A collective dedicated to improving the Australian drinks landscape, the Drink Easy team hail from diverse professional backgrounds – including media, festival direction, restaurants and bars, creative agencies, and social justice – and are at the peak of their industry to create new dialogue about the best of drinks in Australia.
Chief Judge Nick Ryan
Emma’s passion for the wine industry has produced award-winning wine lists across top venues in Perth for two decades. As Director of Wine for State Buildings & Como’s The Treasury, Emma’s invaluable insights and industry-wide network enables her to curate unique wine lists and wine events for each of the award-winning restaurants at State Buildings, including Wildflower, Long Chim, Post, Petition Kitchen and Wine Merchant. Emma also creates world-class experiences for the guests of the 48-room luxury hotel.
Emma studied under the guidance of Dr Steve Charters, Master of Wine. Since then, she has worked as a Sommelier and consulted on various wine lists and menus, earning her recognition through numerous awards including Gourmet Traveller Wine and her induction into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2013. She was awarded 2017 Sommelier of the Year at the WA Good Food Guide awards and Sommelier of the Year at the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant awards.
Fred Siggins has worked in the hospitality and drinks industries for over 20 years as a brand manager, educator, cocktail bartender, consultant and chef. He is currently Chief Storyteller for Whisky & Alement, one of Australia's most respected whisky bars. He also writes about spirits and drinks culture and is a frequent contributor to various national and international publications. He sat on the spirits panel for Drink Easy during the inaugural awards and has been a judge and panel chair for the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards since 2017.
With a passion for beer that was sparked by English Real Ale, Liam is Certified Cicerone and BJCP Judge. After a few different roles for Camperdown Cellars, Timeout, The Welcome Hotel, Sydney Beer Week to name a few Liam currently works for Batch Brewing Co as their Group Venue and Events Manager.
Thurman Wise has crafted a career that encompasses a truly global understanding of drinks.
He learnt from some of the best over an 8-year career working in New York’s top bars and restaurants. After his years behind the bar, he then moved onto helping Absolut Vodka and its family of brands to develop its innovation pipeline, assisting in the development and execution of numerous new products and brands.
After his time with Absolut he moved to the Pernod Ricard’s entrepreneurial start up Our Vodka, a global collection of micro-distilleries. Over 3 years he assisted in the roll out and development of distilleries in LA, Detroit, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and London.
His journey to create innovative new brands and products has seen him explore and connect to over 120 cities across 60 countries, working with the best bartenders, mixologists and creatives to develop a deep understanding of global beverage trends and experience the abundance of flavours and traditions our world has to offer.
Now at CAPI as Brand and Innovation Director, Thurman works to craft the future of CAPI’s brand and product offerings, incorporating his passions for health and sustainability into all that he creates.