This month, we are honouring and amplifying female voices that drive culture and change in the alcohol industry by bringing to you some untold stories and exclusive content of women who have played a huge role in developing and contributing to the success of alcohol brands around the world.
Joy Spence – Master Distiller at Appleton Estate
Joy has been combining the Art and Science of Rum Making to craft premium Appelton Estate Jamaican Rum for 25 years. She joined Appleton Estate as Chief Chemist in 1981, gaining the title of Master Blender in 1997, making her the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry. In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Joy the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD) for her service to the industry.
Shop: Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum
Séverine Frerson - Chef De Cave at Maison Perrier-Jouët’s
Hired as Chef de Cave at Maison Perrier-Jouët in October 2018, Séverine is admired by many as an energetic, gracious, and inspiring woman who believes a person’s job is from one’s passion. Born in the famous cru village of Sillery, growing up, she became fascinated with picking grapes and worked in the cellar of family friends. At Perrier-Jouët she continues to preserve the floral, delicate champagne style produced from the Chardonnay grape in Épernay. “Being cellar master is not about creating wines but remaining as the ambassador of the house’s savoir-faire is important for all generations to understand.”, says Séverine.
Shop: Perrier Jouet Blason Rose Champagne
Lesley Gracie – Master Distiller at Hendrick’s Gin
Born in Yorkshire, Gracie moved to Scotland to join William Grant & Sons’ laboratory team in 1988 (the family-run company that owns Hendrick’s). With a degree in chemistry and a background in pharmaceuticals, Lesley soon moved from using flavours to mask the bitterness of new drugs, into liquid development and used her gift for innovation and astounding knowledge to develop the iconic gin that has enabled her prestigious status in the spirits industry. To this day, Lesley still distills every drop of Hendrick’s herself, she distills the liquid in small batches, 500L at a time - so that she can control production. She is one of four people who knows the exact recipe ensuring that every bottle is perfect.
Shop: Hendrick's Gin.
Georgina Young – Head Brewer at Fuller’s
Georgina's interest in brewing took hold while she was a Biotechnology student at King’s College, London, after which she undertook the prestigious Master’s degree in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In April 1999, she joined Fuller’s as Production Brewer. She has been instrumental in the production of some of Fuller’s most highly regarded beers, such as Honey Dew, Jack Frost, Oliver’s Island and Frontier Lager. George was promoted to the role of Head Brewer in January 2017, and is currently Chair of the Southern Section of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, and a member of the Worshipful Company of Brewers.
Shop: Fullers London Pride Ale Beer Bottle Multipack.