Jump to content

Master Distiller - new to forum introduction.


Recommended Posts

I am Renier Bezuidenhout from South Africa. I have been working at a distillery producing vodka and whisky until it closed down recently. I am currently looking for work and would like to include my resume here for any interested parties.


Further education: University of Stellenbosch

BSc in Natural Sciences (1991 – 1994)

Majors: Biochemistry


  • Management Development Programme 3 2006 (Director’s Award for best student and overall mark above 75 %)
  • Internal Auditors Course (SABS ISO 9001:2008)
  • SASSDA Stainless Steel Course. Best student in South Africa 2007
  • Calibration Competency
  • Supervisory Management Courses
  • Handling Disciplinary Enquiries
  • Finance for Non-financial Managers
  • Basic Purchasing Management
  • Stores & Inventory Management
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993
  • NOSA Incident investigation
  • Health and Safety Representative
  • Workshop on Chemical Safety
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Adroit SCADA Manipulation & Set-up


1. March 2011 – 3 August 2012

Name of Company Drakensberg Distilleries

Position: Factory Manager / Master Distiller


  • Total management of all functions and departments concerning the production facility and production needs of the distillery.
  • Responsible for the overall quality of all products distilled and blended in order to produce a final product with a superior quality, aroma and palate.
  • Total management of production facility including factory personnel. This includes Mashing, Fermentation, Distillation, Ageing, Blending, Bottling and packaging, Laboratory Management, Product Development, the quality management of all the processes and various management functions relating to the aforementioned responsibilities.
  • The continuous evaluation of the effectiveness of the production of various products, which will benefit the company to grow in all fields.
  • Exploring new creative directions in all production departments in the factory, thus for the company to be always utilizing new trends and technology in the alcohol manufacturing industry.
  • Developing or improving systems, as required relating to all departments in the production facility.

Within 3 months of joining the company, I managed to improve on the mashing process by streamlining the process as a whole. With the streamlined process I achieved better alcohol conversion yields and obtained a far more superior product.

I improved on the column by extending the second section with 8 meters. The extension of the column also involved designing intricate coupling sections. The extension of the column allowed us to produce alcohol at 96 % A/V which was never achieved before. This also improved the quality of the final spirit considerably to the extent that we received numerous praises for our product.

Reason for Leaving: Factory closed.

2. May 2004 – Feb 2011

Name of Company:

Quality Assurance Manager / ERP System Administrator


  • Responsible for implementing and maintaining ISO 9001:2008 including clauses from TS standards from the automotive industry as well as certain nuclear standards for production. Was also in process of implementing ISO 3834 quality standards for welding assisting the production manager and welding supervisor.
  • Responsible for Quality Assurance, Document Control & Record keeping This includes compiling and completing QC plans for projects and compiling the data plans of the as built projects.
  • ISO Documentation & Audit results – Conformance to Standards. Responsible for all internal and external audits. Liaison with external auditors as well as 3rd party auditors. Ensuring continual improvement and customer satisfaction.
  • Responsible for improvement of manufacturing processes and prevention of rework measured as material component as % of cost of Sales.
  • Responsible for continuously reducing reject rates by improving quality systems and promoting awareness throughout the system.
  • Reporting to management on continuous basis on the performance of the quality management system.
  • Integration of Quality management system with ERP system and the IT systems.
  • Involved with programmes such as work place challenge, goal alignment and Productivity SA programmes for continual improvement of the company.
  • Administration of the ERP system i.e. Syspro. Maintaining of the databases, updating any additional information for machines, cost centres or users. Responsible for creating job streams in Automate for automated reports internally as well as externally. Writing custom reports for all aspects of the business using Syspro reporting systems and Crystal Reports.
  • Liaison with External parties for projects relating to IT systems and customised programmes in use, such as the quotation program integrated with Syspro as well as the programming software utilised on the laser cutting machines and the bending machines.
  • Continuous improvement of all systems and best practices.

