Picture the innovators of the alcohol industry. Imagine them all gathered together and sharing their tips n’ tricks of the trade while clinking together glasses of things none of us regular folk can pronounce (much less create in our tiny bar carts). If you pictured a room full of dudes…you’re wayyy out of the loop. Women are shaking things up behind the bar and in front of international audiences. Here are eight of The Stir’s favorite woman-owned brands that are making waves and empowering others in the alcohol industry.
Two Chicks Cocktails is a women-owned, founded, and run company making delicious canned cocktails with unique flavors. Made with premium spirits and full of fragrant botanicals, these aren’t your everyday canned drinks. (Though their low alcohol content makes them a perfect fit for a casual sip.) Meghan Hanna, the founder of Two Chicks, is the brand’s “Inspirational Chick” who sought to create an inclusive, all-natural cocktail brand that would inspire others to connect and share stories over delicious, flavorful drinks.
Fawn Weaver became the first Black woman to run a major whiskey brand when she founded Uncle Nearest Whiskey in 2016. Voted ‘World’s Best’ at the World Whiskies Awards, Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey is a top-notch addition to your next Old Fashioned and smooth enough to enjoy all on its own. With an all-women leadership team and a staff that is 50% women, Uncle Nearest is a truly woman-led brand and proof that women are here to make their mark on the alcohol industry.
BEV’s slogan is “made by chicks,” and they’re not afraid to show it. With an all-women team and a commitment to shaking things up, Bev’s mission includes pushing men and women to work together as equals and hold each other accountable in social spaces. The women behind Bev are out to transform drinking culture and promote female empowerment in the alcohol industry. If you’re looking for a sugar-free, low-carb option that isn’t lacking in the fun department, BEV’s Sauvignon Bev is a fabulous pick for a lil’ bit of fizz with a whole lot of fruity aromatics and bright citrus flavors.
Lost Coast has stood the test of time without sacrificing quality or its status as an independent, woman-owned brewery. Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom were working as marriage & family counselors and a pharmacist, respectively, when they decided to break into the boys’ club of beer. They came together in 1986 to create a new take on craft beer with their classic Great White, a crisp Belgian-style brew. In 1989, they bought a literal castle (towers and all) in Eureka, California, and transformed it into a brewery and pub. Both of them are still going strong and serving up awesome drinks today. Over the years, Lost Coast has become an award-winning testament to the role of women in the male-dominated world of beer.
Carin Luna-Ostaseski, the founder of SIA Scotch Whisky, is a first-generation Cuban American and one of the first Hispanic founders of a scotch whisky brand. This delightfully smooth scotch is a stellar blend of whiskies from four regions across Scotland and a perfect way to jazz up your next Scotch Sour. SIA Scotch Whisky donates a portion of sales to organizations that support entrepreneurs and small business owners, leading the way for others to succeed in the industry.
Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John are sisters on a mission. The pair have been running the largest Black-owned wine company in the U.S., McBride Sisters, and crafting fabulous wines since 2005. A portion of the proceeds from SHE CAN Wines sales go towards the McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund, developed to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry through scholarships, technical training, and sisterhood. That means you get to enjoy all the sophisticated, balanced flavors of this delicious California rosé while doing your part to see women break barriers.
Amy Walberg was searching for an upscale alternative to popular hard seltzers when she decided to make one of her own. It was 2015, and she was pioneering the alcohol seltzer game before many larger brands even started playing. PRESS seltzers are also an excellent low-ABV option for sipping on something fun without the extra booziness. A fancy schmancy version of the beloved hard seltz packed with unique, all-natural flavors? What more could you ask for?
Casa Dragones founder Bertha González Nieves has been called the “First Lady of Tequila,” and it’s far from being the only totally badass title she’s earned. Soon after launching Casa Dragones, González became the first woman to receive the title of Master Tequilera from the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila. She is also Mexico’s first official maestra tequilera — or female master distiller. Talk about paving the way!