Sure, you can take distillery tours and go to tasting sessions, but, if you really want to understand making whiskey, like learning to swim or riding a bike you have to do it yourself. Luckily for you, Louisville has Moonshine University, a state-of-the-art facility built for the sole purpose of instructing spirits entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.

Created by beverage expert and flavor scientist David Dafoe, at his Distilled Spirits Epicenter, located adjacent to his Flavorman facility at 801 S. 8th St., in Old Louisville, the 2016 workshops at Moonshine U. provide opportunity to learn more, even enough to perhaps strike out on one’s own and become a – legal – distilling entrepreneur.

The Moonshine University 2016 schedule includes the following offerings:

Stave & Thief Society Bourbon Making Workshops, Jan. 18 or April 18

This day-long workshop combines classroom instruction, hands-on distilling, and advanced sensory training for spirits and hospitality professionals as well as advanced enthusiasts and includes certification as Executive Bourbon Stewards in the Stave & Thief Society. Cost is $500 for individuals and $1000 for establishments (which includes 10 handbooks to certify staff).

5-Day Distiller Course , Jan. 25-29 or June 27-July 1

This flagship workshop is taught by industry leaders giving technical and practical insight into what it takes to start a distillery. Cost is $5950.

2-Day Fermentation Workshop, March 14-15

In conjunction with Wilderness Trail Distillery and Ferm Solutions, this hands-on learning experience dives into yeast cycle and viability to best manage fermentation. Cost is $1795.

5-Day Rum Course, April 11-15

Moonshine University and The Rum University join forces to offer the most comprehensive rum training to existing and future rum distillers. Cost is $5495.

Route to Market Workshop, May 26-27

Intensive study into the considerations and strategies for building a brand, taking a product to market, and planning for growth in the future. Cost is $1895.

Distilling Operations 201, June 8-10

For graduates of the 5-Day Distiller Course, this three-day study goes in-depth into the day-to-day for production and development in the distillery. Cost is $4995.

For more information or to register for a course, go to, call 502-301-8126 or email