Whisky Advocate On Master Distiller Brian Nation’s Move From Irish Distillers To A Minnesota Craft DistilleryJuly 21, 2020
As SND exclusively reported last month, one of Ireland’s top distillers—the man who oversaw Jameson among many other brands—is crossing the pond to work at a new Minnesota distillery. Brian Nation, who stepped down as master distiller at Midleton Distillery in mid-June, is joining O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. in Minneapolis, which is due to start distilling in 2021.
Cousins Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy first began laying the groundwork for the company in 2019. Finding the right distiller was “a long journey,” says Michael O’Shaughnessy, outlining how they searched for highly qualified individuals by talking to industry experts behind the scenes and building up relationships. Both men were captivated by the fact that Irish whiskey is the fastest growing category in the world, which influenced their strategy. “We reached out to Brian blindly,” adds Patrick, admitting candidly that they were just hoping to be granted an audience with the master distiller.
Nation had no plans to move on from Irish Distillers before the O’Shaughnessy cousins contacted him in November 2019. “If you met me 12 months ago and asked me if I would be moving over to America with my family, the answer would have been no,” says Nation. “But that’s before I met Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy.” Whisky Advocate spoke with Nation and the distillery’s founders to find out how he was lured away from Ireland’s most prestigious whiskey position.—Jonny McCormickSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.
Tagged : O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co., Whisky Advocate
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