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Meet Our Experts

International & Craft Beer Expert

Name: Kevin O’Brien

Background

There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s just that some taste better than others and some people like a particular style or flavour more than others. I enjoy nothing more than telling the story of beer from its origins in Mesopotamia, over 4000 years ago, to the possible saving of millions of people’s lives during the dark ages, when water wasn’t safe to drink. I love to learn as much about beer as possible, by tasting the largest range of styles, flavours and sources of beer possible. So whether it’s a Sour Berliner Weisse or a Crisp and Slightly Bitter Pilsner from Pilsen in the Czech Republic or even an amazing Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Monaghan, I will try it, some say I have the best job in the world, visiting breweries and tasting beers from all over the globe, but it’s hard work and someone has to it. Each month I hope to post a small update to the Carry Out website on the world of beer, so keep an eye out and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Kevin [email protected]

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Spirits Expert

Name: John Fleming

Background

My passion for whiskey started back the 90’s in Cert in Rosslare where I did a bartender course, we had to do a project as part of our course and I choose ‘whiskies of Ireland’, at that time there wasn’t a whole pile to choose from, there were only 4 operational distilleries in Ireland. At one stage Irish Whiskey was at the top of the pile and since Scottish whisky has out grown us. In recent years you will notice Irish Whiskey making a big comeback. My interest has continued since where I have worked in bars and hotels from Dublin to Kilkenny, from Waterford and finally to Kerry, when in 2002 I changed careers to become self employed in the off licence business. It’s a great time for the Irish whiskey market and industry at the moment we’ve gone from in 2007 having four operational distilleries which were Midelton bushmills Cooley and kilbeggan to now a day having eighteen operational distilleries and more in the pipeline. There is so much to talk about in whiskey and where to start and where to finish is endless so keep peeled for my latest news on this ever growing market Slainte and enjoy “the water of life”

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Wine Expert

Name: Gary Ring

Background

Having spent 20 years in the wine and alcohol business I pride myself on finding exceptional wine value for our customers. Holder of the WSET, Wine & Spirits Education Trust London, Diploma since 1999. Currently studying for a Hons. Science Degree in Brewing & Distilling, Carlow Institute of Technology. I am passionate about alcohol education and innovation which leads to greater enjoyment and appreciation of wines, beers and spirits. Look out for my tasting notes and recommendations throughout.

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Craft Beer Expert

Name: Peter Reynolds

Background

Long before I opened Carry Out, Clongriffin I had a love of good beer, but up until recent years when the boom in the Craft Beer Industry started there was never the range and diversity of beers coming from Ireland and abroad. Now you can walk into most Carry Out Off Licences and find a range of outstanding local and international beers from IPA’a (Indian Pale Ale) to Imperial Stouts, from Helles Lagers to Sour Ales and from the lightest sessionable beers to the heaviest Ales and stouts there’s a beer to suit every pallet. This is an ever changing industry and breweries are constantly bringing out new beers, special editions and seasonal beers so it can be hard to keep up with, and you never stop learning One thing I do think is important in these modern times, where we have ease of access to products from all around the world, is to shop local, and by that I don’t just mean in your local Carry Out, I also mean that if you have a local brewery you should at least try their beers and give a little support to both the local business and the local economy. Over the coming months we’ll try and introduce you to some of the best beers on our shelves and also share some of my personal favourites.http://www.beoir.org/

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Cocktail Expert

Name: Brian Ahern

Background

I have always had an interest in the art of mixology. For me, cocktails are the best alcoholic beverage, as they allow for creativity, personal choice and flair. I enjoy learning about the origins of particular spirits, and the part that they have played in the cultural story of their country. Bourbon is as synonymous with Kentucky, as rum is to the Caribbean, and knowing your ingredients will always leave you with an improved finished product. We all know that not all gins are created equal, and that some spirits should never be mixed with anything, except maybe for a single cube of ice! My goal is to be able to tell the difference. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I enjoy learning, and maybe we might learn a few things together along the way.

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