Brewer to Distiller Workshop – August 12-14, 2019


INSTRUCTORS: Mark Coffman, Dr. Pat Heist, Patrick Kelty, Rob Pinson, Andrew Wiehebrink, and Moonshine University instructors

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Register by July 22, 2019 for 3 nights at the Brown Hotel included with tuition.
Check-in date: 8/11/19, check-out date: 8/14/19


Moonshine University’s Brewer to Distiller workshop comprises a custom, three-day educational experience designed to help breweries successfully expand their beverage alcohol offerings to include distilled spirits. This collection of industry experts will guide brewers through the distillation process by leveraging their knowledge of brewing to explore the differences between these two processes.

Brewers will examine everything from the science of brewing and distilling, to differences in grain selection, handling, fermentation and yeast, as well as in construction, zoning, compliance, safety, and TTB. This one-of-a-kind workshop also involves hands-on whiskey production in our 250-gallon batch distillery, giving brewers the opportunity to apply their established skillset in brewing, and to test their newfound knowledge in distilling. The class will also visit Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and their distillery extension, Town Branch.



  • The Science of Distillation
    • Overview
    • Differences from Brewing
    • Differences Post-Fermentation
    • Milling
    • Mashing
    • Fermentation
    • Distillation
    • Hands-on Distilling
  • Scaling up to Add a Still or Build a Distillery
    • Building, Safety, & Training Considerations
      • Electrical Classification / NFPA
      • Area Classification / IBC
      • DISCUS
      • Process Safety Management / HAZOP / LOTO
      • Personnel Training
      • Security / Insurance
      • Ethyl Carbamate
      • Caustic cleaning / CIP
    • Start “From Scratch”
    • Changes to a 2/3-vessel system
    • Changes to a 4-vessel system
  • Standards of Identity & Production Styles
    • Whiskey
    • Rum
    • Gin
    • Other Botanical Spirits
    • Brandy


  • Which came first? The Liquor or the Keg?
    • Basic difference between beer and distilled spirits
    • Process
    • Finished Product
  • Regulation differences
    • TTB: Premise, Equipment, Storage Requirements
    • State and Local Regulation
    • Tied House
    • State Tax Treatment
  • Paperwork Differences
    • Tax Rates & how to calculate
    • TTB Vision – how close are they looking?
    • Additional paperwork
  • COLA & Formulation
    • Formula requirements
    • Exemptions
    • Cannabis/CBD/Hemp


  • Visit to Lexington Brewing Company (Kentucky Bourbon Ale & Town Branch)
  • Oak & Aging, & Maturation
    • Oak 101
    • Anatomy of a Barrel
    • Entry Proof
    • Addition/Extraction
    • Subtraction
    • Oxidation
    • The aging process
    • Warehousing & Environment
    • Barrel storage
    • Char levels and toast profiles
    • Additional considerations

Questions and Answers

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