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day to day life of a distiller + blog contest

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I was wondering if distillers with some experience would comment a little on the day to day life of a distiller at an established distillery (not a startup). I am currently entertaining a number of job opportunities at the moment, some of which include positions as a distiller. I know a bit about the industry I've been involved in the past few years (geology: good money, lots of travel, fairly stable) but I'm realizing that I don't know as much about the real nitty gritty life of a distiller. In trying to convince my wife that this is a reasonable career move I've run up against a number of questions from her and from myself:

1. Are the hours reasonable enough that I could see my wife during daylight hours regularly each week?

2. Can distillers have healthy social/religious/family lives?

3. Can distillers expect to receive pay raises commensurate with experience, age, growth of the distillery, etc?

4. Were your immediate and extended family accepting of your career choice?

5. If you work hard is distilling a "stable job"?

Basically, what is the life of a distiller at an established-profitable distillery like? I have had opportunities doing hard manual labor (field work, farm work, 25 gallon scale homebrewing) so that doesn't scare me, I guess I'm just more interested in how this career can affect other parts of your life. In the coming years are there going to be more opportunities for people with distilling experience (as startup distilleries become established and profitable)? A multitude of honest answers would be great!

Additionally, as a shameless plug, I wanted to mention that I'm having a "sordid" naming contest for a cocktail I cooked up the other day on my blog. Read the post, play the comment game, and the best name gets a free bottle of MB Rolland's Kentucky Mint Julep Liqueur.


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