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Meet the world’s first female Bourbon Master

Peggy Noe Stevens, founder of the Bourbon Women Association, is the world’s first female Bourbon Master.

Peggy has worked in the beverage industry for 25+ years and was the first female Master Bourbon Taster in the World. Her catalyst to do something for women came as the result of her tastings audiences makeup of predominately men. There may have been a few women in the back of the room, but they only came up with questions when the tasting was over. When Peggy started her own company 7+ years ago, she gathered a group of women from KY to talk about the best vehicle to speak to women about Bourbon. Bourbon Women launched in 2011.

The mission of Bourbon Women is to be an independent resource and inspirational forum, bringing women of all age groups together collectively to share our bourbon affinity.

Bourbon Women Association is represented in 23 states and three countries and has attracted successful businesswomen.

We began because there wasn’t a way to teach women how to drink Bourbon and really officially doing tastings. So as I traveled all across the world to do tastings, it was predominately men. More and more women were coming up and asking me about it so we decided to create our own voice and platform.”

Women have been part of the Bourbon industry for 200 years in various capacities; they just never received the credit. Also, women are the other half of the population to market to, but the industry truly chose men as their profile drinker. Loyal Bourbon Women were out there, just not marketed to. This is a foundational reason we began BW, to help the industry speak to women in a non-commercial way about Bourbon. We educate and mix lifestyle events because we know what women are looking for when they wish to be entertained, learn and spend time with girlfriends.

We are launching three branches this year and Indianapolis is the first! However, we have had Indiana women as members who came to our events in KY and truly saw the benefit of their membership. I credit Natalie Clayton for her passion and leadership in creating the incredible professional group of women here in Indy to start our branch. We will be in Chicago and NY as well this year.

Bourbon Women host quality events that encourage networking and education; there is always a learning component. Bourbon Women has created a voice in the industry, as we are already seeing a change in the marketing of spirit brands to women. We need to keep that voice and help the industry understand what women want.

Upcoming Bourbon Women Indy launch events include:

March 7th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Payless Store near Greenwood Park Mall

March 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Vine & Table in Carmel

The first two events are complimentary and called Sip & Shops. The events are built around the introduction to Bourbon and meeting many representatives in the industry to talk about their brands. Women are usually the ones who buy products for parties and entertaining, so they can kill two birds with one stone and shop for their needs as well while enjoying the fun and energetic atmosphere of being with other women.

For more information you can follow them on Twitter: @BourbonWomen or visit their website at