We have had the pleasure of working with some pretty incredible women here at Craft Gin Club, so this International Women’s Day we want to celebrate their amazing contribution to the world of craft gin!
Rachel Hall, Lighthouse Gin
Rachel is the head distiller at Lighthouse Gin. She started at the distillery in their sales and marketing department but was soon singled out for her incredibly acute palate by the gin’s creator, Neil Catherall. It wasn’t long before he was preparing her to take over from him and in no time at all she was personally overseeing the entire production, doing every aspect of it by hand. Under her watch, Lighthouse Gin has gone from strength to strength and is now the remarkable gin that we know and love today!
Kirsty Black, Arbikie Distillery
Kirsty is the master distiller behind Arbikie AK’s Gin! She was first approached by the three brothers who own the Arbikie distillery, John, Iain and David Stirling whilst on a distilling course in Scotland, they gave her the challenge of helping them realise their vision of a farm-to-bottle distillery. We think it’s safe to say she met that challenge with flying colours! Together with Christian Perez-Solar, her distilling partner, they mastered the rare craft of producing their own base liquor for the gin and now help to run one of the most unique distilleries in the world!
Fiona Boyd-Armstrong, Short Cross Gin
Fiona, with her husband David, has been leading the craft gin revolution in Northern Ireland with their Short Cross Gin. When they decided to start their own distillery they first attended the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and then began to travel the world to get hands-on experience at different distilleries. This meticulous search for knowledge eventually translated into a product that is not only one of impeccable quality but is also a fantastic and inspiring example of what can be achieved using local ingredients from their surroundings in Northern Ire!and!
Debbie Strang, Shetland Reel
Debbie and her husband, Frank, are the entrepreneurs behind Shetland Reel and have used their gin to champion the Shetland Isles and support the community that lives there. The Shetland Isles suffered economic strife when the RAF based there closed, but Debbie and her husband were able to turn that negative into a positive by first making the abandoned base into a tourist destination and then a distillery. They now hire local people and use local products that celebrate the Shetland Isles in all their glory!
Vivienne Muir, NB Gin
Vivienne and Steve Muir began by experimenting with gin at home by stewing botanicals in an old pressure cooker on the hob. Now their NB Gin frequents the coupe glasses of royals and celebrities. From the beginning Vivienne wanted to produce a gin that she could be proud of, and with hard work and determination they achieved that when their gin won the award for World’s Best London Dry Gin at the World Drinks Awards. With their mastery of the London Dry distilling technique, and their gins deliciously unique flavour profile, it’s easy to see why!
Tina Warner-Keogh, Warner Edwards
Tina is a partner at Warner Edwards with her husband Tom, and to say their business has been successful is a bit of an understatement – there doesn’t seem to be a bar in the land without a bottle of their gin on its shelves these days! From Tom’s home-made botanical garden on his family farm they set out to rid the world of mediocre gin and we think it’s safe to say they are well on their way to achieving that goal, they have been at the head of the craft gin movement from the very beginning!
Sandra Wimmeler, Windspiel Premium Dry Gin
Sandra is part of the three-person team of distillers, along with Denis Lönnendonker and Tobias Schwoll, who brought the world Windspiel Gin. They started a distillery because they wanted to start their own company to take charge of their own destinies while developing a product that they could be proud of at the same time. They bought a farm together and used the potatoes they grew there to produce their truly unique and delicious gin!
Jen Wiggins, Manchester Gin
Jen and her partner in gin, Seb Heeley, are the masterminds behind the award-winning Manchester Gin. She met Seb in a bar in Manchester and their love of gin brought them closer and closer until they decided to start a bar together. However, this was not to be - a chance meeting with a local distiller and his small personal gin still changed their trajectory and they decided to start making their own craft gin instead. Their refined palates and passion for what they were doing took them from gin enthusiasts to renowned professional distillers in the blink of an eye!
Bettina Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard Gin
Bettina is part of yet another brilliant wife and husband gin team. Their Kongsgaard Gin is as stylish as it is delicious and this could only have come from Bettina’s background in, and keen eye for, design. It was their joint passion for beautiful food, exquisite design and perfectly-made spirits that drew them to our favourite tipple, and soon they were designing their very own craft gin. Søren’s experience in sales and exportation coupled with Bettina’s experience in spirits marketing and design has proved to be match made in gin heaven!
Tessa Gerlach, Elephant Gin
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!
Ladies of the gin world, we salute you! Thank you all for being such ginspirations!