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Panel Discussion: From confinement to emergence – how we’ll work through COVID-19

Panel Discussion: From confinement to emergence – how we’ll work through COVID-19

Chairman: Dr Anne Brock, Bombay Sapphire
Educated at Oxford University, Anne achieved a PhD in Organic Chemistry from St. Catherine’s College before embarking on a career as a gin distiller. During her four years at Bermondsey Gin Ltd she managed the distillery build in London and took over production of their two gins from a contract distiller.

She was solely responsible for gin production as well as overseeing the day to day running of the business. In 2017 Anne became part of a team in Goa that set up India’s first craft gin distillery, leading the recipe development of two gins – Greater Than and Hapusa.

Joining Bombay Sapphire as Master Distiller in September 2017 she now works alongside her team of 17 distillers to produce Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Dry, Star of Bombay and Oxley.

As part of an innovation team, with Bombay’s Master of Botanicals, Ivano Tonutti, she is working to build a pipeline of Limited Editions for Bombay, the first of which was launched in 2019 – Bombay Sapphire English Estate. Anne has been on the board of Directors at the Gin Guild since 2015 and is Grand Rectifier of the Guild, an honorary position held for two years. Recently she was named on the IWSC and WSET’s Future 50 list.

Melissa Katrincic, Durham Distillery USA (President & CEO, Co-Founder)
With twenty plus years of pharmaceutical, consumer products goods and advertising agency expertise, Melissa Katrincic leads Durham Distillery and Conniption gin as it positions itself as a prominent U.S. national brand.

A benefactor of Constellation Ventures “Focus on Female Founders” program in 2019, Melissa is recognized as a distinguished executive and leader in the craft spirits industry today. Melissa currently serves on the American Craft Spirits Association COVID-19 national task force focused on hand sanitizer, was Vice President of the Distilling Association of North Carolina, lobbied for the industry to the U.S.

Congress in Washington D.C. and spoke as an invited expert on gin for the American Distilling Institute. She is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Women of the Vine & Spirits and is an authority on North Carolina spirits. As a physics graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Katrincic supports education for women, especially “STEM” education.

Anand Virmani, NAÖ Spirits
The first Craft-Gin maker from India, Anand Virmani is bottling up stories and experiences from across this diverse country to take to the rest of the world. Over 3 years Anand has launched a London Dry Gin and a Contemporary-style Himalayan Dry Gin and there’s still a lot more to come.

Most recently prior to the Gin project, Anand helped set up three leading Cocktail, Wine and Coffee destinations in the capital city of New Delhi under the umbrella of Perch Wine and Coffee Bars.

Georgie Bell, Bacardi
Georgie Bell, Global Malts Ambassador for John Dewar and Sons, Bacardi, has already built up a rather enviable reputation in the whisky industry. With A BSc in Distillation, a background in the bar industry, coupled with a love of travel, endless devotion, drive and determination Georgie has made it her life mission to get under the skin of whisky.

Georgie is also an active Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Standing up to misconceptions and challenging the so-called ‘image’ of whisky along with all the stereotypes that go with it, Georgie is striving for diversity within the category.

Georgie heads up Advocacy Programming for the Incubation brands at Bacardi – and offers insights into how brands and working with and supporting bartenders during modern times.

Ashley Hunka, East London Liquor Company
Ashley has been a part of the East London Liquor Co team for 5 years, where she heads up the communications, marketing and events side of the business across the brands 20+ markets globally.

Her background is in gastronomy, working as a food + drinks journalist before joining Camden Town Brewery and then making the jump to spirits.

Shay Chamberlain, Black Pearl
Shay Chamberlain has spent most of the last 12 years behind (cocktail), bars. After five years learning the trade in London, she returned home to work at Bulletin Place, Sydney, then moved on to open Big Poppa’s, before making the move to Melbourne, where you can find her mixing drinks at Black Pearl.

Last year she led the charge with a collaboration with Never Never Distilling to produce a Black Juniper Amaro. Shay was named in Drinksworld’s top 25 bartenders in 2018 and 2019, was among Australian Bartender’s Top 100 Most Influential 2019 people, and has also been an associate judge in the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards.