Singing women's praises.

We talk to some of our favourite women in the drinks industry.

· Women in Drinks

Founder of The Mixing Class, spirit educator + part-time DJ, we caught up with Hannah Lanfear, learnt her industry story and asked her why she thinks women are so integral to the UK's drinks industry.

Words by Jenny Griffiths

So Hannah, tell us about who you are and what you're doing with The Mixing Class?
"I'm Hannah Lanfear, and the founder of The Mixing Class. Working with my wonderful colleagues Max Ostwald and Rose Brookman we deliver spirits education to several hundred students every year. Predominantly those taking spirits courses tend to work in the business in some way so the types of people that take our courses are bartenders, bar managers and sales reps, as well as people more on the production side, be they distillery workers or brand owners, and a smattering of enthusiasts who are just keen to learn more."

That sounds awesome, why do you think teaching people more about spirits is so important?
"I've always held dear the belief that education is a fantastic tool for career mobility, meaning that learning and acquiring qualifications can set you on a better path in life. I founded The Mixing Class with the intent that we wouldn't only provide spirits education, but that we would do everything we could to get it to the people who might need it most. It's a wonderful job and I love every minute of it. It's my sincere hope that we can ignite a passion for learning about spirits in our students that they will carry with them for the future."

Having myself been taught by Hannah for WSET level 3, I can attest to how great she is as an educator and woman in the industry. Hannah is a huge advocate for women across the drinks industry and has inspired me to learn more since we met. So Hannah, why do you think we need to continue championing women in the drinks and hospitality industry?

"An appreciation of the contribution women make to the cocktail and spirits industry has been something that has profoundly changed for the better over my twenty one years in the trade. What's essential I think is that we never rest in making sure that all of us have access to career mobility. While there are still most definitely prejudices and unspoken biases out there that still adversely affect women there has been enormous positive change and I guess I'm proof of the pudding that a woman can get to where they want to be despite the challenges they may face.

Is there anything you'd improve for women in the drinks industry?
  "...since white women have predominantly benefitted from a seachange over these last two decades then it's only right that we extend our hand to women of underrepresented minority backgrounds and together overthrow the white patriarchy! The cocktail and spirits industry is international, so wherever we can mobilise to ensure that our industry eradicates unfairness of opportunity then we should - and there is still so much work to be done!"

We couldn't have said it better! There is much work to be done in the UK to attain equality across every spectrum, but the work women like Hannah are doing to improve and educate really is inspiring.

You can find out more about education available from Hannah and her team here.  


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