THE BIG INTERVIEW: Alan Mulvihill, Roe & Co.’s European Brand Ambassador
Roe & Co.’s European brand ambassador, Alan Mulvihill, talks to Donna Ahern about his role to date.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
There are so many things that I’ve been lucky to experience over the past ten years – from opening a bar in Guadalajara [Mexico] with my fiancée and one of my best mates to, more recently, showing our first guests through the doors of the Roe & Co. Distillery.
The amazing thing about working in this industry is that you never really know where you’re going to end up next.
Where do you see yourself at this time next year?
Well, with the distillery doors finally flung open, we are now focusing on bringing people to experience the tour, and, equally, on bringing the whiskey to the masses.
There are launch plans for Australia in August, and then America, so next year will be a busy one for us.
How would you describe your role as European ambassador for Roe & Co.?
My job is about spreading the word about our quality whiskey, and that often involves a strong mix of travel, hosting, and whiskey consumption, as well as the production of spreadsheets detailing training programmes and innovations for the future. I love it.
What do you enjoy most about your role with Roe & Co.?
It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but to be able to welcome people to our new distillery in the amazing building that it is housed in is a constant thrill.
Not many people in the world, let alone Ireland, can say they have recently helped open a distillery, and it is incredible to think that we are creating Irish history on a daily basis.
Why do you think you were chosen to represent the Roe & Co. brand?
I think the modern-day brand ambassador needs to be able to interact with bars and the industry in a more fluid way than in the past. Shoving a bunch of commercial numbers at people can be effective for a bar’s gross profit, but you are not building a following for your whiskey.
Also, you’re not providing any upskilling to the industry, and the amazing people that make it as successful and profitable as it is.
The number-one thing I get asked for all the time in my role is to come in and speak to staff about what we do and about Irish whiskey as a category.
Bars and owners want their staff to be knowledgeable and confident when talking about the products they sell on a day-to-day basis because it improves the experience for the customer, who is increasingly looking to explore something new.
What Roe & Co. advertising or promotional campaign have you most enjoyed in recent months?
I really enjoyed the most recent run we did, of the Roe & Tonic. The table we shot it on is from the original Frankenstein movie that was filmed in Ballyclare, in Northern Ireland.
That was a fun shoot, and the drink itself looks so inviting. The campaign has a simple message, but it is extremely appealing to the eye.
You have just opened the distillery and visitor experience. What’s the next big reveal for Roe & Co.?
We have just launched our second product – Roe & Co. Curators’ Series 0.1 – and it is a celebration of our distillery opening.
It contains some amazing full-port maturation malt casks alongside refill bourbon malt and a hint of spry grain whiskey. It’s so delicious. I can’t wait for people to get to try it.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.