Meet Our Head Distiller, Brad Baldwin

Meet Our Head Distiller, Brad Baldwin
January 17, 2017 Becky Ruisseau
In Distillery
Brad Baldwin, Steve Ison and Kaikoura at Rebecca Creek Distillery

At Rebecca Creek, we pride ourselves on our spirits distinctive quality and Texas craft flavor. The smoothness of our spirits comes from the exacting standards and unique background of our head distiller, Brad Baldwin. Brad distills and blends every single batch of Rebecca Creek Whiskey, Enchanted Rock Vodka and Texas Ranger Whiskey. He lives on the distillery’s Texas Hill Country property with his two Newfoundland dogs, Bear and Kaikoura, and the distillery cat, Casey. Casey is our guard cat, who protects the grain that’s waiting to be distilled and keeps it safe from unwanted visitors.

Brad counts himself fortunate to be one of the few people in the world who has this dream job.

“Being a master distiller is one of the rarest jobs out there,” Brad says. “There are more NBA players than there are master distillers.”

Brad knows his craft thanks to an extensive background in winemaking, beer brewing and distilling. He holds a degree from Washington State University in fermentation science with an emphasis in wine science. Brad and his college roommate brewed beer in their dorm room. At the distillery, when he’s not perfecting the next batch of Enchanted Rock, Brad still mixes up his own brews for fun. On a recent day, he had a keg of fresh-brewed grapefruit hefeweizen chilling in the fridge next to co-workers’ lunches. Brad says that his passion is making great spirits that will help people to relax after a hard day or enjoy a moment with loved ones.

Filling whiskey barrels for aging at Rebecca Creek Distillery in the Texas Hill Country

Brad and Daniel Wessel, another member of the distilling team, filling some brand new, American oak, #4 char barrels to start the whiskey aging process.

“I just want to make the best spirits that I can, using the incredible equipment and materials that I have at Rebecca Creek to their full potential,” Brad says.

This industry-leading equipment includes our 1,000-gallon, custom-built Christian Carl copper pot still from Germany, as well as our 28-degree frost filtration process. In this process, Brad and his team cool the distilled spirit to at least 28 degrees F, which causes any fats and oils to coagulate. Then they pass the spirit through natural fiber pads that remove these impurities, only letting through a pure, clean whiskey or vodka. One more bonus to this filtration process: those same impurities contribute to hangovers.

Our copper pot still distilling fine Texan vodka

Our Christian Carl copper pot still, world-class equipment that ensures quality for Rebecca Creek whiskeys and vodkas.

Beyond his education, Brad beat out more than 30 applicants for the role of head distiller at Rebecca Creek thanks to his experience. He started his career making wine at several wineries from the Pacific Northwest to the South Island of New Zealand. In Oregon he signed on at a winery that also had beer brewing and whiskey distilling operations. This is where he fell in love with the art of distilling, which eventually brought him to Texas to work at Rebecca Creek.

Brad says that his wine background makes him even more distinctive in the distilling industry, where most people start out brewing beer since the beginning processes of brewing and distilling are so similar. That unique knowledge makes Rebecca Creek what it is.

“I make it how I’d make it for myself,” Brad says. “I’ve been making beer, wine and spirits since I was 19 years old.”

Curious to know more about what makes Rebecca Creek special? Come on down for a distillery tour and you might be lucky enough to learn all about the process from our head distiller himself.

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