Rochester, New York-based Black Button Distilling announced the promotion of Patrick Carroll to distiller. Carroll began his career at Black Button in August 2017, as a production assistant and has quickly risen through the ranks to achieve this significant certification under the training and mentorship of president and master distiller Jason Barrett, as well as master distiller Jeff Fairbrother. Carroll will now manage the barrel warehouses and oversee all mashing, fermentation and primary distillation for Black Button Distilling’s range of gins, whiskey and liqueurs.
A Rochester native, Carroll received his two-year viticulture degree from Finger Lakes Community College and subsequently followed the wine harvest around the world to places including Oregon and Australia. When he returned to Rochester in the summer of 2017, he applied for an opening at Black Button in production. The job advertisement was up for only 72 hours before over 100 applications had flooded in, but Barrett highlights that as the team managed the hiring process, “Carroll consistently rose to the top.” After a full day working interview, Carroll received the official job offer to join the Black Button team.
As a production assistant, Carroll started out on the bottling line running the mash and cleaning the equipment after each run. After about a year, Black Button sent Carroll to a three-day distilling workshop at Cornell University, where he learned the technical theories behind how the stills work and was subsequently promoted to assistant distiller. In this role, he began to carry out primary distillation or the separation of all alcohol from the mash, measuring proof, preparing yeast, proofing down spirits and feeding nutrient supplements to the fermenters. In late 2020, Barrett and Fairbrother decided to formalize Carroll’s training to prepare him for the next level by creating a list of all the skills needed to become a fully certified distiller. Black Button is proud to announce that Carroll has since mastered these skills to qualify for this title.
Barrett notes, “Education is the single biggest resource that the distilling community can invest in. Without a knowledgeable community of individuals, how can we hope to safely and efficiently operate these manufacturing facilities? We have to invest in our younger generation, so that they can one day take the reins and hopefully surpass our achievements and lift the industry to new heights. Patrick Carroll has been an inspiration to us at Black Button Distilling. We have seen him grow in his career by taking on increased responsibilities each year he is with us, making him very deserving of this new title.”