The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

Announcing our second annual awards for the year’s Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink. In collaboration with Fortune magazine, we considered hundreds of extraordinary women who we think have had a transformative impact on the food and drink sphere of the past year. These entrepreneurs and idealists are changing the world: Transforming food and waste into energy, using their “girl-power notions” to help fellow mixologists, and more. Learn more about their stories by following the hashtag #FWWinnovators.

16. Bertha González Nieves, Tequila Casa Dragones Cofounder and CEO Known in some circles as the First Lady of Tequila, Bertha González Nieves—the first woman ever to be certified as a "Maestra Tequilera"—is bringing artisanal, small-batch sipping tequila to Americans. González Nieves, who was a top executive at the largest tequila company in the world, decided to go small in 2008, when she went into business with media mogul and investor Bob Pittman. Over the next two years, González Nieves explored agaves from different regions and learned about various methods of extraction and cooking; in 2009, she launched a first run of 1,000 nine-liter cases of the limited-edition sipping tequila Casa Dragones Joven. Last year, Casa Dragones rolled out its first Blanco tequila, giving the brand a foothold in the cocktail game. Between both lauded lines, the company is approaching 10,000 nine-liter cases for 2016.

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