Wine retailer Cellarmasters and liquor retailer BWS have joined forces to create one of Australia’s first drinks festivals with an all-female lineup. 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.

Cellar Director at Cellarmasters Christine Ricketts said the event is filling a hole in the market for female drinkers. “We want to shine a well-deserved spotlight on women in winemaking, distilling and brewing, which are traditionally male dominated industries. But thanks to these trailblazing women, this is now changing,” she said.

The number of women employed in wine making is estimated to be 38 per cent. However, when it comes to leadership and senior roles, female representation has been estimated at 10 per cent or less. According to the Australian Distillers Association, women make up approximately 15 per cent of distillers in the industry. There are no official stats on the number of female brewers in Australia. “Although the industry is changing, there’s still a long way to go. This event is all about celebrating women in beer, wine and spirits and giving customers an opportunity to meet these incredible women and try their products,” said Vanessa Rowed, BWS Head of Marketing.

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 8 March, International Women’s Day, and two more sessions take place on Saturday 9 March. Up to 30 winemakers, distillers and brewers will be serving samples during the festival. Winemakers include Gwyn Olsen from Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree Wines, Sarah Pidgeon from Wynns Coonawarra and Elena Brooks from Dandelion. Brewers and distillers include Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen from Two Birds Brewing, Laura Carter from Applewood Distillery and Jaz Wearin from Modus Operandi.

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