National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) this year is themed the #FacesOfTravel so we’re exploring the individuals behind-the-scenes at several of our visitor-related businesses. Learn more about Chris Jude, spirited distiller with a fiery passion for his creations. Chris and his team care about guests’ feedback and making the experience an incredible one. Always open to new ideas, it’s fun for the CVB to work with him and the people of Fair Game Beverage Company.
What is your current title? What are your official, and unofficial, job duties?
I am the head distiller and Chief of Operations. We are a small company, so everyone has to cover a lot of ground. The glamorous side of my job is the distilling and blending of the aged spirits, but I spend much of my time doing everything from sourcing our ingredients and managing inventory to cleaning, lots of cleaning. I also play a role in our marketing, product design and events, run payroll, pay taxes, lots of taxes. Most of my job is cleaning and taxes.
Where have you worked/which jobs have you had before now?
From high school through college, I worked in restaurants and hospitality. I began homebrewing in college where I also studied biofuels and renewable energy. After college, I ran production at Piedmont Biofuels, which gave me a lot of experience moving liquids around, and safely working with flammable materials. I then worked as an electrician doing residential and solar installations in Washington State and here in the Triangle. That experience prepared me to complete the installation and build-out of our distillery here in Pittsboro.
What makes you happiest at your job?
Crafting wines and spirits that I am proud of, sharing those with others, and working with this team to build our brand and presence around the state (and beyond!).
What keeps you at this job and in this county?
I love the rural aspects of Chatham County. I live in a cabin in the woods by the Haw River and it’s great; but I see a lot changing in the county and in Pittsboro. My work at Fair Game allows me to work physically, while also challenging myself and expressing my creativity. Oh, and there’s the free booze.
What do you find most special/significant about this destination (either Chatham County or your specific place of business or both)?
Fair Game Beverage is located at The Plant in Pittsboro; it’s a funky destination. Once a military alloys plant, it has been reinvented and re-imagined as a network of businesses who focus on sustainability. We have an organic farm surrounding our property, and a great outdoor space with lawn and gardens. Once you drive back here, it’s like stepping into another world; it’s peaceful and quiet, and a great place to relax with friends and have a drink.