The Irish Whiskey Association’s upskilling initiative for Irish hospitality aims to enhance the Irish whiskey experience on offer here and the course forms part of a broader industry-funded campaign to support post-Lockdown reopening.
‘Irish Whiskey in the World of Spirits’ is being delivered by the Irish Whiskey and Spirits Institute. Successful participants receive a globally-recognised Level 1 Award in Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
The course also provides an introduction to Irish whiskey within the broader world of spirits, exploring the main styles and types of spirits, delivering an understanding of the key factors affecting flavours and aromas. It covers the history of Irish whiskey, the principles of Irish whiskey production, the Irish whiskey Geographic Indication and legal definitions of Irish whiskey.
Being run online, the course includes a guided tasting of Irish whiskey samples and other international spirits.
The majority of places on the course are being directly sponsored by Irish whiskey brands who’re members of the Irish Whiskey Association. Participation in the course is also being supported by the Taste 4 Success Skillnet.
The course forms part of the IWA’s broader #DiscoverIrishWhiskey on-trade programme which aims to reposition Irish whiskey more centrally in the reopened on-trade and to enhance the Irish whiskey experience available to the consumer.
The programme also sees a range of practical and educational supports being rolled-out for the Irish on-trade in 2022 with a view to international expansion.
“The Irish on-trade, from pubs to restaurants to hotel bars, will benefit greatly in coming years from the ongoing strong growth in Irish whiskey sales among both homegrown and visiting consumers,” commented the Head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle, “As consumers turn more and more to Irish whiskey – whether they’ve come from down the road or are on an Irish Whiskey pilgrimage from overseas – it’s important that they’re met by staff who’re equally attuned to our national spirit.”
Nicholas Ryan, founder of the Irish Whiskey and Spirits Institute stated, “Whilst we educate people from both on- and off-trade about a range of spirits, their characteristics and provide a systematic approach to sensory training, we’re hugely passionate in supporting the fast-growing Irish whiskey renaissance. Our courses are extremely interactive and we’ve taken them fully online allowing people to enjoy and participate in learning from the comfort of their own home or place of work.”
Bridie Corrigan-Matthews, Network Director of the Taste4Success Skillnet, added, “The Taste4Success Skillnet works with our members to identify and drive training and upskilling in the food, seafood and drink sectors, to meet business, people and performance needs.”
One of the Irish whiskey producers sponsoring a place on the course is Irish Distillers. Claire Tolan, Managing Director – Ireland, Irish Distillers, said, “Ireland is, of course, the heart and home of Irish whiskey so helping those working in both the on- and off-trade to deepen their knowledge will hopefully serve to enhance the consumer experience, develop Irish whiskey advocates and ultimately support growth in our category.
“The hospitality sector is, of course, emerging from a tough period so I think it’s very positive to be involved in a project which will offer an opportunity to those working in the sector to upskill in an area relevant to their roles.”