Blog: Barry's day as Irish Distillers bids goodbye to main man
James Wilmore | 6 September 2013
Barry Crockett is calling time on his 47-year Irish whiskey career
Emotions were running high at Irish Distillers earlier this week as the Pernod Ricard-owned company said an official farewell to its master distiller, Barry Crockett.
Barry, who has been with the Jameson producer in its various forms for an amazing 47 years, was the local star of the show at an event to showcase a EUR100m upgrade to the unit's Midleton Distillery in County Cork. Tastings, local food and live music were laid on for around 900 guests as part of the 'housewarming' festival. Journalists were also given a chance to nose around the site's new Garden Stillhouse and a new Irish whiskey academy and archive.
But it was Barry's day really.
At the end of the festivities, a selected crowd was asked to come and see the main man speak and accept a gift. Bizarrely, the gathered throng were treated to the sight of a huge, gaudy, gold-framed portrait of the departing distiller and his successor, Brian Nation. A speech from Barry offered a mark of the man, as he spent little time talking about himself, instead regaling the crowd with anecdotes he'd discovered in the company's archives.
The portrait turned out to be a red herring, as behind it was a sign marking the fact that the company's old stillhouse has been renamed the ‘Barry Crockett Stillhouse’.
Irish Distillers CEO, Anna Malmhake, explained to me later the thinking behind the joke. Affectionately, she described Barry as “the perfect gentleman”, adding with a smile: “Having a big picture of himself is the worst thing he could imagine”.
The man himself was also treated to a standing ovation at a dinner held in one of the company's warehouses, rounded off with a live set by The Chieftains.
Cheers Barry, enjoy your retirement.
Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
Dutch distiller Zuidam has agreed to change the name of its Flying Dutchman No 3 rum brand, after settling a trademark dispute with Berry Bros & Rudd, owner of No 3 London Dry Gin....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
- Industry is following the pack to patriotic party
- The category today - Scotch Whisky I
- Today's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky II
- Key Brands Performance - Scotch Whisky IV
- Tomorrow's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky III
- Brown-Forman shuffles director pack
- Diageo unveils first European Johnnie Walker House
- Spirits can fill music industry gap - Jagermeister
- Wm Grant redesigns Glenfiddich 21yo Gran Reserva
- Diageo's Smirnoff Red, White & Berry - NPD
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Soft Drinks Global Overview: Growth Opportunities Between Category Lines
- Adultifying Soft Drinks; Capitalizing on rising adult demand for non-alcoholic beverages
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China