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Assistant Distiller - JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Title: Assistant Distiller
Reporting to: Master Distiller
Job Type: Full Time 
Salary: Competitive salary based on experience, performance bonus
Location: Alresford, Hampshire, England

Background:

The Winchester distillery is an award-winning business launched three years ago by local entrepreneur Paul Bowler. As the first distillery to launch in Hampshire, the Winchester Distillery has placed itself as a local centre of expertise for the production of spirits with its growing range of Twisted Nose, Hampshire and Winchester gins and through collaborative projects with other producers around the area.

In an exciting period of growth that will allow the distillery to produce spirits in other categories including rum, brandy and whisky, an assistant distiller is now required to help build production capability and run the day-to-day distilling operation.

Purpose of role:

  • To manage the production of all Winchester Distillery's products, playing the key role in the full production operation.
  • To maintain a clean, safe and healthy production environment within the distillery at all times.
  • To further refine and deliver our range of spirits and liqueurs, including assisting the master distiller and sales team in new product development.
  • To ensure all production practices at the Winchester distillery are compliant with the relevant HMRC, Health & Safety and Food Safety regulations.
  • To act as a representative of the distillery at UK and international events and to play an ambassadorial role in consumer and trade education.

Key responsibilities

  • Own the full production process including managing raw ingredients, batch preparation, distillation, blending, bottling, labelling and packing.
  • Maintain a process log and stock management plan recording every phase of the distillation process to ensure the liquid meets quality guidelines and ensuring stock is moved in a timely manner for bottling. 
  • Follow relevant processes, procedures and health and safety measures and train other members of the team as required. 
  • Manage day-to-day operations at the distillery to include production, waste management, deliveries, stock checks and movement of goods.
  • Work with the master distiller and sales team to ensure all activities are known ahead of time and coordinated with any planned events taking place within the space. 
  • Work with the master distiller to develop new products as required and in line with the agreed brand and commercial direction. Ensure quality standards are adhered to for every new product that is brought to market. 
  • Hold the recipes associated with our existing range of spirits and take ongoing steps to maintain and improve their quality.
  • Maintain cleanliness, hygiene, housekeeping and food safety standards in the distillery, performing required batch and equipment checks.
  • Timely and accurate completion of required reports and HMRC duty documentation. 

Opportunity:

  • Become an authority on world spirits both from a historical perspective and from a contemporary viewpoint through distilling experience and accreditation with the WSET (training provided).
  • Become a credible voice of authority on traditional and modern production approaches and share knowledge with the rest of the team. 
  • Become respected personality for the distillery, liaising with consumers and trade contacts at events as well as appearing in promotional brand materials such as videos, press pieces and photo shoots as required. 

Requirements

  • Methodical and logical with exceptional attention to detail. 
  • Strong computer skills, process management, mathematical and reporting skills with the ability to manage and report on processes in a clear and concise manner.
  • Self-starter with strong project management skills and a willingness to make the role their own. 
  • Strong sensory skills and knowledge of relevant techniques required to lead the evaluation and tasting of spirits. 
  • Ability to work a limited number of evenings and weekends as required to support consumer experiences at the distillery
  • Travel across the UK and to a limited extent internationally to support our brands elsewhere. 
  • Willing to obtain all relevant health and safety qualifications required to lead the management of a distillery site. 
  • Existing knowledge of spirits, especially within the gin category.

No previous experience is necessary, but applicants with work history in a related role or with proven experience in the hospitality or drinks industries, quality assurance or product development will be of particular interest. 

Please send applications to: office@winchesterdistillery.co.uk 

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