IBD's 138th anniversary

Angela Coral Medina, PhD in Microbial Biotechnology

Could you please introduce yourself briefly and share how you started working in the drinks industry? 

I am a Colombian living in Ireland, really enjoying my time here. I work in Irish Distillers in the Brewing and Distilling Support role. I started as an Industrial Microbiologist, then became MSc in Molecular Biology with Biotechnology and PhD in Microbial Biotechnology. My PhD focused on aroma production by yeast in wine and cider fermentation, that is how my career in the drinks industry started. Pernod Ricard was the industrial partner of the project, and I had the opportunity to link with Irish Distillers, where I work now.

When did you become a member of the IBD, and what attracted you to become a member?  

I have been following IBD since 2022 and I have attended different webinars and events since then. I became a member when I started working in Irish Distillers. My interest then was to complete the General Certificate in Distilling, which I did in March 2023. What attracted me most to become a member was having access to all the information and expertise from people in this consortium.  

Can you share a highlight or memorable experience from your time as a member of the IBD so far? 

A memorable experience as a member was the Irish Section Annual Dinner 2024, where I shared nice time with my colleagues and met other people from the industry. It was interesting chatting with them, all working in different roles but sharing the same purpose. 

How do you see the industry evolving in the coming years, and what opportunities or challenges do you anticipate? 

I see the brewing and spirits industry growing in the coming years, driven by consumers knowing and having access to all types of drinks and spirits that exist in the world, originated in diverse cultures. With that, I believe there will also be technological advancements, sustainability initiatives and regulatory changes to produce fermented beverages. 

How do you stay updated with industry trends and advancements? 

To stay updated I mainly follow organizations and companies in social media; I attend webinars where research findings are shared, and I also keep in touch with people from other disciplines working in this field, they provide different viewpoints which is valuable to me. 

Are there any mentors or role models who have had a significant influence on your career journey? 

Sure, there are many role models in this industry with who I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate, and I am grateful for that. The person who has had a significant influence in my journey is David Quinn, Irish Distillers Technical Director, he is my mentor and someone I look up to, not only as a professional but as a person. 

Finally, is there anything else you would like to share about your experience in the industry? We welcome any additional thoughts, anecdotes, or reflections you'd like to contribute. Feel free to leave this one blank if you wish. 

I would like to share how much enjoy talking about brewing, fermentation, and distillation with my friends because they are always interested in knowing more about beverages background and production methods. I think the magic part of this field is the tight relation between the drink as product, the technology used for making and culture and tradition. I keep gladly learning about it.