Getting more women into whiskey is a labour of love for Sara Hanrahan.
Hanrahan, the restaurant manager of Kamloops’ Forno on 5th, is known in the restaurant as the "whiskey woman" and says she often chats with guests about their collection of over 60 types of whiskey.
“I kept getting feedback from guests, women specifically saying, ‘Oh, this sounds so interesting. My husband, my father, my boyfriend loves whiskey but I don’t know if it’s for me.’ It’s a little bit intimidating to try,” Hanrahan says.
Hanrahan had been involved in organizing other whiskey tastings and found the ratio of men to women to be highly disproportionate, with one event having around 30 men attend and just two women. She says this is a common theme throughout the River City.
“There have been a couple of other whiskey events in town, and I know that they’re all very male-dominated. So I know just from my discussions that there is an interest from women to get into this,” Hanrahan says.
“If (women) are already nervous about it, it just doesn’t seem inviting enough. Whiskey is definitely shedding that reputation of being a man’s drink, but it still has a little bit of that still attached.”
The first part of the project launched on Feb. 24, and Hanrahan says the women, beginners and experienced whiskey drinkers, enjoyed the event.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to develop whiskey tastings that are geared to women at an introductory level, so people felt comfortable coming even if they’re not even sure they like whiskey,” Hanrahan says.
“The intent is to run them so they’re less intimidated and open for beginners to take that nervousness out of it.”
The remaining events are scheduled for Mar. 2 and Mar. 9. The next two will focus on whiskeys around the world and whiskey and food pairings, respectively. Click here for more information and to buy tickets to the events.
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