January 13, 2015

Portland Spirits Society

A few weeks ago, an NPR story caught my attention: Not Just a Man's Drink: Ladies Lead the Whiskey Renaissance. Women? Whiskey? Yes, please. 

The story featured Heather Greene, who teaches Whiskey 101 at New York's The Flatiron Room. Greene relayed a growing interest in whiskey amongst women, but that they often wondered if drinking whiskey would make them seem too aggressive or were intimidated by the male-dominated culture of whiskey drinking.

In listening, I thought of the Maine Beer Mavens, a local group of women interested in learning more about craft beer. The Mavens have the expected beer tastings and brewery tours, but also offer looks into the angles industry, like distribution, HR, and marketing. Then I thought, I wonder if the Mavens would be interested in learning about whiskey too?

So I got in touch with Maine Beer Mavens' coordinator Lora Burns to ask her about coordinating a women's whiskey tasting. We met for some whiskey at Portland Hunt & Alpine (OK, I got sucked in by my favorite cocktail of late, the Jack Rose: applejack, grenadine, and lemon juice - kind of the polar opposite of whiskey). And it turns out Lora has also had thoughts about starting a spirits appreciation club. Thus, the Portland Spirits Society was born.

Design by Elizabeth Hunter (my sister!!)

Lora and I are very excited about mobilizing some whiskey-loving ladies to meet the people behind Maine's craft spirits and to explore our newfound whiskey preferences. We're planning a beginners tasting event and tours of local whiskey distilleries. We hope to find knowledgeable ladies who work in the whiskey industry to talk and drink with us.

Once the Spirits Society gets rolling, we'll expand to learn about other liquors based on the group's preferences. Follow our page on facebook to be updated with future events, and if you have any ideas for the group, be it topics or contacts within the greater Portland area, email me (ha, I typed femail - perfect) at blueberryfiles at gmail dot com.