Spirit Works Distillery appoints head distiller

9th January, 2017 by Annie Hayes

California-based “grain-to-glass” distillery Spirit Works has promoted Lauren Patz to the role of head distiller.


Patz will take over the role formerly held by Ashby Marshall, distillery co-founder

The Sonoma County-based site, which boasts an all-female production team, will see production manager/distiller Patz take over the role formerly held by Ashby Marshall, distillery co-founder.

The daughter of Napa winery owners, Patz grew up with a “keen understanding” of flavour; tasting grapes off the vines and testing brix with her parents at an early age.

She graduated from Bates College with a double major in Japanese and Classical Medieval Studies and worked as a tour docent and private pairings expert for San Francisco-based TCHO Chocolate.

Patz then joined Spirit Works in 2014 as tasting room manager and apprentice distiller and says the promotion is “a dream come true”.

“I am incredibly excited to be kicking off the new year in this role,” she said. “I have learned from the best here with Ashby as a mentor and inspiration. I’m looking forward to digging in and continuing to put Spirit Works on the map as a producer of the highest quality, most innovative, handcrafted spirits.”

“We can’t speak highly enough of Lauren and how deserving she is of this promotion to head distiller,” said Timo Marshall, Spirit Works proprietor and co-founder.

“She’s been an incredibly talented apprentice from day one. She not only has an exceptional palate for distillation and the passion to present consumers with simply the highest quality spirits made, she is incredibly creative, innovative and forward-thinking – constantly looking for ways to experiment with new ingredients and techniques and expand our portfolio offerings.”

Timo’s wife, Ashby, will step into a new role as brand director, and will be responsible for the brand vision, direction and voice of the distillery as it continues to grow.

“This is such an exciting time for the distillery,” he added. “Shifting Lauren into the distilling leadership role allows Ashby to get back to her strategic marketing and branding roots as our brand director.

“She is intricately tied to the legacy of our brand – knowing our company, our spirits and our team inside and out and from the ground up. There is no one better suited to lead our Spirit Works brand to the next chapter.”

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