Meet the Team introduces you to the writers and experts behind Gin Magazine and gin-mag.com, as they talk about their lives both in and outside the gin world. This week, we meet freelance spirits writer and photographer Andrew Faulkner. Andrew has held senior positions with the American Distilling Institute and Distiller Magazine and has a prodigious knowledge of the American craft spirits scene. You can follow him on Instagram @wordspicturesstories.
Gin Magazine (GM): How did you end up in the gin world and what do you like most about working in it?
Andrew Faulkner (AF): I didn’t find gin. Gin found me. Gin frequents places where people enjoy libations and good company. I had been spending much time with vodka and whiskey, who frequent the same places. But those often left me in the mood to argue. Then, along came gin, making me mischievous, impish and ornery in a happy way; getting into the kind of trouble that is fun to have and leaves you with a laugh.
The best thing about the gin world is the people: a laughing, lively, lovely group with wide open hearts, ready to forgive that guy who really did say all those things last night.
GM: What did you do in your pre-gin life?
AF: It may be easier to ask what I didn’t do. I took lots of pictures (still do). Played loud music in San Francisco night clubs, knowing I would become a rock star (never did). Got sick of it all and rode a motorcycle across the States and back (don’t tell my children). Got serious and earned a bachelor’s degree (in journalism) and started earning less money than before I went to university. Took a job as a photojournalist, in Poland, which paid even less but let me travel the country and through most of the Eastern Bloc to explore the delightful regional spirits.
Oh yeah, and then I became vice president of the American Distilling Institute and managing editor of Distiller Magazine.
GM: What’s the best piece of career or life advice you’ve been given?
AF: I can’t think of a decent piece of career advice I was ever given, but I’ll give some:
Be opportunistic. Don’t make grand methodical plans to get there by being pragmatic. When opportunity smacks you in the face, take it, no matter how unprepared you feel.
GM: What moments or occasions have you reaching for a gin?
AF: 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock and 9 o’clock. I go to bed early.
GM: What would be your ideal holiday destination and activities?
AF: I actually don’t like vacations. I’m often thinking how I should be enjoying myself, and wondering why I’m not. I prefer work travel. When the day is done, I accidently find myself having a drink on some medieval town square, overlooking buildings that are older than my parents, and talking to people who come at life from an entirely different perspective, but with whom I somehow agree… about most things.
GM: If you were a gin or a gin cocktail, what would you be?
AF: All of them. I try to do too much.