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LAUREN PATZ

Head Distiller, Spirit Works Distillery
Seminar: Panel 1

As Spirit Works Distillery head distiller, Lauren oversees all development and production of the Distillery’s significant range of grain-to-glass, artisan spirits, including Vodka, Gin, Navy Strength Gin, Sloe Gin, Barrel Gin, Barrel Reserve Sloe Gin, Straight Wheat Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey.  Since her arrival on the Spirit Works Distillery team in 2013 as tasting room manager and apprentice distiller, Lauren has been on a quick trajectory toward a leading role at the helm of the Distillery floor.  Following in the footsteps of Distillery co-founder and distilling mentor, Ashby Marshall (now Spirit Works Brand Director), Lauren took the reins as distilling lead in early 2017, lending her keen palate and love for creativity and innovation to the Distillery’s all-female distilling teams – one of the few in the country.

 

A St. Helena, CA native and the daughter of respected Napa winery owners, Lauren grew up with a keen understanding of flavor and palate – tasting grapes off the vines and testing brix with her parents at an early age.  After graduating from Bates College with a double major in Japanese and Classical Medieval Studies and returning from three years abroad in Japan, Lauren put her keen palate to use as a tour docent and private pairings expert for San Francisco-based TCHO Chocolate. It was a chocolate and bourbon pairing that solidified her path to the spirits world, opening a new realm of understanding about flavor possibility in whiskey, how to taste spirits properly and appreciation for the emerging craft distilling industry. A chance opening at Spirit Works as the tasting room manager enabled her to engage her expertise in consumer education while learning production on the distillery floor.

 

When Lauren isn’t on the Distillery floor, you’ll find her taking classes to further her distilling and winemaking knowledge; trying new cocktails and spirits; attempting vegan baking, and playing board games with her friends and family. She enjoys lurking in coffee shops consuming excessive amounts of caffeine while reading, writing, and plotting her next small batch bottlings and experiments.