A all-to-familiar invitation was extended to me a couple of weeks ago. It was the invitation to a spirit brand event. An event no doubt spawned to get myself and other bartenders on side with their product. It’s these sort of events I’m trying to stay away from now I have a moved into fifth gear with my own venture. This coupled with a long-term girlfriend and my impending 28th birthday means I’m getting to a stage in my life when I’m saying no to a free piss-up (sometimes). To paraphrase a Rapture song;
“A party’s no good cos’ the drinks are free. The free spirits aint settin’ no-ones spirits free'”.
But this one seemed different. This one -besides being for a brand I already like- was promised to be virtually alcohol-free. I say virtually because there were many, many bottles of product there, but it wasn’t the focus. It was also limited in numbers. Limited to 30 Sydney souls who work in Sydney’s finest bars. This was to be the start of the Sydney fraternity of Ketel One. Who was I to say no to something that sounded as elitist as that!?
The Ketel One Fraternity has been running now for a few years in Melbourne. It was established, with similar bartender numbers, as a way of showing its members behind-the-scenes looks of other artisan crafts. All whilst subtly tieing it into Ketel One’s own brand of family run,small batch, handmade, pot-distilled, neutral grain spirit.
It’s an approach I quite like. Instead of focussing events around getting bartenders sauced and ramming their brand down our throats, its more about looking after it’s fraternity members through support on-trade, and by giving them the opportunity to learn from the artisan trade of glass blowing, as an example.
The first meeting of its members was held last week at The Roosevelt. Because of Sydney’s putrid weather that day, the original idea of a bicycle-driven treasure hunt was called off. Instead we were treated to a fantastic three-course meal at Sydney’s newest eatery and drinkery.
As someone who wasn’t drinking that day, I must say I had an all together pleasant time. The food was fantastic, and it was matched by the company. I’m now in the fraternity. Part of the gang. I’m promised many great things are planned for the rest of the year. I’m really looking forward to it.
Thanks Ketel One for starting up a great initiative.