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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

Cal Byrne, Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year Ireland, joins The Mercantile Group.

Diageo Reserve Ireland today congratulated Cal Byrne, being appointed Group Beverage Manager with The Mercantile Group. Comprising Dublin based venues Café En Seine, Opium, NoLIta, and The George, the award-winning bartender is a significant addition to the management team of the Group.

Cal was awarded the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2021 Ireland and placed in the top ten in the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals in July, a first for an Irish bartender.

Brought up in a family of practicing artists and following in their footsteps by studying sculpture and fine art, he then chose to pursue a career in the craft of bartending.

Clearly demonstrating a flair for creativity and a passion for innovation, an aspect which is demonstrated in his approach to cocktail making, he opened a bar in Limerick, gaining a loyal following.

The additional commercial experience he gained from opening his own bar incorporating branding and training staff, along with his award-winning performance in the Diageo World Class Competition, made him a valuable asset to The Mercantile Group.

Speaking about Cal’s appointment, Sorcha Ní Chléirigh, Head of Marketing for the Diageo Spirits Portfolio, commented; “Cal represents the young and dynamic talent we are fortunate to have in Ireland. Being part of such a bold and demanding industry and recognised as he has in the Diageo World Class Competition, shows how seriously he takes the profession of bartending. He is a valuable asset to one of Ireland’s thriving hospitality businesses.”

As part of the new role, Cal will develop and lead an immersive training program with The Mercantile Group’s mixologists, as well as curating innovative cocktail menus.

David Murray, Manager of Cafe en Seine commented, “This is an evolving industry and having the support of suppliers such as Diageo ensures that companies such as ourselves allows a trade to grow and nurture its talent. We are a driven business who appreciate the level of professionalism that people like Cal bring to the industry, a quality The Mercantile Group stands for”.

“Cal’s understanding and appreciation for all aspects of the hospitality and entertainment business made him a natural fit for us in developing the business together. As a team we are conscious of meeting the needs of an ever-discerning customer across the range of venues within the group”, added John Melia Manager of Opium.

Most recently Cal demonstrated his creative talent developing a bespoke cocktail to celebrate the launch of the Roe & Co Japanese Sugi Irish Whiskey at the Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin 8.

In closing, Cal Byrne, said;

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at The Mercantile Group and see huge opportunity for our industry. I want to help create a new space for bartending and creativity in mixology by merging the two skills. Having the freedom within the Group and having access to the quality ingredients that Diageo Reserve provides, inspires me and allows me to thrive, and I am excited by that.”

Make sure to stop by and check out some of Cal’s creations, and say hi if you spot him at one of the bars!

Slán go fóill,



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