Born and raised on the Eastside in Bellevue, Nick comes from a very large family and loves to show people a good time. He has a BA from Western Washington University where he played a bit of Football for the Vikings. Cooking and creating new recipes are a passion of his, and he loves sports, fishing, camping, gardening, painting, and writing.
When he’s not busy crafting our fine spirits, you can find him hanging out with his wife and daughters and his dog Gin, or entertaining his friends at a cookout. He’s a genuinely great guy and we are so happy to have him as a part of our team!
We had a little Q&A session with Nick. Read on to get to know him a little bit better!
1. What is your title within the company?
I am Northwest Spirits’ Master Distiller.
2. What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is seeing people enjoy the labors of our work. Whether that’s at home, in our tasting room, or in our restaurants (which use all of the NWS products in their house cocktails).
3. What draws you to the work you do?
I’ve always had a passion for making people smile and laugh and there’s no easier way to do that than through food or drink. If no one knows my name, I’m great with that, as long as I can help create something that others can enjoy.
4. Tell us about your family.
My wife Haley and I were both born and raised in the Seattle area and met through mutual friends after college. She always wanted girls so, being the nice guy that I am, I complied. I’m definitely glad I did, as we now have two young daughters, O’Neill and Winslow (Winnie), who have yet to fail at being the highlight of my day. Despite growing up with 3 brothers (or maybe perhaps because of it), there’s now nothing I enjoy more than spending time with my girls.
5. Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have a dog appropriately named, “Gin”, of course. He is a Jindo who was rescued from a dog meat farm in S. Korea and sent over as a puppy. My parents had a family dog named “Tequila” and to this day, Gin still wags his tail in excitement when I say her name, even though she’s been gone a couple years now. We also added 3 new additions to the family recently for a 3rd birthday present: Nemo, Flounder and Dori (all named by said 3-year old of course).
6. What do you love to do on your days off?
I love to get outside. Whether that’s taking the dog and girls for a walk, gardening, fishing or even just finding a local restaurant with a patio. An ideal day for me is barbequeing or creating good food with friends and family, watching a game and sitting outside with a nice drink.
7. Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
One of my favorite places of all time would definitely have to be Ireland. I strive to always have a good time, make people smile, laugh and feel welcomed. In Ireland, it just seemed like everyone was always trying to do the same. Everyone was friendly, inviting and always ready for a good time to be had.
8. What is your favorite cocktail?
This one is tough! I usually just love cocktails that evoke personal memories and feelings. I love a Manhattan simply because it reminds me of my grandma. For a party, maybe a Rum Swizzle because it reminds me of getting engaged while visiting family in Bermuda. I also really enjoy a good spicy Bloody Mary because it usually means i’m either having brunch with friends, watching an early game, or i’m on vacation.
9. What is one thing we might not know about you?
Every year before Summer is over or the nice weather is gone, I always go to the lake and dive for crawdads. It was always something we did growing up as kids so its now a weird sort of end of the Summer ritual. I feel like I get one last swim and adventure in before the cold of fall sets in. I usually eat them too. 🙂