Neil Stewart - Business Development Manager
After several years in property sales, a career in hospitality beckoned for Neil in the mid 2000’s, starting at The Heathmount Hotel in Inverness. Spells at the 2-Rosette restaurant, Rocpool, The Storehouse Restaurant by Evanton and The Kingsmills Hotel followed. It was during The Storehouse days that Neil’s involvement in the Scottish Gin industry really kicked off. He worked on building up a specialised gin retail offering and working closely with various distilleries on sales, marketing and events. Gin tasting sessions became the norm with clients including The Marriot, Hilton and the BBC.
Away from work time is mixed between family and friends. Football ground-hopping gives Neil some added interest to travel trips with his current attempt to watch a football match in every country in Europe (31 ticked off out of 55 currently). He also has an ‘unhealthy’ obsession with vintage adidas trainers includes original boxed editions from the 1970’s and 80’s.
What do you like most about working at the Orkney Distillery?
Firstly, it’s a real privilege working with products that you love and believe in.
Secondly, with my food and drink industry background I really enjoy getting to interact and engage with bars, restaurants and retailers all over the country. Making the brand come alive for people, bringing a little bit of Kirkwall to the mainland is an exciting part of the job. You are more than simply promoting a bottle of gin…it’s talking about our Distillery, our provenance, our team, our story - from the Orcadian bees to the Vikings, from Burnet Rose to the Vegvísir, its bringing a little part of Orkney into some of the most inspiring hospitality venues around the UK.
Finally, I’m really lucky to work in an industry that is so much about the people. Working with our talented Distillery team and meeting so many different characters every day is fantastic!
What is your favourite drink from the bar?
Arkh-Angell in a classic Negroni. The “Navy” strength gin stands up well against the Vermouth (Cocchi Americano di Torino, ideally) and Amaro (Amaro Montenegro or Campari).