Corsair Distillery has had a breakthrough year, winning two “Distillery of the Year” awards, one for the American Distilling Institute in Seattle, WA and one for the Wizards of Whisky awards in the U.K.
One of the keys to their success has been the quality of their people, and with that in mind, Corsair has a big announcement. Owners Darek Bell, Andrew Webber, and Amy Lee Bell are proud to announce that Corsair has named Andrea Clodfelter as Head Distiller and Distillery Manager of their Nashville operations. “I love being part of the Corsair culture, which is one that promotes the creative and weird in its employees and policies. And often this translates into really great whiskey,” said Clodfelter.
Owner Darek Bell said, “Andrea has been key to some of our best products, like our Quinoa Whiskey,” which won Corsair their second “Innovator of the Year” award for Whisky Magazine. “Andrea’s passion, dedication, and enthusiasm are awesome. We work in a really fun industry. Every day someone tells us we have their dream job.”
So how did Andrea get her dream job? Andrea had been home brewing beer for years. She read about Corsair in Southern Living magazine and decided she wanted to become a distiller. She saw a job opening for bartender and then worked her way up to Brewing Assistant, Junior Distiller, Distiller, and now takes the reigns as Head Distiller. Clodfelter was trained at the Siebel Brewing Institute.
Corsair President Andrew Webber said, “Andrea has been our secret weapon. She is incredibly talented and hardworking.” Andrea has worked in every aspect of the distillery, from bartending, leading tours, brewing, distilling, blending, and bottling.
Fearless females creating some of the best craft spirits
Despite the masculine look of their products, the women behind the scenes have been crucial to Corsair’s success. Corsair not only has a female head distiller in Clodfelter, but even rarer, a female owner: Amy Lee Bell. Another key for Corsair’s charm on the hospitality side is Bar Manager Emily Kendall.
Clodfelter joins an elite club of female distillers in the red hot craft spirits movement. Caley Shoemaker of Hangar1 Vodka was recently named head distiller. Bridget Firtle, owner/distiller of Owney’s rum, Maggie Campbell of Privateer Rum, Joy Spence, Master Blender, Appleton Estates Rum are female distillers. Others include Joanne Moore, master distiller of Bloom London Dry Gin in the U.K.; Katia Espirito Santo, of Brazil’s Avua Cachaça, Sonja Kassebaum at Chicago’s North Shore Distillery, and Laura Dierks, managing partner at Brooklyn’s Van Brunt Stillhouse. Sonat Birnecker, president of Koval Distillery, Alison Schrader at Dogfish Head, and Nicole Austin, master blender for Kings County Distillery.
Corsair is distributed in 28 states and 8 countries outside the US. Since its inception 6 years ago, Corsair has won 95 medals and awards at international spirits competitions. Publications and media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN Money, Food and Wine, Fortune Magazine, The Atlantic, Saveur, Tastings Magazine, Chilled Magazine, Imbibe Magazine, Beverage Industry, Beverage World, In The Mix, Whisky Magazine, Time Out New York, Garden and Gun, Whisky Advocate, Southern Living, Details, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Esquire, Wine Enthusiast, CBS News, Food Republic, Artisan Spirit, and Maxim have featured and praised Corsair’s unique artisan spirits.
Corsair has won three “Craft Distillery of the Year awards” for the American Distilling Institute, Whisky Magazine, and the Wizards of Whisky competition.The distillery has won a number of other notable awards, including two “Innovator of the Year” awards from Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky awards.Corsair’s triple smoke whiskey won “Artisan Whiskey of the Year” for Whisky Advocate Magazine.