John Jeffery

John Jeffery

Master Distiller


Bently Heritage Estate Distillery

Minden, NV USA


Mistakes aren’t things that went wrong—they’re just things that happen and you grow from them.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

John Jeffery

Highlight
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01:24
John Jeffery HighlightInterview Highlight
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06:30
InterviewThe Interview
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01:43
Day In The Life Of A Master DistillerWeb Exclusive
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01:40
Dealing With Fear By Breaking It Into Smaller PiecesWeb Exclusive
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The Different Food Science DisciplinesInterview Excerpt
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Quitting Can Be A Great SkillInterview Excerpt
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03:35
Following Different Interests As They DevelopInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I grew up in Chicago and lived there for the first 25 years of my life before moving away with my family—we’ve moved about 12 times since then!
I got my undergraduate degree in kinesiology with a focus in exercise physiology from the University of Illinois.
I worked in personal training and real estate for a while, but was considering moving on due to the instability surrounding the clients and income.
After moving out of Chicago because of the economy, I developed an interest in food chemistry and found a professor who was working on agricultural economic development in Michigan.
That professor was ignoring my emails because his program was at a standstill, so I showed up at his office and convinced him to let me participate and develop the program with him.
After graduating from the food chemistry program, I was doing a lot of product research and development consulting work.
One of the companies I had previously consulted for recommended me for this Bently Heritage Estate Distillery startup project in Nevada, so I took the opportunity.
The Bently Heritage Estate Distillery started operating in early 2018 and I currently work as the head distiller.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Kinesiology and Exercise Science
University of Illinois
Graduate
Food Chemistry
Michigan State University

Career

Master Distiller

I manage production throughout the distillery and the associated staff.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Food
Science
Working with Others

Day to Day

I help to run and troubleshoot our distilling equipment. I also spend a lot of time making sure my teams know how the equipment works to make the same product every day. When my teams are ready, I spend time giving them the creative confidence they need in order to design products rather than just making products on equipment they already know how to operate. When I get calls from our sales team about forecasted sales, I plan the corresponding production, down to how much grain we need to plant.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

The willingness to learn from others is an incredible attribute for this job specifically. Hands-on learning is extremely important. Some of the best distillers I know don't have a strong science background; they put themselves around other distillers who knew what they were doing and soaked up everything they needed to know. Management of people is its own animal that needs to be embraced as well.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

If you're interested in something, find the people who are involved in that thing and reach out to figure out how you can work together. People are always willing to work with you if they know that you'll put in the hard work to learn, grow, and develop whatever it is you're working on. For my industry specifically, I suggest that you read a lot of books and get to know process and the industry. Know it better than everyone else, be passionate and knowledgable, and let that show.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"That's a big risk. It's not okay to make mistakes."

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change
Relocation

Interviewed By

All In

All In

Nevada Roadtrip