Celebrating International Women’s Day – Featuring Kristy Booth-Lark
Wife, mother of 3, daughter, sister, prospective air traffic controller, crafter, whisky and gin enthusiast and first female distillery owner in Australia, just a few of the words that can be used to describe Kristy Booth-Lark, the remarkable woman behind Lark Distillery in it’s recent years, and Killara Distillery in it’s current.
Kristy comes from pedigree spirit stock, the daughter of Lyn and Bill Lark. Kristy was taught by her mum to distil botanicals in a way that can set your mouth on fire (in a good way), and it was her father who taught her how to make fantastic whisky.
Following her departure from Lark Distillery in 2015, Kristy seized the opportunity to set up her own distillery. Killara was established in mid-2016, with the first new make spirit running from the still in August 2016.
With the Killara whisky currently sleeping through its maturation, the Apothecary Gin also produced by Kristy, is taking the industry by storm.
Apothecary Gin is produced using 10 different botanicals that are each individually distilled in a small copper pot still then married together to create the perfectly balanced gin. This gives greater control and consistency over each botanical and each batch. Kristy considers the recipe “a fairly juniper driven gin with citrus and an Australian twist”
The whisky is matured in 20lt and 100lt barrels. These are predominantly Australian ex-Port casks as well as a few sherry, bourbon and red wine casks for variety. Whisky is expected to be available in August 2018.
There is no doubt that the industry needs more female leaders to bring balance and diversity. When asked where do you see the future of the industry where women are concerned, Kristy says with confidence “When I started distilling, the industry in Australia was relatively small so there weren’t many opportunities for women to get involved, or men either really. It is only in the last few years that the industry has steamed ahead and there are opportunities becoming available for those that are interested. As the industry gets bigger there will be more opportunities for women to get involved, not just in distilling but in all aspects of running a distillery. I think the industry as a whole can benefit from having more women involved.”
This was one of the reasons that Kristy started the Australian Women in Distilling Association (AWDA), to promote awareness of the industry to women looking to enter into the distilling community and the promotion of women within these activities to those outside the distilling industry. A place for women to find support, encouragement and to celebrate other like-minded women in the Australian distilling industry.
There is no doubt that Kristy is destined for greatness. Her skill combined with her passion for distilling is in her blood, and with her commitment to creating excellent spirits, we expect to see Killara taking the spirit awards by force in the coming years.
We raise a glass and say congratulations for all of your success so far!
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