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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 available. Whether it’s a sour Berliner Weisse, 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 must do 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 in the 90’s in Rosslare, Co. Wexford where I did a bartending course. We had to do a project as part of the course, and I chose ‘Whiskies of Ireland’. At that time there wasn’t a whole pile to choose from as there were only four operational distilleries in Ireland. At one stage Irish Whiskey was at the top of the pile but since then Scottish Whisky has outgrown us. In recent years you will notice Irish Whiskey making a big comeback. My interest has continued having worked in bars and hotels from Dublin to Kilkenny, then Waterford and finally to Kerry, where in 2002 I changed careers and 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 having just four operational distilleries in 2007 which were in Midleton, Bushmills, Cooley and Kilbeggan to now having eighteen and more in the pipeline. There is so much to talk about in relation to whiskey and where to start and where to finish is endless so keep your eyes peeled for my latest news on this ever growing market. Slainte and enjoy “the water of life”

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Wine Expert

Name: Oliver Baumann

Background

Meet Oliver, our in-house wine expert. As one of the key alcohol buyers in the Barry Group - Parent company of Carry Out Off Licence, I have the opportunity to uncover new and delicious wines from across the globe. Choosing only the best for our customers and sourcing brands, you can only find at your local Carry Out.

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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. 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’s (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 Aherne

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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