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Missed out on being part of the Jameson HOSTS Summit? Read all about what went on here and how you can get involved next year!
| By Cameron Mowat
The Jameson HOSTS Summit is the latest edition to Jameson Irish Whiskey’s global bartender and hospitality community networking events.
We were lucky enough to get invited down to create content for the summit and meet all the wonderful people from the Jameson community.
The summit took place over 4 days, with a whole host of events sprinkled throughout. Bar takeovers, tours and a host of food and drink in Dublin bookended the summit, with the main events taking place down near the Midleton Distillery in Cork.
This bar industry meeting has occurred under various names in years before, such as the Barrelman’s Homecoming, but this year it was hosted by Jameson HOSTS, the bar community outreach project set up by Jameson to help the bar industry out with knowledge, resources, education, events and connections. As the content creators for their online presence, it only made sense that we head down to Cork along with the HOSTS team and get involved.
When Jameson hosts collaborative events, they do it big. The first event on the docket was a takeover of 1661, one of Ireland’s top cocktail bars and poitín hub, by the notorious Bar With Shapes For A Name, or Shapes.
This event was held in Irish Craft Cocktails, the bottled cocktail production space that the 1661 team launched during the pandemic. The curator of the summit, Remy Savage, who was recently voted the second most influential bar industry personality, hosted this event and brought in Milena, his right hand woman, to help him out.
Together in their stylish jumpsuits, joined by some of the 1661 team, they served up a low-key masterclass on craft cocktails based on different art movements, using four of the top spirits from Pernod Ricard’s portfolio to give the Irish bar scene a taste of London.
A personal favourite was the Blackthorn, a mix of Single Potstill Irish whiskey, vintage dry vermouth, vintage absinthe and a touch of sugar.
Afterwards it was into 1661 for some more drinks and then out into Dublin to explore.
In the morning everyone headed to Heuston station to get the train down to Cork. It was our first time travelling in First Class, and remarkably it’s the exact same as the rest of the train, except you get a lamp on the tables.
From the train we headed down to the hotel, Castlemartyr Resort. The resort is a stunning 5* establishment nestled in the woodlands of Cork, surrounded by sweeping views of the hills, fields with roaming horses and forests stretching out as far as the eye can see.
After dropping everything off at our rooms (and a few pints) the group headed over to the Midleton Distillery for a tour of some of their Bonded Warehouses, complete with whiskey tasting straight from the cask, and a look into the Garden Still House at the 6 world-record holding pot stills that make the malt and pot still whiskeys that put Jameson and the other whiskeys in the Midleton portfolio on the map.
Then it was off to the pub, specifically Blackbird in Ballycotton, a traditional Irish pub in a village near the coast. After a dinner of fish and chips (the best we’d tasted in a long time), Ger Buckley, Master Cooper of the Midleton Distillery, gave us all a demonstration of his art and an insight into his three thousand year old discipline.
After a few more Jamesons and swapping stories with people from all over the world, we piled back into the bus and made our way back to the hotel bar for a nightcap.
The main-event happened the next day. In a large canvas marquee beside some crumbling ruins of an old castle, we got to hear talks by the eight speakers that had been brought in from around the globe to share their unique perspectives on a whole host of topics from the hospitality industry.
Dave Mulligan – Becoming A Proprietor
Josephine Sondelo – Cocktail Competitions: How Athletes Prepare
Emilio Di Salvo – Satan’s Whiskers: How We Work
Andy Ferreira – The Trials And Tribulations Of Seasonality
Danil Nevilsky – How To Build A Brand
Sumaiyah Edwards – Finding Your Balance
Vijay Mudalier – A Progressive Industry
Remy Savage – Drink More Art
Not only was each talk incredibly interesting and exciting, they were paired with a cocktail that highlighted the core value of the talk. For example, Sumaiyah Edward’s drink was a shot of ginger juice, perfectly paired for her talk on health and wellness.
We were also lucky enough to interview each of the speakers afterwards and get some answers to some of our burning questions.
Next was dinner in the Capel Suite, the large banquet hall in the Castlemartyr, complete with band and a surprise performance by a contemporary Irish Dance collective. Afterwards the whole contingent of 140+ bar industry people headed to Cork City for a night of dancing, drinks and a Daft Punk Tribute band.
The last full day of the summit was more of a down time day. Starting with a bus back from Cork to Dublin, the summit group swung from pizza and pints at Bonobo to the Old Jameson distillery at Bow Street for the full tour.
Afterwards it was back to the hotels for some R&R and then out to Krewe for dinner and finally full circle back to 1661 for the farewell drinks.
Overall the experience was a blast! Not only was the event great craic, but it was the perfect representation of Jameson’s new slogan ‘widen the circle’, with whiskey lovers from all over the world and at all stages of their journey in hospitality mixing and mingling, meeting all the friends they just hadn’t made yet. We personally got to meet some of our heroes from the industry and pick their brains, which most industry people only dream of.
If you want to get invited to the next Summit there’s two ways you can go about it. The first is to be one of the winners from the Jameson Black Barrel Bartender Series Cocktail Competition next year, so keep an eye out for that. The second is to make an impression on the Jameson brand ambassadors in your market. Either way, if joining the summit next year is one of your goals, it’ll be bigger and better than this year, so we hope to see you there.