Reason for leaving: Lucrative offer and opportunity to improve

3. January 2001 – May 2004

Name of Company: GrahamTek Systems

Position: Bio-Technician / Design Engineer


  • Research & Development on special projects including innovative dewatering technology on sludge/municipal & agricultural waste waters reducing moisture content of solid waste to 11% producing dry fibrous fertilizer/animal feed bases.
  • Preparation of Operations and Maintenance manuals on all GrahamTek filtration & desalination membrane separations plants including installed and commissioning protocols.
  • Managing in-house Analytical Laboratory including sample analysis and preparing reports also involving on-site international sampling and evaluation.
  • On-site process design evaluations and operational problem solving, including client liaison and acting as Company representative for visiting international technical visitors
  • Preparation of Quotations for small, medium and large scale water treatment plants including plant sizing, membrane specification and preparation of 3 dimensional designs using AutoCAD Mechanical Desktop.
  • Operations and maintenance activities on internationally located Industrial Waste Water Treatment plants including installation and commissioning experience

Reason for Leaving: Geographic location, better salary and more stable company

4. July 2000 – December 2000

Name of Company: Agave Distillers

Position: Manager


  • Managing all production related activities including harvesting, cooking, fermentation and distillation.
  • Recruitment and training of personnel to achieve production on plant scale.
  • All production related administration i.e. customs and excise, production reports, budgetary activities etc.
  • Liaison with farmers for raw materials cultivation schedules including harvesting and production process.
  • Setting up control systems and maintaining these systems and standards.
  • Responsible for assistance and training in the laboratory

Reason for Leaving: End of contract / Factory closed

5. 1996 – June 2000

Name of company: Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, Wellington

Position: 5.1 Process Manager


  • Management of all Mashing, Fermentation, Distillation and Effluent related activities in order to meet site objectives incorporating a team of 9 personnel.
  • Maintain and improve existing control systems necessary to ensure effective handling and cost efficiencies of all products, raw materials and consumables.
  • Costs and losses accountability incurred during mashing/distillation, raw material and consumables handling and product fermentation.
  • Budgetary Control mashing/Fermentation, Distillation and Effluent Processes.

  • Initiated and controlled the R & D changes for addition of yeast to fermentation to achieve cost savings in time and performance, obtaining better yields using multi-fill techniques.

  • Resolution of on-going quality issues including: Optimisation of the mashing process for yield improvement; investigating production alternatives which ensure cost reductions and maintain quality standards.
  • Installation of Adroit SCADA system and designed mimic screens for control of mashing, distillation and effluent plant. LAN and SAP R3 Site co-ordinator and provide IT support and site training.

Reason for Leaving: Accepted a position at Agave Distillers

Position: 5.2 Process Controller

  • Plan and co-ordinate with suppliers the delivery schedules, stock levels and storage of materials purchased ensuring that specifications and standards are adhered to.
  • Responsible for the Budgetary Control and Administration of Daily Raw Material/Consumables Intake and Movement.
  • Complete mashing, fermentation, distillation, effluent production and administrative progress reports and inform manager of any deviations from agreed standards.

5. 1995 – 1996

Name of company: Cecil Vinegar Works, Firgrove

Position: Product Development: Contract basis


  • Involved in the development of new products providing technical support.

  • Developed new processes to combat technical problems for existing products.


  1. Andre Visser, Fabrinox – Owner/CEO

Contact number: 082 775 1062

  1. Adee Bosman, Drakensberg Distilleries - CEO

Contact number : 083 327 3570

  1. Dave Cossins, Ledsedi Nuclear Services, Senior Quality Manager

Contact number: 078 804 8173
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Are you still currently looking? If so, E.&J Gallo Winery is currently seeking a Sr. Distiller for our Spirits Department. Reach out to me at tyler.green@ejgallo.com if you are interested. Tyler Green

Are you still looking? I have a couple of possibilities you may be interested in... one in Maryland, one in Florida. Reach out to me at oakviewconsulting@gmail.com if you are interested. Dave Pickerell

whoa, that was creepy...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...