april, 2020

19aprAll Day24FeaturedMoonshine University: 6-Day Distiller CourseRegister early and get 5 nights hotel included with tuition.Moonshine University, Louisville, KY

Future Event Times in this Repeating Event Series

july 26, 2020 (All Day)october 18, 2020 (All Day)

Event Details

The Moonshine University 6 Day Distiller Course provides a complete overview of the craft of distilling and the beverage alcohol industry through comprehensive technical training and business management education. Over 40 industry experts are brought together 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.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Register early and your stay at the Brown Hotel is included with tuition. Check the Moonshine University website for details.

This course is designed and taught by distillery operators, industry insiders, and world-renowned master distillers, it 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.

Who should attend Moonshine University?

  • Entrepreneurs interested in opening their own distillery or launching their own brand.
  • Industry professionals who are looking to gain a better overall understanding of the craft, science and trade of beverage alcohol.
  • Those looking for careers in the distilling industry.
  • Distillery owners/operators who want to specialize or improve in a certain area of their business.

6 Day Distiller Course

Complete Course Syllabus | Check Here All Dates

Register Now


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 general contractor, critical sub-contractors, key equipment manufacturers, financier, economic development officials 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.


Distilling 101
Introduction to:

  • Mashing
  • Cooking
  • Fermenting
  • Types of stills
  • Distilling
  • Second distillation
  • Heads, hearts & tails
  • Basic terms
  • Distilling tools

Breakout Session: Distilling

  • Mash bill calculation
  • Hands on mashing

Distilling 102
More intensive study of the science and process of:

  • Mashing
  • Cooking
  • Fermenting (including a look at how yeasts affect fermentation and flavor)
  • Types of stills
  • Distilling
  • 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.


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
  • Fermentation
  • Distillation
  • Aging and blending

Rum Mash Bill Calculation

Formulation and label approvals process.


Production Process

  • Receiving grains
  • Grain handling
  • Milling, cooking and fermentation
  • Record keeping


  • Fermentation process
  • Equipment
  • Proof rating
  • Troubleshooting

Lunch with a Legend
Sit back and relax while we show you some genuine Kentucky hospitality. Enjoy lunch while a legendary industry veteran answers questions and shares stories & advice from years of experience in the distilling industry. Entertaining as well as insightful, our legends never disappoint. Past speakers include Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller at Wild Turkey, Bill Samuels, Jr., and Greg Davis from Maker’s Mark.

Oak 101

History of wooden barrels
Characteristics of oak
Aging, charring, toasting and barrel size
Oak products
Sensory analysis

Aging & Mingling

  • Warehousing
  • Rotations
  • Effects of aging
  • The art of mingling
  • Blending for consistency

Proofing & Finishing

  • Proofing & gauging
  • Filtering
  • Finishing

On & Off Premise Marketing

  • Type of packaging
  • Labels & closures
  • Case quantity
  • POS

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.


Artisan Distiller Panel
Presentations and Q&A with artisan distillers and distillery owners


  • Vodka production
  • GNS
  • 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

Vendome Tour
A field trip to tour the largest distilling equipment manufacturer in the United States.


Branding, Sales & Marketing

Case Study: Route to Market
Step by step: taking a new brand to market

Packaging & Closures

  • Packaging and closure options
  • Minimums
  • Custom orders
  • Pricing

Closing Remarks & Diplomas

TUITION: $6,250.00


  • All class-related materials
  • Breakfast, lunch and refreshments daily
  • Networking dinner/reception Monday & Wednesday evenings
  • Exclusive private tours of 1-2 local distillery-related facilities
  • Transportation between the Brown Hotel and Moonshine University®

Complete Course Syllabus | Check Here for All Dates

Still Have Questions? Ready to Get Started?

Contact Christin Head at 502-305-8596 or email Registrar@MoonshineUniversity.com

Register NowView all Moonshine University Courses here.

INSTRUCTORS: Randy Allender, Luis Ayala, Dick Barba, Matt Baugher, Steve Beam, Kristin Carlton, David Carpenter, Larry Coomes, Greg Davis, Jason Griffin, Lang Guenther, Dr. Pat Heist, Wes Henderson, Joe Heron, William Hornaday, Paul Johnson, Pete Kamer, Jeff LaHue, Stacy Lauter, Robert Lehrman, Stephen Lukinovich, Dan Matauch, Elizabeth McCall, Jim McCoy, Paul McLaughlin, James Moore, Chris Morris, Cash Moter, Andrew Mueller, Sid Mundkur, Joyce Nethery, Tom Niekamp, Rob Pinson, Scott Reid, Susan Reigler, Rusty Riley, Don Rodgers, Jimmy Russell, Bill Samuels, Jr., Matt Scanlan, Scott Schiller, Leo Sharkey, Mike Sherman, Rob Sherman, Jerry Siegler, Clay Smith, Peggy Noe Stevens, Mary Stone, Matt Strickland, Kris Tatum, Carson Taylor, Justin Thomas, David Timmons, Paul Tomaszewski, Molly Wellmann, Lisa Wicker, Andrew Wiehebrink, Mary Beth Williams, Roger Woods, Chris Zaborowski, Sara Zborovski, as well as Moonshine University and Flavorman instructors.


april 19 (Sunday) - 24 (Friday)


Moonshine University, Louisville, KY

Distilled Spirits Epicenter, 801 South 8th Street, Louisville, KY 40203, United States

Moonshine University, Louisville, KYDistilled Spirits Epicenter, 801 South 8th Street, Louisville, KY 40203, United States

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