Learn from the best of the best, from distillers of the world’s most successful brands to the owners and operators of the leading craft distilleries. Over 40 industry experts are brought together under one roof to provide an intensive, practical, hands-on learning experience that combines technical training and business management education for start-ups, industry professionals, and those looking for careers in the distilling industry. This course, designed and taught by distillery operators, industry professionals, and master distillers, exposes attendees to the realities of the day-to-day operations from laying the first brick to getting finished product on the shelves. The technical aspects of distillate production are only the beginning. Challenges and opportunities from equipment selection to distribution channels to financial considerations are also explored.
Classroom instruction, coupled with hands-on experience and priceless networking opportunities combine to make our 6-Day Distiller Course the industry’s premier educational event.
This course qualifies for 5.5 Business Management credit hours through Jefferson Community and Technical College.
Note: Speakers are subject to change due to last minute conflicts. As the exclusive educational member Kentucky Distillers’ Association, we have a pool of top notch industry experts from which to provide any necessary substitutions. We will notify all participants of any changes as soon as possible to the best of our ability.
SUNDAY – SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A DISTILLERY?
This half-day class, starting at 1pm, offers aspiring distillers the opportunity to learn from an experienced distillery construction team. A comprehensive view will be provided by instructors consisting of the architect, general contractor, distillery engineer, key equipment manufacturers, financier, and others. Attendees will receive a detailed timeline, as well as an in-depth perspective of financial considerations, regulatory challenges and construction decision points for the on-time, on-budget construction/renovation of their distillery.
Key Steps & Timeline – Overview of critical decision points, when they should be implemented and their corresponding completion requirements.
Financial Considerations – Comprehensive cost analysis of a recently completed, fully-operational, craft distillery will provide a benchmark for budget development from construction, production and operational considerations.
Construction / Renovation – Moderated panel discussion featuring key stake-holders in the distillery construction process. Important considerations include:
- Site Selection-Understand the critical considerations when selecting a site in regard to physical location and the corresponding budgetary ramifications.
- Subcontractors- Identify and evaluate dependable subcontractors who possess the necessary skill sets to ensure quality craftsmanship.
- Vendors- Ensure equipment compatibility and seamless integration through the understanding of key communications required from each provider.
- Permitting- Understand key considerations with regards to municipal requirements on zoning, building, electrical, plumbing, water/sewer and hazardous materials.
- Build-out- Itemize design and construction considerations for build-out phase of project including: layout and space requirements, utility service requirements, maintenance and material considerations and change order management.
Incentives & Government Support – Identify opportunities to attract state and local government incentives for your distillery, including an explanation of requirements and support materials likely necessary for consideration.
MONDAY – THE FUNDAMENTALS
- Types of stills
- Second distillation
- Heads, hearts & tails
- Basic terms
- Distilling tools
Breakout Session: Distilling
- Mash bill calculation
- Hands on mashing
More intensive study of the science and process of:
- Fermenting (including a look at how yeasts affect fermentation and flavor)
- Types of stills
- 2nd distillation
- Heads, hearts & tails
Applications include a closer look at distilling, experimenting with yeast, and observing process through a glass still.
Breakout Session: Laboratory
- A tour of Flavorman, the beverage development company, and bottling line.
- Sensory evaluation of heads, hearts and tails.
Nuts & Bolts Networking Reception
Enjoy open discussion over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with colleagues, presenters, vendors and industry VIPs.
TUESDAY- RUM PRODUCTION
TTB Licensing and Compliance
- Overview of Laws and Regulations
- Basic permit application
- DSP Registration
- Premises, equipment & operations
- Records and reports overview
- Sources of rum
- Rum mash bill
- Aging and blending
Rum Mash Bill Calculation
Formulation and label approval process.
WEDNESDAY- WHISKEY PRODUCTION
- Receiving grains
- Grain handling
- Milling, cooking and fermentation
- Record keeping
- Fermentation process
- Proof rating
Lunch and Learn
Sit back and relax while we show you some genuine Kentucky hospitality. Enjoy stories of legendary brands told by the makers themselves. Past speakers include Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller at Wild Turkey, Bill Samuels, Jr., and Greg Davis from Maker’s Mark.
- History of wooden barrels
- Characteristics of oak
- Aging, charring, toasting and barrel size
- Oak products
- Sensory analysis
Aging & Mingling
- Effects of aging
- The art of mingling
- Blending for consistency
Proofing & Finishing
- Proofing & gauging
On & Off Premise Marketing
- Type of packaging
- Labels & closures
- Case quantity
Networking Reception and Dinner
Cocktails and dinner will provide another excellent opportunity for attendees, presenters and honored guests to enjoy informal conversation and build valuable relationships.
THURSDAY – VODKA & GIN PRODUCTION
Artisan Distiller Panel
Presentations and Q&A with craft distillers and distillery owners
- Vodka production
- Production VS. buying bulk
- Gin production methods
- Popular gin ingredients
- Botanical sensory
Vodka & Gin Sensory Evaluation
- Compounded gin VS. distilled gin
- Flavored Vodka
- Distributor jargon
- Three tier system
- Choosing a distributor
- Marketing your product
- Distributor pricing
A field trip to tour the largest distilling equipment manufacturer in the United States.
FRIDAY- BRANDING, SALES & MARKETING
Branding, Sales & Marketing
Case Study: Route to Market
Step by step: taking a new brand to market
Packaging & Closures
- Packaging and closure options
- Custom orders
Closing Remarks, Diplomas & Gifts