Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Women and Whiskey phenomenon is nothing new. In fact, it dates back to the days before and leading up to prohibition where women ran the show. It wasn’t a glamorous period as Whiskey wasn’t exactly a ladies drink. Women were hustlers engaging in illicit acts of prostitution and bootlegging as a way of generating income and not paying taxes on whiskey. "Women bootleggers ranged from the pretty faces to the shot callers. They included one-time bootleggers looking to make quick cash and rich women financing ships hauling $100,000 worth of smuggled whiskey. Women were so good that, at one point, agents believed female bootleggers outsold the men five sales to one."
With prostitution, the Temperance Movement and other events distilling industry leaders chose not to recognize women and agreed not to market to them. The long drawn journey continued into 1950’s, more than a decade after Prohibition. Women of the Temperance movement tried banning alcohol advertising and fought to get a law passed with Congress. On the contrary, the alcohol industry formed women’s groups to fight the opposition. The industry won, however this lead to, yet a second Prohibition; ‘Why Women & Whiskey’.
It was in the 1990s, women began entering the industry with dignity, often on the production end, as blenders or tasters. Today, the industry has exploded as women have earned their ranks and place as executives at major spirit companies. On the consumer end, whiskey’s popularity was more connected in part to women affiliated in the business. these women were the purveyors of whiskey focused events and organizations. Nowadays, there are a growing number of Whiskey and Women clubs across the USA bringing women together sharing the common love for the spirit. Twenty years ago, about 15% of women claimed to drink whiskey with some frequency, but today 37% of women represent the market share.
With the ever growing popularity, we at 67 W & S, want to continue to embrace women, embrace the spirits and continue the legacy of Women and Whiskey.
We are excited to kick off our first series with Javier Marcelo Brand Ambassador for Michter's Distillery, America’s first whiskey company in 1753.