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Counting down to the inaugural Meet The Makers drinks festival

Counting down to the inaugural Meet The Makers drinks festival

Cellarmasters and BWS have joined forces to create Australia’s first drinks festival with an all-female lineup this International Women’s Day weekend.

The inaugural Meet the Makers: Women in Beer, Wine & Spirits is taking place in Sydney, and drinks lovers can meet some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest female brewers, winemakers and distillers.

Some of the stars of the show have given their verdict on why they’re so excited to be part of the event. 

It is important to embrace the women in this industry because they bring a whole different side of it out, breathing brand new energy and insights into the industry,” said Ally Ayres, distiller & co-owner, Karu Distillery. “This festival is about celebrating and embracing that!

Vanessa Wilton, co-founder and co-owner, Manly Spirits Co. Distillery (above), added: “Women tend to spend more time being ‘doers’ not leaving much time to actually promote their highly skilled roles in the spirits/beer/wine industry. This festival gives a platform for women to stand up and show the public what their skills and hard work have created.”

The number of women employed in wine making is estimated to be 38%. However, when it comes to leadership and senior roles, female representation has been estimated at 10% or less.

Sarah Pidgeon, winemaker at Wynns Coonawarra, noted: “Events like the Meet the Makers: Women in Beer, Wine & Spirits festival gives women a chance to form a community to help and encourage each other. Communities like this may be the first step towards women seeing the possibilities with staying with winemaking careers rather than exiting altogether or changing paths.”

According to Australian Distillers Association, women make up approximately 15% of distillers in the industry. There are no official stats on the number of female brewers in Australia.

“Being part of Meet the Makers: Women in Beer, Wine & Spirits is important to Modus and myself because there is no reason this industry should be seen as male dominated when there are so many of us women that work and love this industry,” Jaz Wearin (above), co-owner of Modus Operandi Brewing said. “We would love to see more women be welcomed into the beer world, and by being part of this festival is another positive step towards achieving this.”

Laura Carter, distiller and co-owner, Applewood Distillery, added: “There are so many women in our industry working hard, often behind the scenes, creating incredible products and building our industry. This festival is a chance for us to showcase our hard work and hopefully inspire the next generation of female distillers to join us.” 

Meet the Makers: Women in Beer, Wine & Spirits is taking place at Australian Technology Park in Sydney, and kicks off with a session on Friday, March 8 – International Women’s Day – with two more sessions on Saturday, March 9.

Up to 30 winemakers, distillers and brewers will be serving samples during the festival.

Tickets range from $50 to $60 per session, and include complimentary tastings from all producers, a branded glass to keep, a booklet and entertainment. Masterclasses are also available at an additional cost.

For more info on the event, head here:

Pictured main: Ally Ayres, distiller & co-owner, Karu Distillery. 


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