What does a Distillery Manager do?
I ensure that our distillery operations run smoothly, efficiently and safely, while producing the best possible quality of new distilled spirit. I run the operation of our malt intake, mash tun and stills, monitor fermentations and assess spirit quality. All of our spirit quality assessments are done by nose – that means I assess how the spirit smells to detect any off-notes, the qualities we’re looking for etc. – this is quite a unique role, as you must be able to assess by nose to be able to do this; it’s estimated that only around 20% of people can do this. I also oversee the management of our Visitor Centre, which attracts over 40, 000 visitors a year.
Another big part of my role is to manage the staff at the distillery; currently I am responsible for 17 staff at the distillery, including recruitment, training and supervision.
I am also a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn; I give Masterclasses and talks on the brand, attend trade and consumer shows, and conduct market visits with our importers in key markets, both in the UK and abroad (e.g. USA, Switzerland, Spain, France, Holland, Germany)
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to do something I feel a real passion for – it rarely feels like work because I enjoy it. I get to travel the world, meeting so many interesting people and I get a real sense of pride seeing our products on a shelf knowing how hard the whole team has worked to get them there. I also love that every day brings its own challenge, whether that’s a technical challenge, a human resources challenge or anything else.
How long have you been doing your job?
I’ve been at Penderyn Distillery for around 5 years.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Hopefully still helping to take Penderyn from strength to strength and still enjoying it just as much as I do now.
If you could give your 16 year old self some career advice, what would it be?
Think hard about what you’d like to do, and choose something that you love, if possible. If you feel a real passion for your career, it’ll never feel like work, no matter how hard it gets.