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    Eat & Swig

    Woodford's Marianne Barnes Named Forbes 30 Under 30
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    Congratulations to Marianne Barnes, Master Taster at Woodford Reserve, on being named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Food and Drink.  This is a national award that recognizes the best and brightest in fifteen different categories.  At 28 years old, Barnes is one of the highest ranking women in the bourbon industry, and is rumored to be on track for a future as the next Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve.

    According to the Forbes article, “Despite having no background in spirits of any kind, Barnes is bucking industry conventions and making her own path. She puts her chemical engineering degree to use every day on the job, relying on science to craft her bourbon, and is the chosen protégé to become Woodford Reserve’s next Master Distiller.”

    Women’s role in the bourbon industry was recently brought to light by Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of how Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey.  Women have historically been the ones running distilling operations large and small and have also owned large companies stealthily.

    Many of these accomplishments have gone unrecognized, but the tide is turning for women in the industry.  Last year Marge Samuels, matriarch of Maker’s Mark bourbon, was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall Of Fame posthumously.  Her influence made Maker’s Mark the recognizable brand it is today.

    The bourbon boom has provided opportunities for many people in Kentucky to excel in what has now become our largest industry.  Congratulations to Barnes on this high honor, and also thank you for showcasing Kentucky’s Native spirit for the rest of the world to see.

    Photo Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

    Maggie Kimberl's picture

    About Maggie Kimberl

    I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I write the bourbon news, which keeps me plenty busy since Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe. See bourbon news happening? Contact me on Twitter @LouGirl502!

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