Head Distiller at Church of Oak Distillery


Head Distiller at Church of Oak Distillery

Salary: Competitive

Company: Church of Oak

Contract: Full time - 1 Yr Minimum contract, 6-month probation

Location: Church of Oak Distillery, Ballykelly Mills, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Closing Date: The closing date for applications is Friday 25th June, 2021.

The Distillery

We are seeking an ambitious and suitably qualified ‘Head Distiller’ as we commission our new distillery in the coming months. Provenance is the roadmap that led us to Monasterevin and Ballykelly Mills. We want to connect whiskey drinkers to the land from which it came. Our commitment to locality is deeply rooted.

Our focus on local grain was born out of the distillery’s history as a former mill and maltings.

We know our farmers by name, the way it should be. Water is supplied from our own wells, casks through the diverse global relationships of our Master Distiller.

We are a multi-grain distillery with a focus on flavour and a range of distillates. We will operate a 2-tonne mash through 3 stills delivered end-to-end by Forsyth of Scotland. Our innovative ‘Grain to Glass’ programme was developed to manage our impact on the environment and the communities around us.

Today we are building the final chapter of the Ballykelly Mills “Grain to Glass” heritage. One hundred years after distillation ceased, the town of Monasterevin will be making whiskey once again.


The Whiskey

At Church of Oak Distillery, we are making the traditions of tomorrow.

From the first grain of an idea, we approach whiskey differently. We believe in facts and flavour, in process and possibilities. High quality, low impact. Simple principles. Everyone has a story. It’s the details that matter. This is Irish but not as you know it.

With skill, creativity and imagination Monasterevin will produce whiskey with a difference. No longer bound by the constraints of the past, our processes incorporate innovation, creativity and experimentation. We will be exploring new flavours, grains, and distillation techniques. Embracing risk and reward. Living beyond the ‘pale’. 


The Role

The Head Distiller will lead production at the distillery and will have a wide-ranging remit including all aspects of whisky distillation, procurement of raw materials including casks, quality control and technical services.

This is a senior position assuming responsibility for the entirety of the process, brewing and distilling, working with our Master Distiller/Blender on maturation, cask selection, vattings and bottling. It will be the Head Distiller's role to assist with flavour development in achieving the profiles true to the company’s vision and values.

The Head Distiller will be an important face of the brand too, supporting marketing and the visitor centre. The role will report to both the Master Distiller and our senior management team.


The Responsibilities

  • Responsible for leading the distillery’s production staff – direct and delegate to ensure the product is meeting quality guidelines and protocols.
  • Manage the day-to-day operations, overseeing every element of production including the sourcing of raw materials, malting, fermentation, distillation, maturation, blending and bottling.
  • Take ownership for the maintenance of the distillery and liaise with the future Visitor Centre team. Ensuring that both the working environment for colleagues and the experience for visitors is best in class.
  • Schedule production campaigns with our Master Distiller and management team.
  • Manage inventory of goods across the supply chain.
  • Ensure compliance by managing and maintaining all distillery records including process, quality and risk logs, water records, sample spirits library etc. Much of this work will involve external regulatory bodies such as Customs & Excise, Environment and Health and Safety etc.
  • Responsible for maintaining the highest level of hygiene and food safety in compliance with HACCP regulations.
  • Manage our “Grain to Glass, Track & Trace” programme with senior management.
  • Develop the skillset of the production team in accordance with company HR policies and procedures; to include specific tasks such as milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation, record keeping, general cleanliness and effluent treatment.
  • Observe and practice all procedures including proper PPE use and appropriate use of all engineering controls, following all site health and safety guidelines
  • Maintain a positive working relationship with all team members and other key stakeholders including management, Visitor Centre staff and third-party partners.
  • Participate in continuous improvement initiatives and be flexible in working arrangements if the need arises.


 The Ideal Candidate

  • Senior distilling role experience - managing production and staff.
  • Degree in distillation preferred or other related discipline.
  • Well-developed sensory skills and scientific, technical knowledge.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Capability to motivate team members to go above & beyond in our pursuit of excellence.
  • Managerial skills required- methodical, logical, organized and efficient who can work on their own initiative with high levels of attention to detail.
  • Innovative with a creative mind set.
  • Good computer literacy and mathematical skills. Proficient in Excel.


Applicants should send a covering letter, describing why they are suitable for the role, as well as their CV to


Salary: Competitive

Contract: Full time 1 Yr Minimum contract, 6-month probation

Location: Church of Oak Distillery, Ballykelly Mills, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Closing Date: The closing date for applications is Friday 25thJune, 2021.


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