L.A. Local, Lifestyle, The Inside Noise
Nov 10, 2023

Behind the Label: Lodestar Whiskey

Get ready for a new whiskey experience with female founded brand, Lodestar Whiskey.

Image Credit: Sally Peterson

Ladies and Gentlemen get ready for a brand new whiskey brand to love! The first-ever whiskey to be backed by Diageo’s Distill Ventures Pre-Accelerator program, Lodestar Whiskey is co-founded by cousins & entertainment industry vets, Anna Axster & Wendelin von Schroder, who sought to restore the sense of community lost to social distancing & sheltering in place when the pandemic halted their business in music management & film production. What they loved most about the decade they spent working together in music and film was building community – bringing people together to connect over shared cultural experiences. Having acquired a taste for whiskey through their travels and at their big family gatherings, Anna and Wendelin decided to craft their own spirit. High-quality but always approachable, it embodies the laid-back California lifestyle where Lodestar is based and the universal truth that life’s special moments are always better when shared. We sat down for a chat with Anna and Wendelin to find out how Lodestar came to be.

Image: Sally Peterson

PPLA: How did you both know that you wanted to go into Whiskey?

LS: As cousins, friends, and colleagues, we spent over a decade working together in music and film.
Having acquired a taste for whiskey backstage and in countless venues, bars, and restaurants
across the country, we started really understanding what flavor notes we liked. We also
noticed that we, as female millennial consumers, did not feel very represented in what was out
there. We had long wanted to create a whiskey that wholly represented us, and when the
pandemic hit and everything in entertainment came to a screeching halt, we realized there was
no better time.

PPLA: Why did you choose to blend the Whiskey?

LS: We visited a lot of distilleries around the US as we were immersing ourselves in the craft of
whiskey making. As we learned about the process and honed in on what flavor profile we
wanted for Lodestar Whiskey, we realized that the best way to achieve what we wanted was
through blending. Once we found the right distilling partner, we worked with them on the
components – really the right barrels of Bourbon and American Single Malt – and we fine-tuned
the blend. We’re very happy with it and can’t wait to finally share it with people.

PPLA: As women what have you found can be the biggest obstacle when creating a
brand? How do you overcome obstacles together?

LS: Perception is still a big thing to overcome. We entered a very male-dominated business and
women are often still underestimated or held to different standards. Anna is also a single mom,
and there still isn’t a fair or ideal solution for mothers who also want their careers to thrive,
especially as entrepreneurs.
We overcome obstacles together through lots of communication and always remembering that
we are on the same team and there to support each other.

PPLA: How long did it take you both to decide on a distiller, can you tell us a bit about
that process?

LS: Surprisingly, deciding on a distilling partner did not take long at all. There were several
contenders, but when we tasted the test batches that ended up leading us to Lodestar Whiskey,
we were really excited by how well our ideas were translating into the product we were tasting. It
was also really rewarding to hear that our distilling partner had not received such a creative and
detailed flavor brief before, so it was fun to create our blend together.

PPLA: From concept to delivery how long did it take to create Lodestar Whiskey?

LS: The desire to create a whiskey brand existed for some time. The idea for Lodestar Whiskey was
born about two years ago.

PPLA: What lesson do you wish you knew when you began your journey.

LS: Supply chain! It’s so not fun or sexy, but it is crucial to success.

PPLA: How do you hope Lodestar connects with consumers?

LS: What we loved most about our work in entertainment was bringing people together to connect
over shared experiences. So, we developed a flavor profile we loved and we feel is
approachable, put it in a bottle, and set out to create a brand that invites everyone to the party.
We hope consumers will feel invited to try it, and that our aim for inclusivity will translate into
people feeling represented by the brand who might not have felt attracted to whiskey before.

PPLA: For whiskey lovers (or newbies) who are just discovering your brand, what do you
want them to know about it?

LS: Lodestar is a high-quality blend of High Rye Bourbon and American Single Malt that whiskey
lovers will enjoy, and whiskey newbies will find approachable and easy to drink. It’s very
smooth, tastes great neat or on the rocks, and makes for a great ingredient in a tasty cocktail.

PPLA: What is your go to Whiskey drink?

LS: A classic whiskey sour with egg white.

PPLA: For anyone new to Whiskey do you have a recipe or cocktail you would
recommend to begin their Whiskey journey?

LS: We love to serve our signature Lodestar Iced tea, which combines Lapsang Souchong (a smoky
black tea) with Lodestar Whiskey, fresh lemon, and a hint of orange; The recipe for that can be
found on our website www.lodestarwhiskey.com