DAMES of DISTILLATION
W RI TTEN BY J EANNE RUNKLE PHOTO BY DAVI D HAW KI NS
LADIES RAISING the BAR
hat happens when you put a group of strong women Habits poll, 67% of men and 64% of women drink alcohol. together in a room? In this case, it wasn’t just any group
While half of those ladies tend to drink wine, more are starting
of women, but ones that make spirits from all over North America. to drink distilled spirits. More women enter the workplace each And this wasn’t just a meeting to sit around swapping stories
year, which means more disposable income. When a woman
of stills with no gauges. This meeting was about collaboration
walks up to a bar, she’s ordering a glass of whiskey more often
and building long-lasting relationships within an industry that
than any time in recent memory. So why advertise to her based
could benefit from more female representation. So when you
on her desire to find a man to build her a bookshelf? It’s time for
get a group like this together something great happens — the
a change, and these ladies are the ones to do it.
founding of The Dames of Distillation™. A look at the current state of craft distilling shows about 600
Meet the Dames of Distillation : women distillers and distillery
owners that met, some for the first time, to begin talking about distilleries nationwide. Of those, only about 25-30 have either how they can use their collective talents and resources. women distillers or owners — a mere four percent in mathematical Troy Ball of Asheville Distilling, makes Troy & Sons moonshine terms. Much like other male-dominated occupations, distilling and whiskey from a non-GMO corn that’s grown nowhere else in isn’t the easiest industry to get into for women. There are a the world. While her hand may not be on the still these days, limited number of educational opportunities and internships, and her mind is always working: it was her idea to bring women who it’s not information that’s always readily published and shared. make spirits together, and the Dames of Distillation was born. The women of the Dames of Distillation movement are working to Robin Blazer of Willie’s Distillery makes moonshine, change that, to better educate the women in the industry today, and those that are interested in joining. The Dames of Distillation aren’t solely focused on the women
Bourbon and liqueur in a tiny town in Montana. Ever heard of a chokecherry? It’s a small local fruit, with a taste vaguely
that make the spirits; they’re also interested in bending their reminiscent of a plum that Willie’s makes into a liqueur each influence toward an ever-growing group of women that drink season. Locals bring buckets of the fruit to the distillery — talk spirits, too. Advertising including women and whiskey is often
about community involvement.
a condescending blend of cheesy clichés or is downright sexist.
Andrea Clodfelter is Corsair Distillery’s Head Distiller/Whiskey
How are women that drink whiskey supposed to feel when
Witch. Who knew reading an article in Garden & Gun would lead
advertising sometimes suggests a man should be pouring that
to making award-winning whiskey just a few short years later? whiskey for them? According to Gallup’s 2012 Consumption And not just any whiskey - Andrea uses grains like quinoa and
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.