Career outlook for distillery manager
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would oversee the production of spirits like whisky and gin that would then be bottled and sold – sometimes across the world.
As a distillery manager you’ll have one of the most senior positions at a distillery. You’re responsible for both the production of the spirit and the warehousing operations – where the spirit is stored.
You need to ensure that the distillery meets the agreed production targets (LOA – litres of alcohol) on an annual basis.
You’ll spend a lot of time looking for new ways to improve how the spirit is produced and the quality of the spirit.
- Manage the distillery employees to make sure that production goals are met
- Make sure that all products maintain quality standards
- Make new products with the Master Distillers
- Monitor quality, cost and delivery
- Work closely with the rest of the team ensuring that the distillery is a safe place to work
- Ensure the distillery complies with environmental and health and safety regulations, and pass this knowledge onto the distillery management team
- Organise the maintenance of equipment
- Act as a brand ambassador to help promote the distillery
- Record information about the production process, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and fill out regulatory documents to suit HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other bodies
- With the support of the distillery management team and the human resources department, recruit new members of staff at the distillery when required
- Be responsible for the annual budget
The duties of a distillery manager can vary depending on the size of the distillery. You will be more hands-on when working at a smaller distillery. A larger distillery might involve more delegation of tasks.
Other jobs in a distillery include:
- malting – the barley is soaked for 2-3 days in warm water and then traditionally spread on the floor of a building called a malting house. It's raked and turned regularly to maintain a constant temperature. This is also carried out on a commercial scale in large drums which rotate
- mashing – a manual process of combining a mix of milled grain (typically malted barley with supplementary grain). Mashing allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars
- warehouse roles – working in the warehouse where the whisky is stored in casks
- customer service roles – this could involve working in the visitor centre shop, cafe or providing whisky tours
UK employment status
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- Verbal communication
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Managing resources
- Making decisions
- Taking responsibility
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