Kyle McHugh

Director of Brand Advocacy – Samson & Surrey

Kyle McHugh started his career bartending in Washington, DC in 1998. Over the next decade, he worked nearly every position possible in bars and restaurants across the country, including Washington, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

In 2007, Kyle formed his beverage consulting, education and events company “The Boozehound”, and from 2008 – 2010, he opened and operated drink boutique Drinks Over Dearborn. During this time, he also served as a professor of wine and beverage at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, an instructor for Master Mixologist Bridget Albert’s Academy of Spirits & Fine Service, as well as for the Advanced Mixology & Culinary Academy.

Kyle was named a Diageo Master of Whisky in the fall of 2011, where he toured the country hosting interactive tasting events and seminars. In 2015, Kyle earned his General Certificate in Distillation from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling based in London, England.

Today, Kyle is the Director of Brand Advocacy for the new craft spirits collective Samson & Surrey, where he oversees all aspects of education and ambassadorship for FEW Spirits, Philadelphia Distilling, Brenne Whisky, and Widow Jane.

Kyle is an Advanced Bartender candidate with the U.S. Bartenders Guild, where he also serves as National Vice President and Education Committee Chair; an Advanced Sommelier candidate with the Court of Master Sommeliers; a Certified Cicerone candidate and a trained BJCP beer judge. He is a graduate of the IBA Training Center Europe (Tallinn, Estonia), and the BAR 5-Day program (New York, NY).