Dread River distiller breaks the glass barrel-learn more

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Skyler Cuellar Noland is a trailblazer in the distilling community. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now
Skyler Cuellar Noland is a trailblazer in the distilling community. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

At Dread River Distilling, a new face is breaking the glass barrel one delicious drink at a time. Skyler Cuellar Noland is a female distiller in a male dominated industry. Keep reading to learn more about Skyler’s story.

When loves of science and bourbon collide

Skyler is a big fan of Dread River and all things bourbon. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now
Skyler is a big fan of Dread River and all things bourbon. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Skyler didn’t become a distiller just because she’s a bourbon drinker. More than anything, she was fascinated by the science of distillation.

While studying at Auburn University, she learned about distillation in her chemistry courses. She was hooked, and quickly changed her major to food science.

Skyler interned with Dread River in college. There, she got to put her passion into action.

“I love it. I love the science behind it and I love the fact that you never really know what you’re going to get out of a distillation. Barreling is one of my favorite things in distilling because, depending on the type of wood and how long it stays in there, you get different tastes.”

-Skyler Cuellar Noland, Distiller, Dread River Distillery Co.

Shaking up an old-fashioned industry

Breaking the glass barrel one delicious drink at a time! Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now
Breaking the glass barrel one delicious drink at a time! Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

After graduating, Skyler went on the career hunt. She found her dream job right where she started, at Dread River.

For the past four months, Skyler has learned the ins and outs of the distillery business. Her bosses are impressed by her hard work and talent.

“Usually when someone is just starting their career in the industry they require quite a bit of oversight and direction. Skyler, however, immediately picked up on the important techniques and attention to detail required to excel in this field. I’m happy that she took on this role and seems to be flourishing.”

-Colton Weinstein, Head Distiller, Dread River Distillery Co.

Though distilling remains a predominately male industry, Skyler is positive and passionate about the field. She’s hopeful that more women can look past the business’ perceived masculinity.

“There aren’t a ton of female distillers, but there are more today. It’s a lot of physical labor. I don’t think it’s made apparent that women can be distillers.”

-Skyler Cuellar Noland, Distiller, Dread River Distillery Co.

Skyler’s own work shows that women can make killer distillers. Today, she’s refining her craft by studying at London’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling online.

When Skyler’s off work, though, she unwinds with her favorite drink: a glass of Dread River bourbon.

Do you know any women breaking the glass ceiling? Tag @bhamnow and share some empowerment!

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Libby Foster
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