Whisky Magazine Issue 51
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Teacher's is celebrating its 175th birthday with a new owner. And the brand's still bullish
With 175 years of history behind you, you might be excused for looking back.
It would be entirely understandable if you wanted to concentrate on past glories and emphasise the long tradition and heritage of your firm.
And when that firm truly does have a proud and important part in the history of Scotch whisky, there's even more reason.
So, inevitably a meeting with Bill Bergius of Teacher's involves a little time looking backwards.
But mostly, Bill was in the mood to anticipate the future and, after 175 years, that still looks exciting.
Teacher's is about to have a new owner and one from America to boot. So, in addition to all the organisational and commercial changes that lie just around the corner come significant cultural challenges as well. But let's take a brief glance backwards, if only to appreciate just how momentous an event this is.
The firm was established in 1830 when William Teacher opened his grocery shop in Piccadilly Street, Glasgow.
Like other whisky entrepreneurs, such as John Walker of Kilmarnock, he soon branched out into the spirits trade and began to develop his business.
Teacher's became famous for its dram shops. These were very different in style from some of the other Glaswegian drinking dens described elsewhere in this issue of Whisky Magazine. In fact, so stern and austere was their character that the licensing magistrates congratulated the firm on its work as temperance reformers! There was no danger of adulterated whisky in one of Teache...