Deep South Distillery has a small but dedicated full time staff that has become like a family. We love what we do and we love the affirmation that we get from our customers, whether it's a tasting, an activation or just a visit.
We also have a growing number of people who, although they contract to us, do a great deal for our brand. We thank them all for their passion and support.
Steve ErlankMasterful Ginologist
Sandy WilliamsonPourer of Deliciousness
Daniel GutsaMaker of all good things
Leon BussioSales maestro
Steve is the owner and distiller at Deep South Distillery. He handles all the business operations, and oversees the distillery operations. He is responsible for product and recipe development and owing to rigorous quality assurance, often has to take a nap at mid-morning.
He considers this to be his fourth, or perhaps fifth, career, in a working life that has seen him being an IT programmer, systems analyst, academic, entrepreneur, lecturer, business owner, author, researcher and conference presenter. He has been actively trying to have at least two mid-life crises a year since his thirties, when he began retiring for the first time, and considers starting a craft distillery in a recession in South Africa at the age of 60 to be one of the strangest decisions he ever made.
He is father of two grown-up daughters and married to Sandy. If he had any free time, he would spend it sailing, playing the piano, hiking, camping, travelling and playing golf. He paints water-colours really badly, likes to collect useful phrases in other languages and can sometimes be found nibbling on his neighbours’ hedges in search of secret botanicals that can be used in the distillery. He was once chased by pirates off the Mozambique coast. Oh! And he loves craft spirits.
Sandy is Admin Manager at the distillery, and handles most of the sales, accounting and general administration, as well as co-ordinating tastings and events. She has survived being Steve’s better half since before the dawn of recorded time.
Her early career was in recruitment, where she managed several branches in Cape Town and Australia, before joining the training company Steve and his university colleagues had started in the 80’s. As the business grew, she was able to put her MBA to use in managing every aspect of the business over the years, including HR, Finance and Marketing, with a side-line in catering, events and graduation parties.
She is amazing at organising events, and is a talented and creative caterer. Her whimsical and slightly wicked sense of humour keeps Steve in his place. She is loving mother to four children: two human daughters and two canine, and loves the Kommetjie lifestyle.
Dan is our Distillery Assistant, and handles many of the day-to-day operations in the distillery, including overseeing the distilling and fermentation runs, running tours, doing deliveries, and helping out with the occasional tasting. Since he does not actually consume alcohol, he is the perfect person to have working in a distillery!
Dan hails from Zimbabwe, where he initially worked as an Electrical Maintenance Technician for ZESA, including a stint in Cabora Bassa, before spending time in marketing at an accounting business. He started his own Coal Merchant company, supplying coal to tobacco farmers for half a decade, before relocating to Cape Town. He joined the distillery in March 2017 and has grown in knowledge and skills to become a vital part of the team.
Dan is a guy who welcomes challenge, and he loves the research that goes into new spirits, processes and recipes. His quirky tours of the distillery and wry sense of humour often have guests in fits of giggles, and his passion for the job shines through strongly. As he says: ͞I love the job and the challenge, and better is not good enough. The best is still to come!͟.
Leon is our head of sales, having joined us from his previous life in the property business.
His enthusiasm and passion for our products, our brand and our values have closed many a deal. To see him behind the bar at a festival or doing the occasional gin tasting for a new client is to behold a maestro at work.
He has lived in the Deep South for many years and apart from the rich relationships this brings, his involvement in local affairs has helped us focus on our corporate social responsibility activities.
He lives in Simonstown with his daughter, a stone’s throw from the sea.
Mel is our media person and our official story-teller. Her responsibilities are to grow our presence on social media, in pictures and in text. She is largely the driving force behind the beautiful pictures on our Instagram page, and applies her photographic abilities in the creation of pack shots, product shots and in covering some of our events. <p> <p>
Although she is not full time with us (she owns her own photographic and training operation) she spends lots of time publishing posts, running online quizzes, and interacting with our customer base. She is endlessly patient in answering the many questions (some quite bizarre) that come in from social media channels and she fills in at the distillery when we are short-handed for tastings or in-house events.