It might be surprising that a company as old as Lucas Bols (celebrating 440 years this year) would create a titillating campaign called Girls With Bols. But then, Bols isn’t your grandpa’s spirits company. It’s a forward-thinking organization that almost singlehandedly resurrected genever’s popularity and continues to develop new liqueurs for the modern cocktail culture.
“Girls with Bols is a mentoring program for ladies who are emerging leaders in the spirits industry.”
Kate Gerwin, who was mentored by dynamic role models including winemaker Helen Turley and Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, spearheads the Girls with Bols initiative in the US.
“Both men and women can benefit from having a strong female role model”, Gerwin explains, “and we wanted to provide cities with growing and developed cocktail scenes with a go-to lady who is passionate about helping the next generation of bartenders be successful and make intelligent decisions for their future.”
As the first female world champion of the Bols Around the World competition, Gerwin had Bols’ help in founding Girls with Bols. One of the group’s most successful events was the group’s sponsorship of and participation in Speed Rack, an all-female speed bartending competition that benefits breast cancer research.
Bols’ involvement in Girls with Bols is a natural development, considering that it was the wife of Bols’ founder who “branded” the spirit, ensuring that its name and concept never changed.
“This is back in the 1600s,” observes Gerwin, “the woman was a true pioneer in developing a brand and growing a company. Can you imagine? That’s why Lucas Bols still has the same company name today as it did 400 years ago. And we all have a lady to thank for that.”