Jennifer Kiessling

Jennie has been involved in food and drink for many years - everything from pairings and pop-ups to events and the Slow Food movement. She's worked more directly with alcohol-free alternatives since 2017 both in Switzerland (where she is based) and in Germany, where she and a business partner established the Mindful Drinking Club in Berlin in 2021. 

An online and bricks-and-mortar store that supplies local bars, restaurants and retailers, as well as AF-seeking Berliners, it has a very particular focus, concentrating on 'unique alternatives rather than alcohol-free copies of existing beverages.'

Jennie's favourite category is 'proxies' - alternatives to wine and sparkling wine that are not de-alcoholised wine, but do a similar job. 'I love the approach that more and more producers are taking to create unique and complex flavour profiles that stand for themselves and are not trying to be something else,' she says.

At WAFA 2024 Jennie is most looking forward to trying alternatives to spirits and aperitifs - a part of the AF world that she thinks encompasses a huge variety of styles - and is looking forward to finding some 'interesting, punchy and surprising' entrants.

If she does find some Gold Medal-winning drinks, she might - if we're lucky - treat her fellow judges to her surprise party trick - a convincing imitation of Flipper the Dolphin's high-pitched chuckling sound!