Alicia Burton started out behind the bar at Jeptha Creed Distillery and has worked her way through various job titles including production planner scheduler at Jeptha Creed to her current role of production supervisor and procurement specialist.
BW: How did you first become interested in whiskey and how did that lead you to your current job?
AB: My first memory of whiskey came at an early age. When I was growing up my aunt worked for Jim Beam. I grew up with bourbon being part of our family culture. We had bourbon balls at every family get-together. If ever you had a cough there was a bottle of homemade bourbon cough syrup awaiting you. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s did I decide to follow my dream of working in the bourbon industry. My goal was to learn the industry from the ground up. I was lucky enough to find a family-owned women-run distillery that was getting ready to open. Jeptha Creed has been an amazing place to work, because not only are they a craft distillery but they also grow their own heirloom variety of corn. So when I say I want to learn the industry from the ground up, I really was able to there.
BW: What does a typical day at the distillery look like for you?
AB: Jeptha Creed is a small Craft distillery so I’ve been lucky enough to be very cross-trained. I never work the same day twice. Some days I may be bottling, pulling samples, rolling barrels, or running the stills. Other days I’m doing paperwork, inventory, or purchasing supplies. Some days I come home much cleaner than others, but each day is a new adventure.
BW: What advice do you have for women who want to work in whiskey production?
AB: My best advice for Other women coming into the bourbon industry. Is ask a million questions and learn as much as you can. The more you know and understand the further you will make it in the industry.
BW: Tell me about your perfect Louisville whiskey weekend.
AB: My wife and I love museums so we would start the day at the Frazier Museum. Then off to lunch at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen for some bourbon and food. I’m an avid bourbon collector so we would end the day by driving around to see if we could find any new bourbons to try.
BW: What is your favorite whiskey cocktail?
AB: My favorite whiskey cocktail is a very simple Old Fashioned.
1 sugar cube
3 dashes of bitters
2 oz Jeptha Creed bourbon
Garnished with an orange
Photos Courtesy of Alicia Burton