Full Name
Melinda Maddox
Job Title
Head of Production, Blender & Beverage Director
Old Elk Distillery
Speaker Bio
Melinda Maddox, Production Manager, Blender & Beverage Director for Old Elk Distillery, has over two decades of management in the hospitality industry under her belt, and is working towards a decade of operations and production management.
As Production Manager, Melinda manages Old Elk’s blending, bottling and Single Barrel program. Most recently, she oversaw the production and launch of Old Elk’s Cigar Cut Island Blend, which marks her debut into blending her own whiskey.
Melinda is currently on the path to becoming Old Elk’s Master Blender. She is second-in-command to Master Distiller Greg Metze, learning his practice and further innovating Old Elk’s liquid. She is quickly making a name for herself having been awarded finalist in the 2023 Women of Whiskey Awards for Production Manager of
the Year.
Melinda’s experience in production and operations began in 2021 when she took on the role of Production Manager. In this position, Melinda worked across multiple departments supporting new product launches, brand development for the on-premise and event support. She also has managed Old Elk’s barrel inventory and production of spirits, overseeing the blending of all their whiskeys. She regularly oversees education and training of employees and works on research and development with her respective teams regarding new product launches, blends and sensory quality control on Old Elk’s spirits.
Her tenure with Old Elk started in 2019 when she was named the brand’s Beverage Director, where she oversaw customer experience at the distillery’s tasting room and The Reserve. This role also included community outreach, liaising with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), and other bartender related programs for national
on-premise accounts.
Melinda has a number of achievements to her name. Her first blend of Old Elk’s Cigar Cut received Gold from both the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, as well as the Bartender Spirits Awards. Her past achievements include becoming an international finalist in 2018 for USBG’s Most Imaginative Bartender, winning Espolon’s Cocktail Fights 2016 for the Northern Region, and a 2016 Regional Finalist for the Northeast World Class Diageo competition. Melinda was the creator and palate behind the “Cocktail Lab” at Earls Kitchen and Bar, where she ran a rotating
pop-up bar focused on the unique approach to cocktails utilizing distillation as the base with a rotary evaporator.
Melinda resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband Chris and their rescue dog, Tsunami. When taking advantage of her work/life balance, she enjoys hiking, exploring the outdoors and spending time with her loved ones. Her favorite cocktail to sip is a Scofflaw.
Melinda Maddox