The world’s thirst for rum continues to grow. According to Statista the worldwide market is expected to grow 3.7% annually (CAGR 2020-2023). If you are already making rum there’s always more to learn, if you are not making rum yet, now is the time to get on the rum boat.
What Does the Future of Rum Look Like?
“If we look at rum in terms of volume being sold, premiumization, and how consumer tastes are evolving towards higher congener, more aged products, than the future is nothing but bright,” says Luis Ayala Co-Founder of The Rum University and Got Rum Magazine. “I think that there is a lot of potential profits and growth for companies who are able to aim for the right goals and position themselves to respond to trends as they develop or change.”
Luis Ayala is quite possibly the rum industry’s most devoted ambassador of the modern era. He has relentlessly pursued the establishment – and adoption – of quality standards in the production and marketing of rum. His efforts to improve the quality and appreciation of rum have taken him from being a celebrated author and organizer/judge at international rum festivals to being one of the driving forces behind the creation of new rums and the improvement of many existing ones.
Luis Ayala is also a co-instructor of the 5-Day Rum Course at Moonshine University, made possible through a partnership with The Rum University.
What Advice Do You Have For Distillers Who Want To Start Making Rum?
“Learn as much as you can about the aspects of the industry. You don’t necessarily need to master the subjects, just be aware that there is a pool of knowledge out there that someone on your team needs to be proficient at. Either hire consultants or employees who have demonstrated an ability to deal with those challenges before. Know that there are places like Moonshine University and The Rum University who are eager to share also.”
“At some point, once you have all of your regulatory compliance done, then practice on a small scale, learn as much as you can from your mistakes, and then go into larger productions and adjust. Always pay attention to how your market is changing, because if it changes then you are missing opportunities. Be good at what you do, and keep an eye on consumer preferences and regulatory changes as well.”
How did the 5-Day Rum Course start?
“Through The Rum University, we’ve always offered private classes and consulting for our clients. At some point we became aware of Moonshine University and the mission they have towards educating the industry. We decided it made perfect sense for The Rum University and Moonshine University to join forces and offer this course in a setting that has access to more resources than we had back then. The initial approach was well received by the staff and educators here and we’ve been offering the course since then and it’s been a success ever since. I’m looking forward to continuing this.”
What Will Students Will Learn in the 5-Day Rum Course?
“Students will start by understanding the economic, political, and international regulations surrounding the rum industry so they can understand the big picture and see that there’s a role for them in it: whether it’s in their country or internationally. The exploration of the rum world then continues with classifications of rum so they can understand the myriad of potential options when it comes to making a rum, with different congener levels or materials. We explore in-depth the world of aging, so that they understand the impact of using French Oak versus American Oak, and different char and toast levels. And also for white and aged rums, the equipment where it’s all stainless steel versus copper; and the different distillation apparatus on the styles that they offer.”
“The goal is that, for those who want to start in the rum business, they have all of the tools they need to feel comfortable doing so; and for those who are already in the rum business, the goal is for them to fine tune their skills so that they can maximize more out of their daily activities and be more efficient and also explore areas comfortably so that their company can have more offers in their portfolios.”
A Course is Designed for People in the Industry and Those New to Rum
“For those already in the rum industry, this course is important because it gives them a new perspective into their daily life. Big companies are known for having very regulated procedures, operating manuals, and ways of approaching the task at hand – because they have to. They have a large consumer base and have to make sure that they are consistent. That drive for consistency often ties the hands of people in production or research and does not allow of them to be aware of alternatives. Coming to the 5-Day Rum Course is an opportunity for those already in the industry to see how things are done elsewhere and take that knowledge back to their facilities and hopefully act as a breath of fresh air.”
“For those who are new to the industry, not coming would be like walking blindfolded in a mine field. The number of obstacles unfortunately very high and some of them are barriers by design set by established players through lobbying, others are simply bureaucratic. But the alcohol industry is a highly regulated, highly hazardous industry and not knowing how to use it would be akin to learn how to fly a plane while in mid-flight. Everybody should know how to take off and land before getting on that plane, and that’s what we’re doing with this course.”
What’s Your Favorite Part About the 5-Day Rum Course?
“Seeing the transformation in people’s faces as they show up full of uncertainty and anxiety and not knowing sometimes that they have what it takes to do this, they just need to be guided properly. We take pride in teaching people that just through aroma itself, they can learn a lot about a rum. This industry is not about getting wasted on the job – that’s actually the wrong way to approach it. This industry has a lot of knowledge that hasn’t always been handed from one generation to the next, even at the same distillery. We are happy and proud of the fact that we’ve been exposed to some of those teachings and we want to share them with people so that they are safe and successful.”
Moonshine University’s 5-Day Rum Course
Moonshine University has joined forces with The Rum University to offer the most comprehensive rum training in the world. Designed for both existing and future rum distillers and brand owners, the Moonshine University 5-Day Rum Course combines theory and practice to provide attendees with a practical, hands-on education on all things rum. From the financial, marketing, and regulatory considerations to the distillation, aging, and blending processes, every student will leave this course with a nuanced understanding of rum production, the spirits business, and how rum fits into the global, economic landscape.
Of course, you won’t miss out on any of the fun stuff: you’ll get to explore the science of rum production while getting your hands dirty distilling at our on-campus facilities. We’ll also explore the history, category styles, and production methods for rum, as well as its mash bills, fermenting, distilling, and finishing processes. With rum tastings and sensory training sessions set up throughout the week, you’ll discover a variety of rum expressions and styles, and get a feel for the versatility of this delightful spirit.
Perks include a private tour of Kelvin Cooperage and a networking reception, scheduled throughout the week to further enrich your professional and learning experiences, and forge industry and personal connections to last a lifetime.
Moonshine University offers technical training and business management education for start-ups, industry professionals, and those looking for careers in the distilling industry. Our courses are designed and taught by distillery operators, industry insiders, and world-renowned master distillers. Learn from the best of the best, from distillers of the world’s most successful brands to owners and operators of the leading craft distilleries.
View all Moonshine University Courses here.
Call Moonshine University now at 502-305-8596 to get the spirits journey you’ve been dreaming of going!
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