Go to Moonshine University. Really.
If you’re interested in becoming a chef you might consider the Culinary Institute of America, so why not a school to teach you the craft of making liquor. Well, there is such a school. It’s part of Distilled Spirits Epicenter and you can find the website here.
So, the first stop in becoming the next booze business tycoon is the school.
Next, they have a number of different businesses to help the wannabe craft distiller. One is called Grease Monkey Distillery, which is designed for use by everyone from entrepreneurs to industry experts, and is equipped to distill spirits of all kinds. Kind of like a do-it-yourself still using state of the art equipment.
What good is an outstanding, crafted liquid without a vessel to put it in? Well, then avail yourself of Challenge Bottling. It is a highly
flexible bottling line that is versatile enough to handle smaller production runs, challenging projects, and various packaging requirements. In other words, they are contract bottlers.
Let’s go back to Moonshine U. No, they don’t teach you to find a remote spot in the woods, set up a still, cook the mash and drive like hell to outrun the revenuers.
Instead, they have a fairly comprehensive 5-day program that I think is impressive. The curriculum runs from learning the fundamentals, to the production of rum, whiskey, vodka and gin, as well as general management covering all aspect of marketing, sales and distribution. It isn’t cheap folks ($5,500) but I’m guessing it’s well worth the money.
Aside from the aspiring liquor moguls, the school is a good place for marketing and sales people to learn about the liquor business and see more of the production landscape. At Seagram, we had such a program at the Lawrenceburg KY plant, which was very popular. Absolut had one in a town called Åhus, Sweden, which was both educational and afforded the opportunity to eat herring. (Hey, don’t laugh it was world-class herring.)
Seriously, this is a very worthwhile endeavor in the heart of the Kentucky. Distilled Spirits Epicenter has an endorsement by virtue of its membership in the Kentucky Distillers’ Association as the group’s first-ever Educational Distillery member.
About the only thing they don’t do is teach you how to get lucky and produce a winner. That’s up to you.