Dervilla McGowan | Craft distiller

How she made the leap from academia to award-winning gin maker

Dervilla McGowan is the Geelong-based owner, distiller and CEO of Anther Spirits.

Dervilla McGowan had always loved science, ever since she was a kid. She went on to study microbiology at uni and even completed a PhD.

But at the end of her studies, she realised a career in academia wasn’t for her… and instead she wanted to use her scientific skills to make craft gin!

Derv and her hubby launched Anther in 2016, an award-winning gin brand that celebrates Australian botanicals and employs mostly women. More recently, they built their own distillery and bar at the historic woollen mills in North Geelong.

Derv is now a leader in Australia’s craft distillation industry and is passionate about supporting and empowering more women to join her.

In this episode, Derv chats with host Jacqui Ooi about:

  • What drew her to study science and why she eventually gave it up
  • How her early days as a bartender in London developed her palate and interest in spirits
  • The process of making a career change in her 40s and starting a business with no formal training
  • Why she loves making gin and championing women in the distillation industry
  • Her best tips and recommendations for aspiring career changers and business owners

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