Women in Wine and Spirits: Erstwhile’s Mezcal’s Yuan Jin

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As part of Women’s Month, we at Tipsy want to shine a light on our favorite women wine and spirit-makers, whether they’re new to the game or industry veterans.

Yuan Jin founded Erstwhile Mezcal with her best friend Kevin Brown in 2018, after they were inspired by a trip to Oaxaca, where they saw the sheer number of small, independent mezcal producers who didn’t have a few to export their product into the U.S. – so Jin and Brown started a mezcal importing company.

Jin had no prior experience in the spirits industry and her background was mainly in corporate law where her favorite part of practicing was pro bono advocacy for immigrant families. She’s had a long-held belief that for-profit businesses can be driven by social missions, and contribute to the greater public good. Ji is passionate about educating women in the very male dominated spirits field.

“For me, the importance of women representation in mezcal is part of a bigger truth. I believe that diversity – as measured by how well do decision makers in leadership positions represent their consumer base in terms of their demographics, values and backgrounds – is a good thing,” she writes on a blog for the site titled How to Elevate Women in Mezcal, Wine and Spirits | Part I: Sit at the Table . I believe that hearing the voices of women in mezcal – as consumers and as industry professionals – is essential.

You can learn more about Jin in her interview on the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, where she talks about her shift from lawyer to the spirits industry and what makes mezcal so compelling to her.

Pick up a bottle of Erstwhile Mezcal ($60)"at Tipsy.