Episode 40 - Assistant Distiller Lexie Phillips: The Accidental Trailblazer


Lexie Phillips didn’t set out to be a trailblazer, role model, or pioneer. But when she was named Jack Daniel’s Assistant Distiller in the fall of 2020, she ended up as just that. On this episode, Lexie returns to Around the Barrel to talk about her path from part-time job to leadership position, and how following her passion resulted in a giant leap forward for the women of Jack Daniel’s and the spirits industry at large.


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When young Jack Daniel first ran away to Dan Call’s farm, he didn’t have his mind set on one day making the world’s most popular whiskey. And when Lexie Phillips started a part-time job in Bottling at the Jack Daniel Distillery, she didn’t dream that she would one day be Assistant Distiller.

They may not have set out with intent, but they had passion and persistence, which, it turns out, is enough to make big things happen. And so, they did.

Lexie grew up just outside of Lynchburg and has had at least 25 family members working at Jack Daniel’s at one time or another. Her interest in distilling didn’t come about until college when she took a few classes in fermentation sciences. She found the distillation process captivating, and when her great aunt said the Distillery was hiring, she jumped right in.

Lexie took that first job in 2014 and eventually moved into the quality control lab, but stories of the stillhouse made her fall in love with the place long before she made it up there. She did eventually get there and served as Distillery Lead Operator until she was named to her current role in the fall of 2020.

In honor of her official introduction, Lexie returns to Around the Barrel for another conversation with Lucas Hendrickson to discuss her journey, her role, and her current areas of interest.

Because Lexie has always been mechanically minded and has a knack for math and science, the progression to Assistant Distiller isn’t a surprise to anyone, except perhaps Lexie.


“The distillery operators here – to me they’re cream of the crop,” she says. “You never think that you’ll be able to make it there. You don’t even really know how to get started.”

In Lexie’s case, you just start at the bottom and follow your passions to the top.

Join us as Lexie shares her enthusiasm for whiskey, experimentation, and Single Barrel selection, and what it means to be a trailblazer, in this industry and Around the Barrel.

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