The Worshipful Company of Distillers has recently launched an educational programme aimed at sharing the Livery’s considerable commercial and marketing knowledge with young distillers. This follows the recent announcement by the Company to dedicate charitable investment to the next generation of young distillers who might benefit from our support. The first step of the programme has been the creation of “The Business of Spirits”, a Masterclass in partnership with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.
The first session, held in October at the offices of the WSET, (Wine &Spirit Education Trust) was attended by 18 students all studying the IBD’s Master, Diploma and General Certificate courses. The Masterclass is aimed to complement technical knowledge with a high-level of commercial acumen.
The one-day interactive seminar brought together spirits industry leaders, City analysts and senior industry executives. They shared stories, anecdotes, skills and expertise to explain the elements needed for a Spirits business to succeed in a competitive global market place. Students learnt about global markets, structure and companies, category and consumer segmentation, pricing, finance, and branding and innovation.
The day, of course, included some fun tasting of spirits from around the globe!
We have such rich knowledge, skills and experience in the Livery that it seems only natural it should be shared with the next generation. Our partners are brilliant at teaching distilling, and with our members knowledge we are enriching the curriculum and broadening the students understanding of how business works.Martin Riley, The Worshipful Company of Distillers
Many of the IBD members and candidates are in roles where they are either entrepreneurial, if working for themselves, or ‘intrapreneurial’ if working in a product development environment within a larger company. This collaboration with the WCD has provided them with an insight to the commercial acumen needed to support the technical knowledge acquired through our qualifications. It was exciting to hear about the projects that some of these candidates are developing and taking into the market, opening their own distilleries, and bringing to life all of their learning. “The Business of Spirits” has been a great way to provide with extra support to help them succeed in the industry.Jerry Avis, IBD Chief Executive Officer
The WCD one-day seminars will be rolled out across the country with our educational partners, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) at Herriot Watt University.