Meet the Team » Mel Heim
Executive Vice President of Operations - Master Distiller
Mel has been involved in the crafts spirits industry for over ten years first as an apprentice, distiller, head distiller, then Master Distiller and Blender and upwards to her current role as Executive Vice President of Operations at Eastside. Mel’s journey into craft spirits stemmed from a serendipitous encounter at a craft brewery and distillery in Portland, Oregon where she was told she had a good palate by the in-house rum maker. It was that single, insightful observation that led her to pursue this career that was far from her Liberal Arts-focused studies. She was a pioneer for women in craft distilling in 2008 as one of the only female distillers West of the Mississippi and is pleased as punch to see that data point dramatically shifting. As a member of the inaugural board of directors of the Women’s Distillers Guild it has long been her goal to embolden the presence of women in her field. She is proud of the recently completed merger of that guild with the Women of the Vine and Spirits; a move that improves its focus on advocacy for women in the alcohol beverage industry. Mel believes in collaboration over competition and continues to mentor, be mentored and hone her skills as a producer and businesswoman.