What is Stories & Sips
Stories & Sips helps fans and potential fans of Irish whiskey across the United States connect deeply with Ireland and its famous brown spirit through in-person and virtual experiences, storytelling and tastings. Stories & Sips exists to bring people together, whether that is in cities across America, online or on trips to Ireland.
This programming allows Irish whiskey brands the channels and opportunities to introduce the people and passion behind their products to an interested audience.
How it All Began
In 2009, Corkman Barry Chandler participated in his first Pelotonia, a Columbus, Ohio-based 180 mile bike ride that raises money for cancer research. After 7 years of riding and badgering the same friends for money, he decided to capitalize on his blarney and birthplace and in 2016 hosted his first Irish whiskey tasting to raise money instead. Offering six samples of Ireland’s nectar, with 100% of the proceeds going to cancer research, suddenly fundraising became a lot more fun for all!
Since the first whiskey tasting in 2016, 1000s of people have been introduced to the joys of Irish whiskey. Friendships have been created, lifelong bourbon drinkers have converted to the Irish equivalent and Barry even managed to meet his wife at a particularly memorable tasting.
Stories & Sips was created to connect more people to the stories and sips of Ireland’s extraordinary whiskeys and to help Ireland become the number 1 whiskey tourism destination in the world while bringing people together.
Born and raised in Cobh, 12 dangerous miles from the Midleton Distillery, Barry has called the United States home since 2007. He spent 15 years in the hospitality industry, training originally as a hotel manager in Adare Manor in Limerick before leading the Food & Beverage purchasing for four different luxury cruise ships, taking him to ports all over the world in search of the finest foods and drinks for discerning passengers. Barry has also been part of the management teams in hotel groups in Ireland and Austria.
Gary Quinn is a writer and editor and the author of the Harper Collins book Irish Whiskey (2020). He writes regularly for a number of publications on whiskey and bars and was the author of the Barfly column in The Irish Times.