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LUCY O'BRIEN

We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!


LUCY O'BRIEN

Distiller at Lawrenny Estate Distillery, TAS


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


1-3 years.


WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY?


Throughout my 10+ years of hospitality experience, I had the privilege to work in a number of incredible venues where I was exposed to the weird and wonderful world of spirits and cocktail bartending.


I was drawn to the intricacies of sensory analysis, and the vast array of aromas and flavours that one singular spirit was crafted to emit. I often pondered about the science and processes behind each spirit, which inevitably led me to my position in the industry today.


With an ever growing love and appreciation for whisky (having both Irish and Scottish ancestry), I decided to make the move from FNQ to Tasmania, a space where the craft whisky industry is flourishing.

3 months after making the move, I commenced my role at Lawrenny Estate Distillery.


YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY?


My proudest moment would have to be when I secured my position as a distiller; a mere 9 months after working in the bottling, cellar door sales and events role for Lawrenny Estate Distillery.


WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?


The biggest challenge I have found is definitely the constant realisation that ‘the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know’. It is a challenge, but also a driving factor to learn and gain as much knowledge as possible in order to progress in this industry.


WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?


Although, in comparison to our international counterparts we are still relatively new to the distilling game; I always implore others to explore the incredible range of craft spirits that Australia continues to produce. There is a reason why our spirits are bringing home numerous gold medals from competitions such as the San Francisco Spirit Awards and World Whisky Masters. Why not support your local distilleries, rather than gravitate towards the less costly big brand international distilleries.


WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?


Be patient with yourself. Good things take time and the right path will show itself when you are ready for it.


WHAT IS YOUR SPECIAL TALENT/PARTY TRICK?

I’ve been playing the ukulele for close to 10 years now. So I love to share this talent with those that appreciate a little song to brighten their day.


ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT US TO KNOW?

Never stop reading, researching and learning. Even whilst completing the most menial tasks, you can gain knowledge from completing if you’re open to it.


WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?


The people that have inspired me would have to be my colleagues. Our Head Distiller Joe Dinsmoor, for being such an incredible mentor and all up extremely talented human being when it comes to every aspect of this industry.

As well as my colleague Chloe Oppitz. Without the knowledge that I have learnt and continue to learn from Chloe, I wouldn’t be the distiller that I am today.






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