchor Brewing and Distilling Company at a tasting held Goldfish in November. Apart from sampling the flavoursome batch distilled Old Potrero “18th Century Rye” and Junipero gin we also got to sample the new “Genevieve” genever currently only available in very small quantities from Southtrade International.

Anyhow, we thought it only fit that we find out a little more and this whiskey sippin’, beer swilling lass from the US of A.

How did you first get involved in the drinks industry?

“My first job behind the bar was in a boutique beer bar in Madison, WI, a lively little college town in the Midwest, USA.  In fact, it was at that bar that I was first introduced to Anchor Steam lager.”


How did you wind up landing a job with the Anchor Brewing and Distilling Company?

“After a few years of bartending in Madison then New York City, I took a position as bar manager at Coffee Shop Bar in Union Square, NYC and later as a FOH manager at Dani Restaurant in SoHo, New York.  While managing Dani I completed the American Sommelier Association’s Viticulture and Vinification program and as much as I adore wine I found my natural inclination pulled me into the world of beer.  This is when I contacted Anchor Brewing Co.   I explained to them how I loved their beer, but believed it wasn’t getting the East Coast exposure it deserved and I wanted to sell it for them.  To my delight they agreed to let me have a go of it.”

What does your job entail?

“Over the last year, I have worked as an Export Consultant and Australian Brand Ambassador for Anchor Brewing and Distilling Company.

As an Export Consultant I quite happily researched Australia’s blossoming boutique beer and spirits industry and later coordinated an importing and distribution relationship between Anchor and Southtrade International, who have been doing a fantastic job of representing Anchor’s spirits.

Upon the arrival of the spirits, Junipero, Genevieve and Old Potrero, I have been working closely with Southtrade to pipeline potential on and off premise customers as well as organise industry tasting and training sessions.”

“Thinking about Anchor’s Liberty Ale – a pale ale – makes me salivate.  As far as Australian beers go, I enjoy Little Creature’s White Rabbit, Murray’s Icon 2IPA and whenever I find a bottle of Rouge, no matter what the style, I make sure it comes home with me.”

What’s your favourite aspect of this job?

“My favourite aspect of this job is seeing the excitement on people’s faces when I tell the story of Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing Company and of course the history of the DSP (Distilled Spirits Project).  As well as, just being the person who gets to introduce people to a beautifully crafted gin, whiskey or beer.  It can be life changing event for some people.  It was for me.”

Now you’ve said you’re a bit of a beer fan. What sort of beer do you usually drink?

“Thinking about Anchor’s Liberty Ale – a pale ale – makes me salivate.  As far as Australian beers go, I enjoy Little Creature’s White Rabbit, Murray’s Icon 2IPA and whenever I find a bottle of Rouge, no matter what the style, I make sure it comes home with me.”

Have you been able to apply your passion for beer (and wine?) to your role in promoting Anchor’s small batch spirits?

“Absolutely, distilling is a natural extension of brewing.  And although it may take time to acquire a taste for spirits, it’s easy to transfer an appreciation for the craft of making artisanal products.  I am constantly amazed and inspired by the quality of beers and spirits produced by Anchor.  It’s been a real honor working for them.”

When did you move to Australia and what brought you out here?

“My husband and I moved to Sydney in August of 2008.  After 3 years of living in New York City  Greg was ready to return to Sydney and I’ve never been one to say no to an adventure.  So here we are.”

How do you think that the Aussie bar scene compares to those in NYC and San Francisco?

“There are some obvious cultural differences.  For example, when we first arrived to Australia I couldn’t understand why everyone was going to Hotels for drinks.  In New York and San Francisco we have a larger variety of small independent venues, which I believe is a result of a larger population and different licensing laws.  As far as enthusiasm and creativity goes, Australia have a very exciting bar industry and I expect to continue to see some amazing independent venues pop up in the future.”

How has the new ‘Genevieve’ genever been received in the States?

“Surprisingly well.  The current enthusiasm for classic cocktails has created a great interest in traditionally distilled spirits.  In many ways, old is new again and the Genevieve has been given a warm welcome from bartenders looking to recreate some of the great American classics.  Also, the flavor profile presents quite an interesting challenge for contemporary mixologists so in that respect it offers a strong point of difference and a nice extension to a original cocktail menu.”

How do you think it will be received out here?

“I believe it will be embraced by Australian mixologists and as long as it makes its way into a complimentary cocktail, there will be a few brave souls willing to explore and experience its complex flavors.”

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