Distillery team leader at Aber Falls Whisky Distillery, Glen Edwards, shares his career journey and how the company has supported his new journey into fatherhood
Glen Edwards, distillery team leader at Aber Falls Whisky Distillery, is one of the brand’s most long-standing employees, working for the company for three and a half years. During his time working for the distillery, Glen has had the opportunity to gain qualifications and experience to see him progress from apprentice to distillery team leader within the company whilst juggling the responsibility of becoming a first-time dad to his new-born daughter Lilly.
Day-to-day at the distillery, Penmaenmawr-based Glen is responsible for managing all things production. This includes ordering raw goods and materials, and planning spirits for the year ahead to ensure Aber Falls continues to produce award-winning liquids. Spirits planning is a vital part of his role, focusing on improving yields, new product launches and department reporting on all production related figures, such as number of casks filled, and spirits produced.
Glen, 31, has had a varied career journey, previously working in the hospitality sector for several restaurants. His transition to Aber Falls had an interesting start when his parents attended a distillery tour in 2018 and met Managing Director James Wright, who mentioned a position was available to join the team as a distillery apprentice. Eager to try his hand at something new, Glen heard about the opening and joined the company.
Reflecting on his journey in joining the Aber Falls team, Glen said: “What is brilliant about working for Aber Falls Whisky Distillery is that a positive, can-do attitude can get you far. You don’t need previous experience in the sector to join the team – I’m a prime example of this. Instead, everyone is judged and rewarded for their willingness to work. I would urge anyone thinking about changing career paths to take the chance. Don’t be afraid to join and progress in the company.”
Glen has been busy studying as part of his role – attaining a General Certificate in Distilling through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) and currently completing a diploma for Distilling – all while juggling becoming a first-time dad in October last year.
Speaking of how he balances his role as a first-time father and distillery team leader, Glen says: “It was really important that when my daughter was first born, I could be at home for that crucial stage to support my partner and ease into parenting as it changes your life completely. So, I was given three weeks of paternity leave, which allowed me to do this and enjoy the early stages of fatherhood.
“What’s more, being in a small team means that we have a flexible way of working and we’re all very much trusted to manage our own time and responsibilities. As a result, I have more freedom to support my family whenever they need me. There isn’t a heavy or overly disciplined culture at the distillery, which personally, I’ve really benefitted from.”
During his time working for the brand, Glen mentions that his favourite part of the job would be seeing the final product on the shelf, thanks to being able to say, “I helped make that, I had a part in every stage from the ideation to the creation of the spirit.”
In particular, Glen credits launching Aber Falls’ sell-out Inaugural Whisky and the Single Malt Welsh Whisky as being his proudest memories to date. Overall, he looks back on the memory and the launch of Aber Falls whisky portfolio as a “surreal experience”.
Looking to the future, Glen is excited to pass his final exam in his Distilling diploma and to learn more about the world of whisky. Glen concluded: “I feel I’m at the tip of the iceberg in the world of spirits and distilling. The more I learn about it, the more I realise there is so much more to learn – not just whisky but all spirits. There’s so much that goes into it behind the scenes.”
For those interested in joining the team, Aber Falls Whisky Distillery has a host of exciting events and launches coming up this year and is looking to expand its team with passionate and charismatic individuals.
There are plenty of business areas to get involved, and Aber Falls currently has vacancies available, including in the café and event teams and tour guides and a café supervisor. To apply, please hand in your CV at the distillery or email: [email protected].