If there’s a greeting named after you, you’ve made it, right? In Dublin, there is one way of saying hello: the Hurley handshake. Every bartender and pub owner in the Irish capital knows it well. But only one can really do it right, Kevin Hurley. His trademark goes as follows: Kevin reaches into his pocket for a moment and then stretches out his hand. As you reach out your hand to him, you notice that you suddenly get something to hold on to. You open your fist, recognize a small bottle of “Teeling Whiskey”, grin, look up at Kevin and see his even wider grin. Kevin quickly gives you a nice pat on the back and laughs heartily.
This charming and at the same time honest way of presenting your own brand perfectly reflects the spirit of the Teeling Whiskey Company, whose global brand ambassador is Kevin Hurley. For good reason, the man is very familiar with the Dublin industry: He began as a bartender, celebrated success and won prizes for his drinks. “I was already working as a bartender when I wasn’t even allowed to: at the age of 15,” says the Irishman and laughs. Already at a young age Kevin Hurley ran several renowned bars in Dublin, later he opened his own bar, which also went well. “I worked my way up in the industry and ended up at quite a young age managing and running some great bars.” But that was not enough for him.
At some point Kevin happened to get hold of a bottle of Teeling Whiskey. He liked what he tried. Kevin informed himself about Jack and Steven Teeling. The fact that the two brothers opened the first new distillery in Ireland’s capital in 125 years was immediately appealing to him and, in them, he recognized two like-minded people. “They grew up with whiskey in their blood. They are second generation whiskey company owners. Their dream was to bring a distillery back to Dublin,” says Kevin of the founders of the now largest independent whiskey distillery in Dublin. It is like barkeeping – more than a job, more an attitude. “You can teach the technique, but what you cannot teach is hospitality.”
So Kevin Hurley went to the Teeling brothers, stood at their door one day. He talked to them, told them his vision – and convinced them right away. A few minutes later, Kevin was the brand ambassador for the still small whiskey company. How did he do that? He was just being himself. Behind the counter, Kevin is exactly the kind of bartender you want to pour out your heart to at 1:30 in the morning while he listens – and makes sure that your glass is never empty. His charm, his wit and his friendliness – they are above all one thing: real.
Kevin is the guy whose number you want on your phone because the night is always fun with him around. On the other hand, he’s a pro at what he does. Not only does he mix drinks and know the details of the different Teeling varieties, he can also sell them. He represents the brand of the brothers Jack and Steven Teeling. At any rate, the founders have not regretted their decision to date. Because Kevin isn’t just a bartender: he’s Dublin, he’s Teeling Whiskey and he’s the guy with his own handshake.