The Drinks Trust is delighted to welcome a new Chair of the Board of Trustees, Troy Christensen as well as three new Patrons, Ian Burrell, Becky Paskin and Jaega Wise.
Troy Christensen joined the charity’s Board of Trustees in 2018, having been a long-standing supporter of The Drinks Trust both personally and through his company Enotria&Coe. Christensen brings extensive expertise as an industry business leader who will look to build on the extensive work and repositioning the charity undertook in 2020.
Christensen was appointed CEO of Enotria Wine Cellars in June 2014 and oversaw the acquisition of Coe Vintners in 2015, creating one of the largest premium wine and spirits distributors in the UK. Before this role, he spent 15 years in the beverage alcohol industry with Constellation Brands and as Chief Executive Officer of Accolade Wines from 2011 until 2013.
In March 2020, The Drinks Trust introduced its Patron program, with the aim of raising awareness and increasing the charity’s reach and impact.
In 2021, the patrons will be joined by Ian Burrell also known as The Rum Ambassador. An ex-professional basketball player in the UK and international
recording artist, he has now established himself as the world’s only recognised Global Ambassador for the rum category. He has conducted masterclasses and seminars, sipped cocktails and judged competitions on no less than 7 continents around the world. In 2014 he even broke the Guinness World Record for the largest organised rum tasting & masterclass. His passion for rum and cocktails is infectious and in 2007 he not only created the world’s first international Rum festival, The UK RumFest, but also inspired the birth of rum festivals around the world including Miami, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Prague, Hong Kong, California, New York, Chicago and Mauritius. Ian is also currently the rum & cocktail specialist on Channel 4’s entertainment show,” Sunday Brunch”, where he is regularly seen educating celebrity guests on various rums and rum cocktails. He was named the 10th most influential person
in the Global Bar industry, by Drinks International in 2020.
Becky Paskin is a UK-based spirits journalist, whisky specialist and consultant who has been writing about drinks for over 13 years. Most recently she was editor of leading online magazine Scotchwhisky.com and global trade title The Spirits Business. She became the first journalist to gain a General Certificate in Distillation (GCD) with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling – a qualification usually reserved for distillery operators. Becky is also a judge for the IWSC and member of exclusive society Keepers of the Quaich. She was named 2020 Icons of Whisky Communicator of the Year, IWSC Spirits Communicator of the Year 2020 and listed as About Time Magazine’s Top 10 Women to Watch in Drinks 2020.
Becky is an advocate for breaking down cultural misconceptions about whisky, and in 2018 co-founded the OurWhisky movement to promote whisky as a diverse and widely accessible drink. She regularly presents educational seminars at global drinks festivals including Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and The Whisky Show in London.
Troy commented; “This remarkable charity has represented and defended employees of the wine and spirits industry for over a hundred years. After the unbelievable challenges 2020 presented to our industry through the impact of Covid and government policy, this is a very relevant time for The Drinks Trust. The support it offers can be life-changing and reminds us how we can give back through initiatives like The Drinks Community. Combined with the ongoing conversation about the creation of a Minister for Hospitality, the work of The Drinks Trust will be more important than ever in the next few years.”
Jaega Wise is a drinks expert, TV and Radio Presenter. Most recently she featured on Amazon Prime’s The Wine Show & Channel 4’s The Ultimate Shopping List. She is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme. Jaega won the coveted title of Brewer of the Year in 2018 and Best Beer Broadcaster in 2020. She is the recipient of the Evening Standards Progress 1000 most influential Londoners award, and was named one of the most influential people in the Drinks Industry in The Grocer Magazine’s Alcohol Power List. Jaega’s first book ‘Wild Brews’ is due for release in August 2021. Jaega is the Head Brewer of East London based micro Wild Card Brewery. Combining expertise in engineering, mathematics and logistics, she has been leading the brewing team at Wild Card since 2012. Hailing from Nottingham City, Jaega holds a Chemical Engineering Degree and has worked in Water Treatment and International Chemical Trading. She is a member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers.
They will join existing patrons Matthew Rhys, Jancis Robinson MW OBE and Olly Smith as well as Founder Patron, Tom Yusef who said, “The help and time from our new patrons to further our causes whilst helping The Drinks Trust to reach new audiences is greatly appreciated. We are excited to be working with such dynamic and inspirational people in the drinks industry”.