Women Are Redefining The American Craft Spirits Industry

A few months ago, we reported on a study that found millennial women drink as much as their male counterparts. Fast Company now reports that women are also making their way into the craft spirits market.

FC reports that the craft spirits market has grown 27 percent in volume this year and 27 percent in value since 2010. The industry also raked in $2.4 billion in revenue in 2015. The number of craft distilleries in the U.S. today, 1,300, has almost tripled in ten years and is projected to exceed 2,800 by 2020. Many of these craft distilleries are helmed by women.

According to FC, this upward growth can be attributed to more relaxed regulations on spirit-making. The past decade's "cocktail renaissance" has also had a hand in opening the floor up to more high-quality spirits. This trend holds true particularly when the country's top bartenders, such as Ivy Mix, are using such spirits in their bars.

Cocktail Enthusiast editor Kevin Gray tells FC that bartenders helped feed into the spirits revival. "Bartenders played a really big role in popularizing [craft spirits] by putting it on their menus. They helped to bring it out of their shadows," Gray says.

Brands like Gem & Bolt's, founded by Adrina Drina and Elliot Coon, have seen business boom due to the upsurge in the industry. FC reports that Gem & Bolt's damiana-infused mezcal went from zero to 70 retail locations in Austin and Los Angeles over a span of just three months.

Durham Distillery's Melissa Katrincic tells FC that she thinks the lack of stereotype tied to spirits paints a more welcoming picture for those attempting to break in. "I don't feel like there's a stereotype associated yet with who the [craft sprits] distiller has to be, whereas when you think about craft beer...I have that vision of who that is," Katrincic says.