Tom Firth is a freelance wine, beer, and spirits writer and consultant in Calgary, Alberta. His work appears in City Palate, Avenue Magazine (Calgary), Alberta Liquor Retailer and Culinaire Magazine as well as online outlets. He is the Drinks Editor at Culinaire, and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. His formal training includes certification with the WSET and the ISG, and Tom has judged at domestic and international competitions around the world.
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Charlene Rooke is a Vancouver-based journalist and Certified Specialist of Spirits who studied small-batch distilling at Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dry Fly in Spokane, Washington. She's a hobby mixologist, Contributing Editor to the LCBO's Food & Drink and writer for the B.C. Liquor Stores' Taste and The Alchemist magazines. She's currently pursuing Wine and Spirits Education Trust certification.
Charlene is CASC’s Lead Judge.
Craig Pinhey is a Nova Scotia born beverage writer and consultant. His love of spirits started with Lagavulin while in university in the early 80s. An Engineer by education, Craig worked in Ontario, where he gained his appreciation for local wine and beer in Niagara in the 90s. Returning to the Maritimes in late 1998, Craig became a certified Sommelier and started his new career as a beverage writer in New Brunswick; his weekly Good Drink column has been running for 15 years. Craig travels the world visiting distilleries, breweries and wineries, writes, runs tastings, and judges national and local competitions. He loves premium rum and local eau de vies.
Blair Phillips is a lifestyles and spirits writer who is co-authoring the book Canada Distils with Davin de Kergommeaux. (To be published by Appetite by Random House imprint of Penguin Random House Canada). In addition to being the Canadian Contributing Editor for Whisky Magazine, he reviews Canadian spirits for Distiller. He also contributes to newspapers and magazines and is on the jury for both the World Whisky Awards and the Canadian Whisky Awards. Blair was the Canadian columnist for DrinkingMadeEasy.com during the TV show’s three year run. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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A National Magazine Award-winning writer, Christine Sismondo is the author of Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History, a history of cocktails and spirits and America Walks into a Bar, A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops. When she’s not working on her new book which will deal with mid-century Toronto bars, she’s writing about spirits and Canadian history for the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. Sismondo has judged all manner of competitions, including the International Spirits Selection in 2015, held in Guiyang China.
Rémy Charest is a Québec City–based writer and translator. He has been writing about wine and food since 1997 for publications such as Le Devoir, EnRoute, Châtelaine, Palate Press, Wine Enthusiast and the Quebecor/Sun Media chain of newspapers. He occasionally blogs in French and English about cocktails, wine, food and poetry, and is a regular contributor to Chacun Son Vin/WineAlign, Canada’s most popular wine web site. He has been judging national and international wine competitions since 2009, including the National Wine Awards of Canada and the TexSom International Wine Awards.
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