Last year (2017) Bushmills Black Bush ran a number of events under the hashtag (of course it was hashtag, sure isn’t everything these days?) #AnswerTheCall with events such Whiskey & Invention with Ciaran Larkin, a local inventor and entrepreneur where attendees drank Bushmills and made lamps. A dangerous combo but a good one none the less.
For 2018 we’ve see the return of these events under the new hashtag #BlackBushStories. The first event in this years lineup was Black Bush & Photography in collaboration with professional photographer Ronan O’Dornan. This was a no-brainer applying to get tickets in the hope I could attend considering my social media is based around whiskey & photography.
Held in the relativity new impressive surroundings of House, Belfast the night got of to a craic’in started with a brief history of Bushmills and the basics on how to make whiskey which was followed by a tasting session from the Bushmills blends range – Bushmills, Red Bush and Black Bush thanks to Paul Rocks – Black Bush Ambassador for Bushmills.
I’m not going to bore you with a review on the three whiskies, you’ve more than likely tried them all and know my opinions like most on two of them and well the third one the less said the better.
Tasting done and dusted it was over to the compare for the evening, Joe Lindsay (Yer man from BBC/RTE Getways) and Ronan O’Dornan for an insight into his inspiring career journey so far. From being a kid growing up around cameras to becoming an art teacher in a Belfast college, being involved in massive car crash which pointed him in the direction of leaving his job as a teacher and becoming a professional photographer working for some of the biggest companies around from RedBull to Bushmills. For me as someone who loves photography this was the highlight of the evening.
As this was an interactive workshop event it wasn’t just story telling from Ronan. Social media has taken over most peoples lives and with camera phones everyone is a photographer, so he passed on a few tricks of the trade for taking great photos on a smartphone in an interactive masterclass which ended in a photo competition for attendees. The challenge, take a photo of the event using props and work stations dotted around House Belfast while trying to use the tips & tricks from the masterclass then post it to social media where Ronan picked three winners who each received a bottle of Black Bush. Head over to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BlackBushStories to see the results.
Here’s two of my images… Sadly I didn’t win.
There will be more to come from the #BlackBushStories collaboration series which will showcase and celebrate those who have gone against the grain to follow their passion and become champions in their chosen field. For more information on the event series, visit blackbushstories.com.
Thank you to Bushmills, Ronan O’Dornan and Clearbox Communications for running such a good event, hopefully I’ll be able to attend the rest.
Until next time folks, keep safe & keep drinking whiskey responsibly.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC
Drink Responsibly. Please visit Drink Aware UK for more information.