- The Fred Jerbis brand is certainly eye-catching and engaging. Can you tell us about the brand’s meaning and what inspired the brand’s name?
Fred Jerbis signifies “le erbe di Federico” – “the herbs of Federico” in English. We chose a name inspired by the Friulian region specifically to highlight and reflect the importance of our heritage – it’s the basis of our product creation. The Fred Jerbis concept actually includes a range of spirits and liqueurs and they’re all characterized by their strong links with the land.
- What made you get involved in the spirits and liqueur business? And where did you learn the skills you needed?
To be honest, it’s all rooted in my love of plants, and for products that have botanicals as their primary ingredient. From there, my focus went into making gin and then I went on to learn the principles of making traditional Italian liqueurs. I was certain that it was possible to devise a range of spirits that can illustrate the Friuli region and Italy too, but in an authentic artisan way. My involvement in the cocktail world began back in 2000. Initially I got some experience in Spain and Italy, and then in 2008 I came back to Friuli to open my bartender training school and cocktail bar in Polcenigo.
- What’s the key to your success in a marketplace that’s as crowded as the spirits sector? How have you differentiated yourself from competitors?
Within the spirits and liqueurs market, FJ represents research and development. We believe that you need a fresh perspective to create original products. And you can take nothing for granted when you are evolving. Instead, you have to constantly try to keep finding a different angle. The FJ concept has two distinct objectives. The first is to create artisan spirits in limited quantities and using only the best quality ingredients. And the second objective I set was to make the best Negroni cocktail in the world, meaning I had to look beyond just one single product and focus more on blending.
- Has the current Covid-19 pandemic had a positive or negative impact on your business?
The pandemic has been destabilizing for us. We’ve felt the impact of closures mainly due to our work with the hospitality industry. But luckily, we have managed to limit our losses with the support of our keen customers, who have chosen to continue drinking Fred Jerbis through lockdown.
- Can you give us a sneak peek of your products in development?
At the moment, we are focused on the construction of a distillery and botanical garden so we can give even closer attention to the production phases. From a product perspective, we continue to offer our limited edition, single-vintage lines.
- From your experience, what are the new trends in the spirits sector and what should we expect in the future?
Honestly, we’re not in a position to tell you what the upcoming trends will be. We’d love to know though! But what we do think is that consumers are changing, and they’ll always be looking for quality products. This is a growing and critical factor which we think cannot be overlooked.
- As for packaging, what you have selected for your products reflects their artisan background and connection with tradition. Did you design and choose the individual elements yourselves or did you work with a specialist agency?
Our packaging is dual purpose. On the one hand, it uses a simple method to show the botanicals used in each spirit. And on the other, it conveys a feel of artisan production, which sets our products apart from the rest. Our own team worked on the brand creation and identity – it was part of the project development. In doing this phase of the project ourselves, it would allow us to lend a stronger sense of authenticity to it.
- Now, let’s take a look at the closure. What made you choose the T-Wood closure for your whole range of spirits?
Our choice of closure was simple yet distinctive, have clean lines and perfect in every detail.
Fred Jerbis selected T-Wood from the Collection range, with a natural beech wood head that’s customized with the Fred Jerbis logo in a single-colored print.
The leg is synthetic and picked out purposefully for its neutrality of impact to flavors and aromas. The leg is mounted to the head by coinjection. This cutting-edge technique avoids the use of adhesives as well as accidental breakages, while ensuring an optimum seal.