Inventory for August 21st, 2016
This week’s inventory sees Indonesia considering a country-wide alcohol ban (which could seriously endanger the national tourism business, London’s LAB bar is set to close and re-open as a new bar, Charles Heidsieck presents a limited edition of its champagne, and Robin Robinson tackles the rise and fall of the brand ambassador. Cheers!
People. It’s August. And what does that mean? That a) summer will be over before we know it and b) that there’s never been a better time to stuff our faces with juicy summer tomatoes. So get on it! We’re a big fan of eating them sliced like steaks, perhaps topped with some browned butter and maldon sea salt. For those of you, who like to get a bit more involved, here’s a recipe for a cheesy tomato pie. Filled to the brim with mascarpone, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Start your night with a americano or negroni and end it with this. Summer’s never tasted better.
Indonesia Is Considering a National Alcohol Ban
In today’s disturbing news for all of you Southeast Asia fans, Indonesia is considering a ban on alcohol. If you’ve spent any time in Indonesia the word “Bintang” (which means “star” in Indonesian) will certainly evoke memories of beaches, palm trees, and oh-so-much sweat. That might not be a reality much longer. Conde Nast Traveler reports that “The Indonesian House of Representatives is considering a bill that bans producing, consuming, or distributing beverages that contain more than one percent alcohol throughout the country”.
To put it bluntly: that would suck. Tourism officials are, naturally, concerned about how this will affect business. The head of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association says “If the bill is passed, our business will be done. No matter how beautiful the country is, if [tourists] can’t find alcohol, they won’t want to come here”. Indonesia passed a law blocking a sale of beer in convenience stores and other small neighborhood shops in May. The country is trying to strike a balance between economic growth and adhering to local customs.
London’s LAB Bar to Close and Re-Open as New Bar
“Soho’s iconic LAB bar is set to close next month, but will reopen later this autumn as a new bar”, Imbibe reports. It will be run by Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, in partnership with Nightjar and Oriole’s owners Edmund Weil and Roisin Stimpson. Your last chance to drink at LAB is September 11th, “following a weekend of closing parties that will see some of the bar’s best-loved alumni come back for final guest shifts”. The new bar will open soon after, in November. The husband and wife duo will oversee the concept and drinks list, which will follow the simple and classic style of drinks that they’ve become known for.
Charles Heidsieck Jéroboam-Edition
In the spirit it’s founder, the champagne house Charles Heidsieck is releasing a strictly limited edition titled Champagne Cosmopolite. The bottles are limited to 150 worldwide, which will be available in a 3-liter format come September. Twentyfive of the Jéroboams will come bedded in a book about Charles Heidsieck, said to be worth 1.000 Euros. The Brut Réserve’s tasting notes are the following: a fine brut with clear notes of brioche and apricot, very mineral, and creamy yet subtle.
The Rise and Fall of the Brand Ambassador
After Diageo suddenly announced that it would end its Brand Ambassador program, Robin Robinson put pen to paper in hopes of explaining the “rise and fall of the brand ambassador” and the sudden ending of Diageo’s program. It’s a lengthy piece, but one well worth reading. He tracks the need and history of the brand ambassador job from the 1970s to present time. If you don’t have the time to read it, his take away messages to brands is this: “The lesson for every other company that either has or is thinking of having brand ambassadors: teach them the mechanics of sales. Put them in a position to actively assist each sale being made.”
And to the brand ambassadors still out there: “make sure you’re always working on your “B” plan: learn business skills along with distillery notes. If you come from behind the bar, make it a point to understand retail. If from retail or other walk of life, learn the accounting of bar management. Ask distributors how they work, pay attention to their perspective. Stay ahead of the news not only for your brand, but your category and the spirits world in general”.
Sound advice and one worth considering, especially since we might just see this happen here sooner rather than later.
Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.