Unsurprisingly, Ladies Are Making Big Moves in the Whiskey World

women drinking whiskey

Move over, boys. Not only are more women drinking whiskey these days, there are also more women distilling and working in the whiskey industry overall. Somewhere around 37 percent of whiskey consumers today are women. According to Eater, women are now showing up everywhere from corporate positions at companies like Maker’s Mark and Michter’s.

Distiller Lisa Wicker of Starlight Distillery believes part of the reason behind this shift is a mere change in perception and the attitudes of more modern times: “As for perception change, so many walls have fallen in terms of race, gender and orientation I guess it’s just happening organically. Sippin’ whiskey is certainly not a gender specific pastime in Kentucky!”

Co-Owner and Chief Distiller of Virginia’s Catocin Creek, Becky Harris, suggests it’s simply because more and more women out there are becoming the best person for the job: “The reason I [became the distiller] was because I was the one who was best suited to do it in our personal situation…Maybe that’s what it really talks to, is that women are starting to become the most qualified to do it, and that’s a good thing.”

Apparently, pre-Industrial Revolution times saw women doing all of the distilling—it counted as another part of running a household and providing the meals. Only as soon as making spirits started being seen as an expertise and a “craft” did it become an old boys club while the ladies got the boot.

While the stereotype that women and whiskey don’t mix seems to be quickly crumbling, according to whiskey maker and business owner Allison Patel, one negative perception that still has a hold is that even if a woman likes whiskey, its got to be the sweet, flavored stuff. Marianne Barnes admits that you’ll never see her producing any flavored whiskey herself, but that she’d never “discourage anybody from trying something new.” Head over to Eater for the full who’s who. [Eater][Photo: Flickr/Mish Sukharev]