Fierce Female Distiller: Monica Pearce

As we celebrate March as Women’s History Month, we would like to take this time to highlight a few of Frederick County’s finest women in the agriculture and craft beverage industries.

If you have never been to Tenth Ward Distillery and aren’t familiar with Monica Pearce, here is your chance to get to know one of the fiercest females in the craft beverage industry. Monica started Tenth Ward six years ago with just 1,600 square feet of production and tasting room space combined and the help from her mother on weekends.  In those six years, the business has grown to employ seven full-time staff members within nearly 16,000 square feet of space between two combined locations.

Monica celebrates the uniqueness of being a woman-owned distillery and embodies that within her brand; check out Tenth Ward’s “whiskey woman” merchandise at your next visit. Being a woman in a young craft distillery field has not come without its challenges. She expressed the struggle she and other women distillers face to be recognized as experts in their craft. Monica is working to change that perception. She is also passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive business culture by providing employment opportunities to both women and minorities. Monica shared some advice for women interested in the craft beverage industry. First, “Never stop learning. Attend training and obtain certifications as often as possible.” Furthermore, “Build your brand around being woman-owned and create a network of women entrepreneurs.” Monica encourages those interested to tap into the surrounding free resources early on by following social media groups, blog posts, podcasts, etc.” She also emphasized how women within the industry are extremely supportive and welcoming.

Monica has truly paved the way for distilleries in Frederick County. Although she shared the abundance of red tape she had to filter through as she began Tenth Ward because it was such a new concept (being one of only three craft distillery businesses in the State of Maryland), she praised Frederick County’s work creating the “how-to” guide for starting a craft beverage business.

Monica is the Vice President of the Maryland Distillers Guild board, a member of the Frederick Tourism Council board of directors, and a member of the American Craft Spirits Association. Monica is an advocate for the distilling industry and spends her timing fighting for a fair regulatory process for this growing industry.

To learn more about Tenth Ward Distillery’s monthly can cocktail club, quarterly bottle club, or more about their private event spaces visit Frederick Maryland Distillery | Tenth Ward Distilling Company. You may also visit Homegrown Frederick to keep up with local events featuring our craft beverage industry like the Spring Spirits Soiree on March 26th. If interested in obtaining a copy of the “How to Start a Winery, Brewery, Distillery” guide please email kstevens1@frederickcountymd.gov or rtucker1@frederickcountymd.gov