University of Louisville Magazine

WINTER-SPRING 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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42 UOFLMAGAZINE.COM UOFLMAGAZINE.COM t was late afternoon when Louisvillian Charles Theiss sat down at the bar at Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville and glanced at a menu. "I went to Speed, too," he said to the woman behind the bar, "graduated in 1973." Joyce Nethery smiled. It wasn't unusual for a fellow Speed School alumnus to patronize the charming distillery she opened in 2016 and owns with her daughter, Autumn. What was unusual is how she ended up perfecting her own small-batch moonshine, bourbon and vodka after earning an engi- neering degree in 1987 because she thought making hot dog wrappers was a cool way to earn a living. Her journey from hot dog wrap- pers to a family-owned distillery started when Nethery was a freshman at Murray State and visited her aunt's place of work. Her aunt also was a chemical engineer and worked at a plant that made mylar for hot dog wrappers. "I just fell in love with the concept of mak- ing something and being involved with pro- ducing something that people used in their everyday lives," Nethery said. After graduating from Speed, Nethery had a varied and rewarding career working in the industrial distillation unit for a chemi- cal manufacturer, then taught high school physics and chemistry and was chief finan- cial officer of her husband's Shelby County dairy farm. But when the dairy farm didn't work out, it was her entrepreneurial husband who had the idea to build a distillery along Interstate 64 in Shelby County. Nethery wasn't so sure, but she attended Moonshine University — a six-day crash course in distilling offered in Louisville — in January 2013. And that's when it clicked. "I fell back in love with my engineering," Nethery said. "I could see this vision for this ground-to-glass distillery, that we had a story from our agricultural roots and, with my engineering, we could distill it into a value-added product. I came out of the class with that vision." Jeptha Creed sold out of its first tiny batch of bourbon and makes flavored moonshine Nethery at Jeptha Creed distillery in Shelbyville. JOYCE NETHERY, 85S, 87GS Master distiller and co-owner, Jeptha Creed "[ I applied ] that engineering problem-solving thought process to a lot of different not- technically-engineering areas." – Joyce Nethery The Matriarch of 'Ground to Glass'

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