Mentoring: A European First

I am delighted to share with you a video from Sofie Masson who is now a great Ambassador for our mentoring programme.

When we started the Business of Spirits (BOS) initiative with our education partners the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), Heriot Watt (ICBD) and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) the aim was to share the incredible depth of knowledge and experience of our membership with the next generation of young distillers and industry entrepreneurs. The course is a full day seminar packed with industry insights and learnings.

In parallel, our Vocational Training and Education team (VT&E) also introduced our personal one-on-one mentoring programme. In two short years this has gone from strength to strength with now 40 mentees being matched to and guided by 40 of our volunteer mentors.

Sofie Masson is one such mentee. Hailing from The Black Forest in Germany she has a family farming business.  Discovering an old still in one of their barns, Sofie believed there may be an opportunity to expand into the international whisky market and innovate the family spirits portfolio. The business is called BRANDHAUS7. To this end, in 2022 she enrolled with the IBD in London to learn how to create a German Whisky and also distil craft Fruit Spirits, a category already popular in Germany.

Having met our BOS team at the seminar in London Sofie then joined our mentor programme.

Matching the needs of the mentee with the skills and experience of our mentors is a priority and carefully considered by our Livery team.

I would like to thank, in this case Liveryman Steve Wilson for so generously agreeing to give his time and knowledge over the last year since November 2022 and make such a difference to Sofie.

Please do watch the video and get a sense of the difference that YOU could possibly make.

Thank you also to all our mentors and the VT&E mentoring team led by Richard Watling, Clive Bairsto, Edward Bates and Nick Carr.

We are keen to find mentors to support our growing programme. If anyone is interested in helping with this great initiative, please contact Clive Bairsto:

Chris Searle
Master 2022-23