Moonshine University to Welcome 30th Class of Distillers
Moonshine University, the nation’s premier educational distillery, is gearing up to welcome its 30th class of 6-Day Distillers. Taking place this October 18-23, 2020, the course will mark a significant milestone for the Louisville, KY-based facility whose graduates have gone on to launch 178 distilleries worldwide.
What began as a modest 5-day course has since evolved into a comprehensive, hands-on 6-day experience that exposes attendees to the realities of opening a distillery— from laying the first brick to getting a finished product on the shelf. To date, Moonshine University has received students from all 50 states, 3 US territories, and 49 countries, with almost 50 percent of its 6-Day Distiller grads in the industry within two years of coming through the course.
“Our mission has always been to advance the industry by training the next generation of distillers,” says Colin Blake, Director of Spirits Education. “The successes of our graduates, along with the world-class reputation MU has garnered over the years, are confirmation that we’re on the right track.”
The course, which is the only to be endorsed by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, operates under the mantra of “show, don’t tell.” In addition to hands-on distilling and an extensive sensory library, attendees benefit from learning directly from experts in every facet of the industry. Networking receptions throughout the week allow students to gain valuable connections, while exclusive ‘field trips’ to a cooperage, distillation equipment manufacturer, and local craft distilleries provide additional opportunities for engagement.
“Before Moonshine University, there were very few training or educational opportunities for the craft sector,” says Founder David Dafoe. “Attempting to Google their way into the business not only threatened the success of would-be craft distillers, but the integrity of the industry as a whole— Moonshine University has since provided a solution.”
As the current COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt the spirits industry, the role of resources like Moonshine University are now more important than ever. In light of these challenges, the distillery school has continued providing support by adapting the way it runs courses, reducing capacity of in-person classes, and introducing CDC-recommended safety and sanitation procedures. It has also begun offering a series of free and paid webinars for those unable to travel.
About our 6-Day Distiller Course
Join 30+ industry experts under one roof for an intensive, practical, and hands-on learning experience unlike any other in the world. This 6-day course combines technical spirits training and business management education for start-ups, industry professionals, and enthusiasts looking for a career in the distilling industry. Designed and taught by distillery operators, industry insiders, and world-renowned master distillers, this course exposes attendees to the realities of day-to-day distilling operations – from laying the first brick to getting a finished product on the shelf. Each day will focus on a different set of distilling skills and considerations, complimented by a panel of industry experts who will provide you with their unique insider perspective. Topics will cover everything from developing your business plan and constructing your distillery, to navigating regulatory entities, to developing and marketing your brand story. We’ll also explore equipment selection, manufacturing and distribution channels, financial considerations, and other significant challenges and opportunities in the business.
Of course, you won’t miss out on any of the fun stuff: you’ll get to explore the science of spirits production while getting your hands dirty distilling whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin, exploring bridge spirits at our on-campus lab. We’ll explore the history, category styles, production methods, and distillation processes, as well as mash bills, maceration, fermenting, distilling, and finishing. Tours and networking receptions – including visits to Vendome Copper & Brass Works facility and Copper & Kings Distillery – are scheduled throughout the week to further enrich your professional and learning experiences. In addition to gaining industry and personal connections to last a lifetime, you can look forward to a brief graduation ceremony where you’ll get to bottle the very whiskey you helped create – and toast to a week well spent!