Guinness’s surge and settle method is marketing genius. Here’s how to apply it to your product.

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The cascade of white bubbles in a black sea of beer. Wait. Wait a bit more. And again. The surge and settle. Guinness’ famous two-step process has set it apart from all other beer since its nitrogenous inception in 1959.

The process involves taking a glass designed by Guinness, pouring at a 45° angle up to the harp logo, and stopping. Wait for a few seconds and then push the tap away and let the beer pour straight down to fill up the rest of the drink. This process should take 119.5 seconds, according to Guinness. …


Read on if you’re shivering with anticipation

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Researching why there’s such a thing as a cult following is like chasing a shadow. You know it’s there. You can see it right there! But there’s something inherently intangible about it. It’s a circular argument not dissimilar from your parents telling you to do something.

Why? Because I say so, that’s why!

Why does that phenomenon have a cult following, but that one doesn’t? Because it just does, that’s why!

This doesn’t mean all cult hits are unique in their recipe for cult success; Beyonce, Queen, Avengers, Bruce Springsteen, The Godfather, Ed Sheeran, Rocky Horror. Wait! Something happened at the end there. …


These 5 drinks will guarantee a friend behind the bar.

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Before getting into this, I’d like to stress that you should always drink whatever you want, however you want. A whisky full of ice, a martini (pornstar or otherwise), or even the humble beer — all drinks are created equal.

This is just a tiny window into the fourth wall that separates drinker from bartender, the drinks that create a rare bond. I am going to attempt to speak on behalf of bartenders here which, as I write this, suddenly seems somewhat of a rash decision.

1. Daiquiri

What an omelette is to a chef, the daiquiri is to a bartender. It is often used at the ultimate skills test because it marries the knowledge of dilution and balance, the two most important factors in making a cocktail. The bartender won’t just be able to throw together rum, lime and sugar. They’ll have to know the ratio of their sugar syrup, the quality of the lime juice, how their type of ice will react in the shaker, how long to shake for and how to pour correctly. This is the case for all drinks but the simplicity of this Caribbean classic leaves nowhere for the bartender to hide. If you order a daiquiri at the bar, the bartender will know your appreciation for classics and that you trust them to make the fundamental bartender’s test. …


7 reasons why the claw is the law

Cans of White Claw hard seltzer.
Cans of White Claw hard seltzer.

Remember life before the pandemic? It’s difficult. It seems impossible that we would all cram ourselves into a pub, shoulder to shoulder, like a waddle of penguins protecting their young, all cradling our precious pints like they were our own chicks. But we did do it.

We always think like this, we forget the past so quickly, leaving it just a blurred shape in the rear-view mirror. It’s what happened with the smoking ban. Older generations will remember incredulously being in a restaurant that allowed smokers at the table, huffing their Marlborough Golds right into their shrimp cocktail. …


How Ryan Reynolds swept away tradition and adapted Deadpool marketing to the booze industry

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Ryan Reynolds broke the mould. He broke the mould and emerged a sexy, foul-mouthed superhero. And now he’s done it again, only this time with gin.

The man attracts attraction. He is one of the hottest names in Hollywood and has built an exceptionally successful personal brand. What he has done with Aviation American Gin is a masterclass in the new and improved style of marketing.

He is now an owner of Aviation American Gin after drinking the best negroni of his life and promptly asking to buy the company. It has become one of the most successful of the celebrity-backed boozy endorsements and has by beverage giant Diageo for an estimated $610m, following the famous purchase of George Clooney’s agave activities in 2017 when his tequila . Simple maths here should dictate the more successful of the two, but I don’t think it does the gin justice to assess the success from just the sale price. …


Nightlife is dying. We need to save it.

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In 1976 Ian Curtis was 20 years old. The turn of his third decade couldn’t have been timed better. It’s funny how, looking back, the people and moments and places that changed everything always seem to come together at just the right time in just the right place.

He saw a gig in Manchester once. A spotty prophet called Johnny Rotten screamed at him and it changed his life. Ian went on to change music as well, before taking his own life aged 23. His Joy Division became New Order and they would bridge the gap between 70s disco and electronic beats of the 80s to create the first stirrings of what would later become acid house, housed and celebrated by the famous Hacienda in Manchester. …


Understanding just how deep prejudice can go.

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Let’s play a game, shall we? No one wins, but let’s play anyway.

A man and a woman are drinking at the bar.

Now quickly read these lists.

Beer, Whisky, Old fashioned

Prosecco, Rosé, Cosmopolitan

So, what does the person from line 1 look like?

And line 2?

Told you no one wins.

This template is taken from the Implicit Association Test, which I initially learned about in Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Blink’. The test is to measure the “strengths of associations between concepts and evaluations” e.g. minorities, sexes, or sexualities, the aim being to show that a faster response is linked to more deeply held preconceptions about certain groups. …


The 6 types of people guaranteed to ruin your night.

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I get people drunk for a living.

So far, I have a success rate of 100%.

This isn’t to say everyone leaves drunk.On average, I would say, they all leave tickled pink.

What I’ve learned after many years behind the bar is that across the slurred spectrum of sober to smashed, there is an equally wide chasm of personalities that need managing.

The vast majority of careers involve at least some customer interaction, some level of human engagement. …


We need to rethink, rework and rebuild our relationship with alcohol.

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I’m not here to try to sell the idea of booze. I’m not here to excuse it or push it or explain away the pain caused by it. Just by looking out the window, I can see a pub, empty beer bottles and a bus stop ad for White Claw. We already know booze sells. This isn’t news. But it is still controversial. We have come a long way in understanding the negative side effects of booze and yet consumption is at an all-time high. …

About

Oliver Man

I write about the products, ethics and marketing of hospitality.

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