Bombay Sapphire’s Master Distiller Dr Anne Brock is to be installed as the first female head of The Gin Guild, the industry body celebrating excellence in the distillation and worldwide promotion of the spirit.

Dr Brock, who has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford, will be sworn in as Grand Rectifier at the Gin Guild Installation at Mansion House, London, on 11 October, before the Annual Banquet hosted by the Guild’s parent company, The Worshipful Company of Distillers.

After working as lead distiller at Bermondsey Distillery for four years, Dr Brock was appointed Master Distiller for Bombay Sapphire in 2017, working at the Laverstoke Mill distillery in Hampshire with Master of Botanicals, Ivano Tonutti.

Dr Brock, who spent two years working as a bartender before completing her university studies, brings her technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the gin category to her role leading Bombay Sapphire’s team of 16 distillers.

Nicholas Cook, Director General of The Gin Guild, said:

“There is a strong historical tradition of women distillers and female Master Distillers are adding to the variety and innovation that is fuelling the continuing global success of gin.

“We are delighted to welcome Anne as The Gin Guild’s fourth – and first female – Grand Rectifier, to continue the work of her predecessors in bringing together craft distillers, brand leaders and all those involved in the industry around the world to share knowledge and promote excellence in the category.”

Dr Brock said: “I have been a big fan of The Gin Guild since I joined. It provides a really important network and connectivity to the industry, which is especially helpful for smaller producers who may be working alone.

“I look forward to continuing to promote membership as the Guild diversifies, with members from more and more countries, and to debating vital issues, from distillery safety to maintaining a balance between the integrity of the category and promoting innovation.

“Innovation is the key to the phenomenal success of our industry, but it needs to move forward in the right way. Gin is such a versatile, delicious and exciting spirit and the mix of craft distillers and global brands gives it the ability and agility to take risks, exploring new botanicals and processes which enhance the quality and variety of the juniper-led spirit.”

Dr Brock said she was particularly enthusiastic about the Guild’s Gin-Note initiative, which provides members with a fantastic tool to describe and present their gins in a way which helps consumers and bar tenders to make informed choices as they navigate the growing number of styles and brands.

“As consumers’ knowledge of gin increases, a lot more people know a lot more about gin than five to ten years ago,” said Dr Brock. “Consumers are interested in the people who make their gin, its provenance and story – this variety continues to attract new consumers and appeal to new markets and makes it a very exciting time for the industry.”

Dr Brock will be installed as The Gin Guild’s Grand Rectifier at a formal ceremony at London’s Mansion House, reflecting the traditions of the trade guilds of the City of London.

The Guild will also install 25 new members, bringing its membership to 350. Those members represent many more in their respective gin brands and are drawn from 23 different countries across five continents.