One of the great mysteries to me in the distillation community is the disproportionate ratio of genders among master distillers. Certainly at some point along the way, the craft of distillation took on the notion of being a gendered profession. Just like at one point “nurse,” “flight attendant,” “blacksmith,” or “fireman” conjured up a notion of a specific gender and a specific kind of person in each of these professions, “distiller” is a title which to some conjures up a vision of a man.
Why is this? Why in a modern day where male flight attendant and women police officers are sufficiently common place as to no longer even be worth noting upon, that the world of distillation is so dominated by men that Bloom master distiller Joanne Moore in promotional literature has been heralded as the world’s “only” female master distiller. Now certainly this might be hyperbole [there are several female distillers in the United States craft spirit circuit, Sonja Kassebaum at North Shore, Melissa Heim at Rogue to name a couple members of the Clear Boots Society] or technicality [maybe the title “Master Distiller” is a special designation of certain companies that technically other women distillers do not happen to hold]; however, “technically” false that statement might be it does shed light on a mystery.