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Women Leaders in the Alcohol Industry: Home

This guide provides information on the history of women in the alcohol industry; basic definitions, geographic aspects, and statistics of the industry; current trends- marketed to and inclusive of women- ranging from drink recipes and ordering advice; a

This guide will provide a basic overview for those interesting in finding out more about how women have impacted the alcohol industry and how they continue to do so.

Where to Start

Begin your search by gaining some general information from the following sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_brewing: This page will give you a general overview of how women have been involved in the brewing process throughout history.

https://inthemix.on-premise.com/2015/01/women-spirits/: This article is a brief overview of some of the largest female players currently involved in the distilling industry.

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/travel-dining/a17236/women-in-liquor-industry/: Tips and tricks from women in the wine and liquor industry.

 

 

Books

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

The measure of how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage. An beverage with an ABV of 20% would have an alcoholic proof of 40.

Spirits/Liquor

Distilled alcohol with an ABV ranging from 20% to 90%.

Beer

An alcoholic beverage that is made from yeast-fermented malt and flavored with hops with an ABV typically in the 4.5% to 10% range.

Wine

An alcoholic beverage made from the juice of fermented grapes with an ABV typically around 11%.

Distill

To purify by vaporizing and collect the resulting liquid.

Ferment

The process of sugar transforming into alcohol. 

Gin

A clear alcohol spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavored with Juniper berries. Gin packs serious punch and is not a spirit for the faint of heart.

Classic Gin Cocktails:

Gin and Tonic, Tom Collins, Negroni, and Martini.

 

Vodka:

This clear spirit, noted for its muted flavor and smell, is typically made from potatoes and grains. But don't let this definition fool you, despite its lack of smell and taste vodka still offers a real kick-in-the-pants to anyone not used to drinking it.

Classic Vodka Cocktails

Cosmopolitan, Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, and Screwdriver.

 

Whiskey

This amber-hued spirit distilled from grain - often corn, rye, barley, or wheat - mash is know for its strong taste. Whiskey taste varies widely depending on the grain used and the aging process. Variations include Scotch, Bourbon, and Irish.

Classic Whiskey Cocktails

Jack and Coke, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Whiskey Sour.

 

Tequila

This spirit, made from the blue agave plant, can come in both clear and amber varieties. This spirit is the quintessential shot classic when paired with a lime wedge and salt.

Classic Tequila Cocktails

Tequila Sunrise, Margarita, and the Paloma.

 

Rum

This spirit, which has both clear and amber-hued varieties, is distilled with cane sugar or molasses. Rum pairs well with fruit juices, but beware this spirit can be stronger than you think.

Classic Rum Cocktails

Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, and Dark n' Stormy.

 

Ale

Brewed at warmer temperatures using top-fermenting yeast.  These beers are typically hoppy, fruitful, and flavorful. Color ranges from gold to reddish-amber.

Varieties Include

Pale Ales, India Pale Ales, Nut Browns.

Try

New Belgium Fat Tire, Sierra Nevada, Stone IPA

 

Lager

Lagers are brewed at colder temperatures using bottom-fermenting yeast and a longer aging process. Lagers come in pale-hued to dark black varieties and come in a range of flavors from sweet to bitter.

Varieties Include

American Dark Lager, Bock Beer, Helles.

Try

Lagunitas Pils, EPIC Brewing Company Hop Syndrome, Firestone Walker Firestone Lager.

 

Stouts and Porters

Porter is a top-fermenting style beer with a with a dark color and tends toward a sweeter taste. Stout is colored by barley and is less sweet to the taste.

Varieties Include

English Porters, American Stouts.

Try

Guinness, Foothills Sexual Chocolate, Founders Nitro Oatmeal Stout

 

Malts

Usually dark and sweet, malts contain notes of caramel, coffee, and nuts.

Try

Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre, EKU 28

 

Hard Ciders

Not really beer but often put in the same category, these tasty beverages have are cider after the fermentation process.

Try

Angry Orchard, Bull Pear Cider.

Pinot Noir

A light-bodied wine that is highly acid and fruity to the taste.

Pair With

Chicken, pork, or soft cheese.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A bold, full-bodied red wine with flavor notes of coffee and chocolate.

Pair With

Veal, bold cheeses.

Chardonnay

A rich, smooth white wine with vanilla flavor notes.

Pair With

Clams, chicken.

Pinot Grigio

A dry, light-bodied white wine with notes of citrus.

Pair With

Fish, salad

Riesling

A sweet, citrusy white wine with strong floral notes.

Pair With

Duck, Thai cuisine

Reference Resources

A Brief History of Women in the Alcohol Industry

Women have historically played a large role in the brewing and distilling of alcohol. In ancient times, brewing was considered along with baking and was traditionally the responsibility of women. In ancient Sumer, the deity associated with brewing, Ninkasi, was female. It wasn't until about 150 years ago that the role of brewing and distilling became associated with men. However, during the American Prohibition Era, the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform played a large role in reversing Prohibition. Now, women are once again taking leadership in the brewing, fermenting, and distilling world.