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A world of unique, crafted gins

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A world of unique, crafted gins

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Meet some of the gin world's most inspirational leading women!

Meet some of the gin world's most inspirational leading women!

Feb 27, 2022

All the distillers we work with are such an inspiration to everything we do here at Craft Gin Club, but this International Women’s Day, we want to introduce you to some of the amazing women gin-trepeneurs - from distillers to business leaders to mixologists in the industry that are paving the way…

It’s no secret that the booze industry, like many others, has been traditionally male-dominated - but things are starting to change in the world of gin, in no small part thanks to the work of women like these.

We are sure they will be an inspiration to you too!

Siân Brooks, The GŴYR Gin Company

Sian Brooks Gower Distillery jpg

I love the fact that the craft gin industry has become so inclusive and social media supports this inclusivity so that everyone has a voice and potential role. The industry is constantly evolving and there are so many exciting, creative and inspiring opportunities for everyone.

— Siân Brooks

Siân Brooks started GŴYR Distillery with her husband Andrew in one of their favourite parts of the world, Gower, Wales. Inspired by a gin blending course she attended as a birthday present, Siân began by blogging about gin, and that process allowed her and Andrew to refine their taste until they were ready to start distilling themselves. “It was such a fun process!”, says Siân.

Siân’s background as a university language lecturer, and the great insight into Welsh language and culture that it gave her, has driven their gin from strength to strength. That passion really shines through in their incredible, limited edition Rhamanta Gin, which we sent our members as their February 2020 Gin of the Month.

Tiffanie Barriere, Bartender and Educator

Tiffanie Barriere sat on chair

Known as The Drinking Coach, this Texas-Louisiana native is a world-famous bartender and educator, known for taking a storytelling-centred approach to cocktails.

After a seven-year period at the helm of the multi-award-winning bar One Flew South in Atlanta, she branched out as a freelance mixologist, drinks writer and consultant.

She also works as a cocktail historian, with a specific focus on shining a light on how marginalised communities have contributed to cocktail culture through history.

In 2020 she was inducted into Tales of Cocktails Dame Hall of Fame; since then, she’s appeared on panels at prestigious events, contributed to books and magazines and created cocktails for pop-ups and television shows.

Kirstine Newton, Altitude Gin

Kirsten Newton Altitude Gin jpg

Kirstine has always been a great gin lover. So when friends suggested that she come on board their distilling project in the French Alps it was hard for her to say no. This decision would lead the creation of the wonderful Altitude Gin!

It didn’t happen overnight, but with Kirstine at the helm as co-founder, employing her experience in advertising, she played an essential role in helping the distillery summit new heights.

“I researched. A lot. Talked to industry folk. Created a vision, made time within an already busy schedule, wrote a road map, identified a niche, developed a business plan and pulled in the talent to make it happen.”

We just had to have Altitude Gin as our January 2020 Gin of the Month. As we are sure our members will agree, it was the perfect way to start the new year (it’s the perfect way to start any cosy night in at any time of the year for that matter)!  

Men dominated the drinks industry, but that has all changed as more females are challenging the stereotype, shining through and making their mark, proving what ambition, passion, determination and commitment can lead to.

— Kirstine Newton

Shannon Tebay, Head Bartender at the American Bar

After an impressive career at the helm of one of New York’s best bars, Shannon Tebay was awarded the title of head bartender at the American Bar at the Savoy. In the 129 years since it was founded, she’s only the second woman to ever be given this coveted position.

Since the American Bar first opened in 1893 (it’s Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar), it’s boasted legendary bartenders like Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman, inventor of the Hanky Panky, and Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book. Shannon is poised to walk in their footsteps.

She says, “Becoming head bartender at the American Bar is not just the professional opportunity of a lifetime, it’s also an opportunity to continue building the bar’s legacy as a beacon of innovation and quality – in both the way we create our drinks and in how we deliver our service.”

She continues, “I hope to honour the historical significance of the American and modernise bartending culture within the community at large, championing under-represented perspectives and re-evaluating best practices in order to maximise sustainability.”

Maria Vieira, Craft Gin Club

Maria Viera Craft Gin Club .jpg

Maria joined our team last year after a dream career in the bar and restaurant industries as a leading mixologist. Through her creativity and her deep knowledge of drinks making, Maria has not only taught us a thing or two about gin cocktails, but through Maria we have also been able to give our members a huge new array of incredible bespoke cocktails to try.

Maria is behind inventive hits like our Cherry Espresso Martini and our Chocolate and Sage Martini. All that is left for the rest of the team to do is taste test them – it can be hard work here sometimes! 

Vanessa Wilton, The Manly Spirits Co. Distillery

Vanessa Wilton Manly Spirits Co. Distillery .jpg

Now is the time for women to stretch their wings and not just be the supporting act.

— Vanessa Wilton

It’s hard to forget the incredible Manly Gin that we sent our members as their August 2019 Gin of the Month, and Vanessa Wilton is one of the people responsible for that remarkable impact it had on everyone here at Craft Gin Club HQ and all of our members!

“I have always loved business and creating things,” Vanessa says. “So it is really rewarding to be creating a product that people enjoy drinking, discussing, sharing and even collecting.”

Vanessa founded Manly Spirits with her business and life partner David Whittaker. He manages the distilling side of the operation and Vanessa manages the brand.

With 20 years of marketing, communications and design experience behind her, Vanessa has expertly guided the Manly Distillery ship to success, not just in their homeland of Australia but across the globe too! And she is always willing to share her invaluable knowledge and experience with others hoping to follow in her footsteps.

“My main piece of advice is to make sure you have a strong detailed business plan behind you, covering all parts of running a successful distillery and brand,” she says. “You might surprise yourself with what you can achieve.”

Tessa Gerlach, Elephant Gin    

Tessa Gerlach Elephant Gin .jpg

Tessa and her husband, Robin, have been using their gin to help save the world’s elephants!

15% of the profits from sales of their Elephant Gin, and from special events they hold, are sent to charities that help fight poaching and preserve the elephant’s environment.

Tessa’s love of those wonderful grey giants has driven her to produce some of the finest gin in the world!

We couldn't list them all here, but also on our roll-call of honour for fabulous women distillers are:

Jess Slater of Whitby Gin

Nicole Durdin of Seppeltsfield Gin

Jamie Koh of Brass Lion Distillery (see below)

Nicola, Alexa and Geri of Otterbeck behind Cotton Garden Gin

Rachel Hall of Lighthouse Distillery

Aly Kemp from Kirkjuvagr Distillery (see below)

Bettina from Kongsgaard Distillery

Debbie Word from Chemist Spirits (see below)

Women in the Spirits & Cocktail industry, we salute you! Thank you all for being such gin-spirations!

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