Cornelius Geary, Founder & CEO
Cornelius is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Firewater Media, a powerful combination of digital publishing, live events, and marketing capabilities, creating a multimedia company for the beer, wine, and spirits industries.
Founded in 2008, our network includes B2C and B2B digital publishing, events and social media marketing for beer, wine and spirits brands of all sizes and capabilities.
Firewater Media operates some of the industry’s most innovative consumer and trade platforms, including Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal, Bottlebooks USA, Drink Me, Craft Spirits Carnival, San Francisco Vintners Market, Wine 2.0, RadCru, and Wine Blast.
Prior to Firewater Media, Cornelius helped successfully launch Bulleit Bourbon and Don Julio Tequila with industry giant Diageo’s Reserve group.
Cornelius has been a wine and spirits judge for the American Distilling Institute and WSWA annual wine and spirits competition, and he regularly reviews, beer, wine and spirits products for Drink Me and Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal.
He has conducted interviews with industry titans including Peter Mondavi Sr., Jean-Charles Boisset, Tom Bulleit, Tito Beveridge, and Martin Miller.
Cornelius has been a guest speaker at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, the Wine Industry Technology Symposium, and Women for Winesense.
Cornelius is interested in angel investments in innovative consumer products in technology, food, non-alcoholic beverages as well as beer, wine and spirits brands and companies.
Natasha Swords, Editor-in-Chief
Natasha Swords is an accomplished editor and writer with 20+ years of creative composition, reporting and management. She hails from Dublin Ireland where she held the position of Editor at Jemma Publications. Natasha honed her editorial skills by delivering engaging content on a wide range of topics, before finally focusing on the alcohol beverage and cannabis industries. She is Editor-in-Chief at Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal as well as Drink me Magazine, where she leads all editorial content from story-idea generation to commissioning freelance writers and photographers. She also heads up CannEpoch, a lifestyle publication for the newly cannabis curious.
In 2018, Natasha launched Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal from inception, as well as the Bonfort’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a top-tier industry event connecting leading brands with key buyers.
Steeped in the alcohol industry media, she was previously editor of Off-License Magazine, California Beverage News and Patterson’s California Beverage Journal (now Tasting Panel Magazine), and ran corporate communications for a number of alcohol supplier companies including TGIC (now Guarachi Wine Partners) and distributor, TITAN Wine and Spirits.
Madeleine Knowles, Content Manager
Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Madeleine has always had a deep-seeded appreciation for a good, cold beer. She moved to San Francisco, CA, at 18 to pursue a degree in Media at the University of San Francisco where she also studied the Spanish language. She graduated in 2015, and has since worked as the E-Commerce Manager of a beloved retail company, the HR and Talent Acquisition Manager for an international marketing company, and now the Content Manager for Bonfort’s Wine and Spirits Journal and Drink Me Magazine. She oversees the creation, stylizing, and publishing of content for both publications as well as manages their social media presences.
For fun she writes, hikes, paints, cooks and explores the beautiful Bay Area that she calls home.
Michael Cervin, Wine Editor
Michael Cervin is the author of eight books including California Wine County) and he contributes and spirits articles to various publications including Robb Report, Forbes Travel Guides, The Hollywood Reporter, Old Liquors Magazine (Netherlands), The Whiskey Reviewer, The Tasting Panel, Fine Wine & Liquor Magazine (China), Decanter (London), Sommelier Journal, IntoWine.com, and many others. He is also professional wine and spirits judge serving at the Taste of Rum Festival in Puerto Rico, The Best of Vinho Verde Awards in Portugal, The Critics Challenge, San Diego Wine & Spirits Challenge, and San Diego Spirits and Cocktail Festival, The Central Cost Wine Competition, The San Francisco International Wine Competition, The California State Fair, and others. He is currently the wine buyer for the Santa Barbara Airport.