Born and raised in Birmingham, AL, Eric Bennett has always had a penchant for creating new flavors in food and drink. Eric attended Shades Valley/JCIB and went on to study chemistry at Birmingham-Southern College. While in college, he began working for the Brio/Bravo Restaurant Group as a server, and eventually, as a bartender. Extremely interested in the world of alcohol, he began researching brands and their history, while also learning how to prepare classic cocktails in a contemporary bar setting.
Through travel, Bennett was able to see that one could parlay an interest in spirits, and a love of flavor, into a professional career, so he sought an opportunity to enter the beverage world in Birmingham, AL. He was given the opportunity to manage the bar program at one of Birmingham’s highest acclaimed restaurants, Bettola. He also helped opened their sister restaurant, Vittoria Macelleria. For the last two and a half years, he has managed the bar program at Carrigan’s Public House, a gastropub focused on quality beer, craft cocktails, and elevated pub food.
Throughout his career, Bennett has focused on immersing himself in the beverage industry and knows that the path to success is to never stop learning. To that end, he is continually involved in programs and events such as AF&WF, United States Bartenders Guild, Portland Cocktail Week, and Tales of the Cocktail. Bennett has also participated competitions such as Bombay Sapphire/GQ Magazine’s Most Inspired Bartender and Taste of Atlanta’s Fernet Branca Showcase. Most recently he competed as one of fifteen national finalists in the prestigious competition, Diageo World Class.