Inventory for September 18th, 2016

Hi, hello, and wilkommen! In this week’s inventory we take a look at nginious! Gin and its new distillery in Basel, how Berghain secured the same tax benefits as Berlin concert venues, and how a Canadian gin company used cultural appropriation in its lazy marketing campaign. Cheers!

September is here, which means October is not far off. Which means: it’s Bar Convent Berlin time! Don’t forget to buy your tickets for what is widely considered #bartendersxmas. Get the complete program, and buy your tickets, here.

New, Own Distillery for nginious! Gin

With the help of a crowdfunding campaign nginious! gin is set to move into its brand distillery in Basel this October. The company is hoping its crowdfunding campaign, called  “Give your brand a home”, will animate fans and friends support the gin. They hope to move into their new distillery as soon as possible, hence the crowdfunding project. If you would like to support the gin, you can buy the crowdfunding’s heart piece: the nginious! Distiller’s Cut Magnum. This will be the distillery’s first production and is limited to 3000 bottles. Find more information on the campaign here. 

Berghain Secures Same Tax Status as Berlin Concert Venues

Last week a German court ruled that the “legendary club provides more than mere entertainment and should therefore be taxed at lower rate”, so The Guardian. Berghain has enjoyed this tax reduction in the past, paying only 7% VAT on its income, but in 2008 the Berlin finance ministry decided that all nightclubs should be taxed as regular entertainment events, upping it back to 19%.

They then demanded millions of Euros worth of back payment. Now, a Cottbus court has revoked that decision “based purely on its assessment of the status of the club night itself”. However, during the trial “the judge emphasised that the ruling was not a decision of basic principle but specific to Berghain. In a previous case, the same judge at the same court rejected a similar appeal on behalf of the now-closed nightclub Cookies”. Just a lone win then.

Canadian Gin Company’s Campaign Accused of Cultural Appropriation

The Canadian gin company Ungava was founded in Quebec 2010. It produces a gin that’s infused with botanicals which are harvested from Canada’s north, “and was recently sold to a Toronto-based company for C$12m”. In 2013 they released a marketing video called Discovering the Inuit. This “showed cartoon Inuit characters paddling a First Nations canoe past igloos and polar bears while a man’s voice mimics the style of Inuit throat singers and chants ‘Ungava'”. The Guardian reports that this video caught the attention of Inuit freelance journalist Ossie Michelin earlier this month. He says “If you know the slightest thing about Inuit it’s that we use kayaks. And throat singing is a woman’s thing”. The video was quickly removed from the company’s YouTube page.

Michelin is not alone in his assessment, more people have taken offence to the gin’s lazy and offensive marketing. Ungava founder and president Charles Crawford said: “We are truly sorry that we’ve offended the Inuit community, as this was never our intent, nor does it align with our corporate values and beliefs. We are deeply sorry and we will do better”. It’s 2016, when will people learn that it’s not cool to rip off another culture that’s not their own? And that applies to all: bartenders who still think it okay to show up to a cocktail competition in blackface (!), girls who proudly don Native American headdress at ridiculous festivals over the summer, and teenagers who emulate the Kardashians by wearing their hair in cornrowed boxer braids. Not okay, none of this.


Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.

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