Every time I go to Louisville I get to see Pete’s smiling face, his competence, and I even get to speak in Kamer Hall. Kamer Hall is the home of Moonshine University. Last year I interviewed Pete for Artisan Spirit magazine but it looks like I never mentioned it here.
As the article says, Pete started his distilling career with Seagram distillery in Louisville in 1978 working in distilling, bottling maintenance, plant maintenance, utilities, plant engineering and corporate engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer. In 1985 he went to work for Barton Distillery in Bardstown, KY as their engineering manager, handling all engineering related work in the Bardstown and Atlanta plants and assisted in the Carson, CA plant. His duties included selection and installation of new equipment, troubleshooting existing equipment, increasing capacity and improving operations. Pete retired from Barton in 2011 and started his own engineering company, Distillery Engineering. Since then he has helped small to medium size distilleries with everything from site selection, equipment selection, plant layout, startup, and trouble shooting.
An excerpt is below, and you can find the full article at the link.
Did you ever imagine the spirits industry would mature into something like this? Compare and contrast with early in your career.
In my early career, there were no craft distilleries. There were big and mid-size distilleries and companies buying spirits from the big distilleries that they would then bottle. About 10 year ago, I could see the distilling industry following a similar path as the brewing business. People would call me while I was still working at Barton wanting to know how to do things in a distillery. I would answer general questions but felt like I owed it to Barton not to get too involved in helping other distillers. These calls did give me the courage to leave Barton and start my own company. I wanted to be semi-retired and do other things. Little did I know I would have far more work offered to me than I could do.
The full article is at page 39.