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MICAELA MANSFIELD

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!



MICAELA MANSFIELD

Drinks Specialist at Granddad Jack's Craft Distillery ,QLD


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


4-7 years WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY? "I worked in Hospitality for the past 10 years and I was looking for a bigger challenge and a different environment, inside the same industry. Working behind the bar serving drinks is so much fun, but after a few years, you just want more challenges and a different scene. I've always been interested in the variety of spirits available in the market and when I got the chance to apply for a job at Granddad Jack's, I didn't hesitate to take the first step into a whole new journey in my working career."

YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY? "The proudest moment that led to challenge me to be doing what I am doing today, was getting my own limited release after my first year anniversary working at Granddad Jack's and winning the Silver medal at the Tasting Australian Spirit Awards in the category of New Make Unaged Spirits with my Moonshine. I was totally shocked I came up with an award winning idea, and that impulsed me to start discovering a new phase inside my career on making drinks; my range went from experimenting with flavours to create cocktails, to a whole new (entry) level in the spirits industry and working at a distillery like Granddad Jack's where they gave me such freedom to discover this new aspect of me was key and a very proud turning point. Now I produce limited releases and work on recipe development and I'm so stoked about it!"


ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU'VE FOUND IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Working at a family owned small craft distillery, I realized everything is quite challenging, in every single aspect. Having the funds to produce high quality unique spirits, promoting yourself out there in a very competitive market, finding ways to distribute your products without losing yourself in the system, and the list goes on forever! But I always stick to my motto as a good everyday challenge that drives me to achieve excellence in anything I do: Promote a unique spirit, directly to the people, with a good story behind, because we work too damn hard at the distillery for our spirits to be lost in the ocean of infinite spirits and offers and even though it's super challenging, it is as well super rewarding to see people choose what you produce for them because they love the story we tell as much as we do."

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

"To get onto them right now! I love the fact that the craft spirits industry in Australia is getting so spread out around every inch of this land. Every single one of us is making something different for every palate out there and the quality of Australian Craft Spirits is outstanding and has nothing to envy on the traditional countries with established distilleries for centuries. Aussie spirits are super innovative, unique and eccentric (there's super cool takes on whiskey and even Vegemite Moonshines and Lamington Vodkas! How cool is that!). There's surely a craft distillery out there for every single person, including the most traditional drinkers, so start searching and supporting local and craft!"

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

"'You've done really well! I'm proud of you!' I'm from Argentina, and as a wild adventurer I decided to take a leap of faith and move to Australia to see what could happened. Finished uni, booked a one way ticket and 9 years later here I am! Totally different life than what I'd planned when I was a child, not working on the career path I thought I would be, happily married with a kid and another one on the way, and with a huge adopted family with where I work and they have treated me like family since day one. So yes, I'm pretty proud of having taken the first step into a whole new level of unexpected but totally rewarding life!"

WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW?

"I just want to encourage other people, especially women, to get out there and be confident in who you are and your worth. I know there's a lot of talk around this topic through Instagram influencers and social media, but sometimes the actual message gets lost in real life. I am a normal woman from overseas that took a chance in another country and was rewarded with really good things happening in my life. But it took a lot of hard work, tears, resilience and faith in myself, so that I can achieve whatever I want if I put the work into it. I'm nowhere near finished yet, but I wish this message can encourage other women in pursuing their dreams and aspirations, especially in an industry that is so male dominant." WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION IN YOUR CAREER?


"Many people helped shape who I am today, but I'd say Luke Ridden, my boss at Granddad Jack's is the biggest inspiration so far. He's the hardest working young dude that I've ever met and he leads by example all the time. He taught me to work hard and you can achieve your goals, pushed me to my limits to show me I have no limits, you just create them yourself in your mind. But most importantly, he gave me his trust and the freedom to expand my knowledge, to experiment new ways to make his business grow, and is always helping me get one step closer to my goals. So yeah, quite proud, lucky and happy to be working with my mentor at the moment."


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