Virginia Beach distillery celebrates all-female production line


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local spirits distillery is taking a shot at evening the playing field when it comes to gender roles in the industry.

Chesapeake Bay Distillery, found in the ViBe Creative District, says their production team has recently become an all-female team.

“It’s great to see women doing a job that’s primarily done by men,” said lead operator Jody Patterson.

She’s been with the company for about two years, but up until recently, she was working behind the bar. During the pandemic, men on the production line tapped out for various reasons, including the former lead operator.

That’s when the distillery’s owner, Chris, approached Patterson about the job. She was excited to take on the responsibility.

“I was anxious to learn because I’d shown interest and it was fun,” she said. Before they knew it, women from within the business were stepping up to fill other positions on the production line left open by their former male coworkers.

Jody says most of the women have children and other responsibilities of their own, but watching them take on these roles behind the scenes has been really empowering.

“You can do anything you want to do. I was making drinks here a year and a half ago and now I’m running production in the back,” said an encouraging Patterson.

Stay with for more local news updates.

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