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Distillery Manager Job Description

distilleryThe distillery manager is one of the most senior positions at a distillery. They are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks and ensuring that the routine operation of the distillery continues successfully. This role includes overseeing the production line and warehousing of various distilled beverages.

A distillery manager is responsible for driving improvement at a distillery. They must constantly look for new ways to improve production processes, the quality of the beverages being produced and the efficiency of the distillery.

Staff in this role will liaise with every division in the brewery, including sales, production, marketing and quality assurance. They will also meet with clients and suppliers as they actively promote the brands produced by the distillery.

This role involves a mixture of office duties and hands-on tasks on the production line and warehouses. This distillery manager must be capable of leading staff and appropriately directing resources. It is a demanding role but it is also very rewarding and exciting.

Distillery Manager Responsibilities

The precise duties of a distillery manager can vary depending on the size of the distillery. Typically they will be more hands-on when working at a smaller distillery while a larger distillery may involve more delegation of tasks. Some of their key responsibilities include:

  • Manage the distillery’s workforce to meet production goals
    A distillery manager must ensure the distillery’s departments have enough staff available to meet production goals. This must be done while observing budgetary restraints.
  • Ensure that the distillery’s products maintain quality standards
    They will work in conjunction with the production line and technical staff to ensure the distillery’s products remain high quality.
  • Manage distillery equipment
    The distillery manager will be responsible for ensuring that distillery equipment is used effectively and maintained correctly.
  • Monitor costs during the production process
    The distillery manager will ensure that the cost of each production run remains compliant with the budget set out for it.   They will also do their best to avoid any mistakes that cause a loss on the production line.
  • Ensure health and safety compliance
    One of the key tasks for a distillery manager is making sure that the distillery is a safe place to work. Working with other staff, they will ensure the necessary workplace safety regulations are strictly adhered to.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental regulations
    They must supervise all distillery departments to ensure they comply with environmental regulations.
  • Organise the maintenance of equipment
    A distillery manager will guide the maintenance department to ensure that all equipment remains in top working order.
  • Help to market the distillery and improve its profile
    They will work with the marketing team and upper management to develop better ways to market the distillery. A distillery manager will support marketing efforts by traveling to meet with customers and promoting the distillery at events.
  • Supervise the production of new make spirit
    They will supervise all aspects of this process including planning, sourcing raw materials, scheduling production runs, and managing the production line. The distillery manager will also liaise with various departments so they are aware of the process and their part in it.
  • Administration tasks
    They will record data about the production process and warehousing of spirit. This data is usually shared with senior management and shared between departments.
  • Produce regulatory documents to suit HMRC and other bodies
    The distillery manager is responsible for creating the documentation that allows it to keep running.
  • Manage the recruitment of staff
    A distillery manager will often be closely involved in the hiring process. They may also be responsible for developing training materials and determining which staff should be promoted into new roles.
  • Identify ways to improve the distillery
    A distillery manager is a key driver of improvement for a distillery. They will look for ways to improve worker efficiency, better ways to organise the warehouses, more efficient processing of raw materials, better environmental practices, security improvements and so on.


A distillery manager will have a tertiary qualification relating to spirit production, for example a diploma in Distilling or a certificate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Work Experience

  • A significant amount of experience working at a distillery and supervising the distillation of spirits
  • Experience managing other staff
  • Experience with project management and supervision of budgets

Key Skills

  • Very strong communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to influence
  • Computer skills
  • Fastidious approach to record keeping
  • Strong focus on continual improvement
  • Management skills
  • Inventory management skills
  • Strategic planning ability
  • Marketing skills
  • Operations management and supply chain management
  • Environmental awareness

The Carling Partnership offers a range of specialist jobs for a wide range of companies exclusively in the distilling drinks industry.



What are the main responsibilities of a distillery manager?

A distillery manager’s responsibilities include managing the workforce to achieve production goals, maintaining the quality of products, overseeing equipment usage and maintenance, monitoring production costs, ensuring health and safety compliance, adhering to environmental regulations, participating in marketing activities, supervising production processes, undertaking administrative tasks, producing regulatory documents, managing staff recruitment, and driving continuous improvement in the distillery.

What educational qualifications are necessary for a distillery manager?

A tertiary qualification in spirit production is generally necessary for a distillery manager, such as a diploma in Distilling or a certificate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

What kind of work experience is required for the role of a distillery manager?

The role of a distillery manager requires significant experience in the distillation of spirits, managing staff, overseeing budgets, and project management within a distillery setting.

What key skills are essential for a distillery manager?

Essential skills for a distillery manager include strong communication, interpersonal skills, computer literacy, meticulous record-keeping, a commitment to continuous improvement, management, inventory management, strategic planning, marketing, operations management, supply chain management, and environmental awareness.

How does a distillery manager contribute to the marketing and regulatory aspects of the distillery?

A distillery manager collaborates with the marketing team to enhance the distillery’s profile and actively promotes the distillery at events and to customers. They also handle the creation of regulatory documents required by authorities such as HMRC, ensuring the distillery operates within legal parameters.