Gearóid Cahill, distillery manager at Slane Distillery, is a recent recipient of the master distiller qualification from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) and has been appointed the Slane team’s first master distiller.
Gearóid will continue in his position as distillery manager, and this latest accolade is said to establishes him as one of only a few individuals in the international drinks industry today who has achieved the ranks of both qualified master distiller and experienced master brewer.
Originally from Westmeath, Gearóid joined the team at Slane Distillery in 2019 as distillery manager. From the beginning, he worked closely with his colleagues at Brown-Forman and Slane Irish Whiskey to develop a production team, leading technical developments and optimizing production across all three whiskey types – malt, pot still and grain whiskey.
Alex Conyngham, co-founder of Slane Irish Whiskey, said in a prepared statement that since joining the distiller to head up their production, “Gearóid has strived to improve the quality and consistency of our spirit. He has embraced our dedication to flavor and the leadership, skill and vision that he has demonstrated in shaping both our current blend and future Irish whiskeys is inspiring. This latest accolade is hard-earned, and we are delighted for him to get the formal recognition he deserves.”
Gearóid has worked in the brewing and distilling industry for more than 25 years. Starting in June of 1996, he spent 19 years working with Diageo in a variety of global technical roles, leading process and product improvements while developing and rolling out standards in brewing and distilling plants in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Jamaica, the UK and Ireland.
During that time, he also worked with brands that included Guinness, Carlsberg, Harp, Tuborg and Smithwicks. As Head of Science for Diageo from 2011 to 2015, Gearóid led the development of new production processes at James’s Gate with a €47-million investment and oversaw fermentation optimization in Diageo’s Nigerian breweries.
His global trade knowledge and production expertise combined with a Ph.D. in Brewery Yeast Management from Dublin City University in 1999 elevated Gearóid to become a Master Brewer in 2003.
Gearóid joined Alltech Ireland in 2015, where he was head distiller of The Pearse Lyons Distillery and Alltech director of brewing science responsible for all aspects of production including the process design for the state-of-the-art city center distillery in a 12th-century national monument, St. James’s Church.
Gearóid also led the research and development program at Alltech’s Research Center in Dunboyne, Ireland, focusing on optimizing operations for grain whiskey production using enzyme technology and novel process innovation.
From Alltech, Gearóid joined Slane Distillery in 2019, where he is currently based.
For more information on Slane Irish Whiskey, check out www.slaneirishwhiskey.com.
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