First memory of beer: Drinking Budweiser from the bottle in a field in suburban Dublin. We were pretty big on the cider at the time but someone brought some beer one day. It was one of the worst things I ever tasted. I was 14 years old.
How I came to craft: Just before I left Ireland to come to Canada, I started drinking German wheat beers and this was a spiritual awakening for me. Prior to that I was just shotgunning Carlsberg and Heineken with less than satisfying results (blackouts!). Meeting my wife Sophi introduced me to craft beer, as when I came across the Atlantic to stalk her a whole new world of flavours opened up for me. I never looked back.
Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: There are so many! There was the sales meeting that took place at the top of Blue Mountain with ice cold Downhill Pale Ales and Fireball, followed by a day of falling over, as I can't snowboard. But the winner has to be the 2016 Christmas party up at the brewery. What started out as a costume-themed murder mystery turned into the most kicking-est dance party ever!! I'm talking dance-offs, tunnel of dance, attempted break-dancing, group hug dancing, sales team can-can lines and so much more.
How I got here: I was in public accounting for almost 9 years before I saved myself. I started getting involved in the industry by blogging (reviewing beers and breweries). That was a good foot in the door in getting to know some people. I also enrolled in the Prud'homme beer sommelier program, where I learned most of what I know about beer today. After completing the program, I still had the hunger to learn more so I took the Certified Cicerone® exam which gave me a more in-depth understanding of ingredients and the brewing process. I also have to give my wife Sophi credit for pushing me to apply for the Collingwood job, she pretty much forced me into it!
Favourite beer: A trappist ale from Belgium by the name of Orval. It is a Belgian Pale Ale of sorts, and it has huge complexity due to the use of 2 brewing techniques.
What I want with me on my desert island: If we're talking people, it would have to be my girls Sophi and Nyla. They can bring home the bacon AND fry it up too! If I must be alone, I would request a case of Orval and a harmonica. I might actually then have time to learn how to play it!!
About me: I only started watching Seinfeld when I came to Canada, and now I watch at least a couple of episodes a night. I am close to completing my fifth tour of duty aka all 180 episodes back-to-back.