Whisky Wisemen: Where it all Began
We never thought a conversation between two buddies about creating a way to spend more time with our friends, while growing our interest and knowledge in whisky, would come alive in such a way that it has.
More than a year ago, we decided to dedicate one night a month to gather friends to enjoy a few glasses of the appropriately named water of life, as this spirit was a budding mutual interest of ours.
It was the ultimate scenario for a group of 20-something professionals with common passions to step away from it all for an evening. And without much more thought, the inaugural Third Thursday was born!
In January of 2013, four of us gathered at the Irish Heather in Gastown, the only place in the city we knew guaranteed an elaborate whisky selection that wouldn’t disappoint. We sat around discussing why we were there, and ideas began to float around about who to invite and what else we could do to make it exciting.
Being the group of guys we are, we decided to find a way to make this idea mean something more. How could we develop this concept to benefit others and to give back?
We reached out to other friends we knew would be keen about this project and before long, the Whisky Wisemen was alive. We wanted to create a brand, and we wanted to develop it with care and charisma. We wanted it to embody what we all strive for on a daily basis – to be better in every capacity, and constantly push ourselves. We wanted to promote chivalry and prove it wasn’t dead, but just a forgotten art. Thus our mantra of “an inspiring brotherhood of aspiring gentlemen” was a suitable statement for the type of impact we wanted to create.
So if we were going to give something back, who would be the beneficiary? Lots of great options were presented, and we are looking forward to doing our best to support many of them over time. After meeting the founder of Project True, we knew that was a great place to start
Project True is a Vancouver-based not-for-profit that was created out of the lack of accessible resources for people living with serious body image disorders and/or disordered eating. After hearing the founder’s story, it was clear this organization was in need of our help and we were happy to designate them as the inaugural recipient of whatever funds we would raise in our first year. Finally we felt purpose.
Shortly after the second monthly event, we approached the Heather Hospitality Group with the idea of hosting regular whisky events, and they opened their arms to us. The owner, Sean Heather, is well known for his philanthropic work around the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and saw this as another means to extend his open heart to the community. We easily agreed on our now solid model of having the establishment as a partner and began kicking in a free ounce of whisky to start the evening off for everyone attending. What a great relationship!
Before long, we had a logo, a strategy, regular meetings and launched our social media platforms. As we started to invite others, the feedback was positive and encouraging. We knew we had something, and we knew we had to keep going.
Fast forward a year, with over 12 successful and ever-growing Third Thursday events behind us. We have raised over $1,000 for charity, attracted hundreds of social followers, had 100 unique people attend our events, and are on the verge of reaching another milestone: the launch of our signature cocktail called “The Wiseman”.
They say good things happen to those who wait, but great things happen to those who do.
Looking forward to seeing you out at the next event!