Women are disrupting the spirits industry with their diverse voices.

As long as spirits have been around, they’ve primarily been associated with men. From doing the labor-heavy work of distilling, and the guests at bars drinking whisky, women rarely appeared. That has all changed with these pioneering women.

Heather Manley

Heather Manley is the sole owner of Minnesota-based micro-distillery Crooked Water Spirits, which was the first spirits company to be certified as woman-owned by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Manley started the company after noting the significant quality difference between micro- and macro-distilled spirits.

Credit: Crooked Water Spirits
Credit: Brown-Forman

Rachel Barrie

As master Scotch blender for Brown-Forman’s three distilleries in Scotland, Rachel Barrie is credited with being one of the only female Scotch whisky blenders in the spirits industry—and some say the first ever.

María Teresa Lara López

María Teresa Lara started her career at Mexico’s Tequila Herradura in 1987 as quality control supervisor. By the end of her 30-year career there, she became the first female master distiller in tequila history.

Credit: Tequila Herradura