the STAGE Hiring anyone is a process that takes time and patience. The job description, advertising, where to post it, etc., are all important details that are reflected in your hiring pool. A job description for an internship does not need to be lengthy. In fact, it should be short and easy to read and avoid distillation jargon that would confuse someone new to the industry. Keep job expectations short with just necessary information, like: must be able to lift 50 lbs, be prepared to be on your feet all day, must be ok working with heights, etc, so that an applicant can grasp what kind of job atmosphere they will work in, but do not make any requirements like education. The only real requirement is that the applicant is over 21. The biggest ask for applicants should be a cover letter answering the question, “Why do you want to be a distiller?” Thankfully there are many places to post job ads that come in handy such as Indeed, any brewing or distilling industry job board, social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, and more. Through our different postings, we were able to get over 150 applicants. Because of the cover letter, we were able to distinguish applicant interest levels, and quickly narrowed down interviewees to twenty people. Thirty-minute interviews were set up throughout a week in July where we further got to know our applicants. While there were plenty of strong applicants, and a lot of interest, we identified one applicant who became a standout because of their self-awareness, quick wit, and interest in learning the basics.
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the INTERNSHIP Spanning from September to December, our intern learned the ins and outs of production. We started with a gin focus where we talked about botanicals and their impact on flavor. We walked through all three of Freeland’s gins, the thought behind each product, the development story, and how each gin is produced. Our production team did sensory panels on mostly regional gins, including background information and all known production details. Next, we did bourbon. Our intern helped with the production of Batch 8 and Batch 9 of Freeland Bourbon and witnessed the magic of barrel aging. We ended our education with rye whiskey, which included mashing, fermenting, and two distillations, before being laid to rest in barrels. The in-between project moments were filled with sweeping and scrubbing, record-keeping, bottling, liquor store tastings, and more.
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