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Nip of Courage reveals new brand ambassadors

Nip of Courage has revealed a team of three new brand ambassadors, who will parlay their significant bartending talent and experience into representing Australia’s craft distillers.

The three new brand ambassadors have been named as Brandy Martignago (NSW/ACT/QLD), Abby Roennfeldt (SA/VIC) and Emma Crisp (WA).

Martignago is the owner of Dulcie’s in Kings Cross – Sydney’s first 100% Australian craft spirits small bar – with over 10 years’ experience in hospitality; Roennfeldt is the owner of Hades Hula House in Adelaide, who also recently won the Australian leg of the Patron Perfectionists Cocktail Competition, and Crisp plies her trade behind the bar at Tiny’s in Perth, which was named Best New Bar at the 2018 ALIAs.

Nip of Courage, which celebrated its fifth birthday last year, represents 100% Australian-made and Australian-owned craft spirits, and is also the first spirits distribution company in Australia that is female owned.

Founder Kathleen Davies told BARS&clubs that the decision to bring on a team of three ambassadors was made with the aim of making a larger mark for Aussie distillers in the on-premise.

“We’ve found in recent years that the distillers that we represent in remote areas are becoming less relevant in the trade,” she explained.

“Perhaps it’s to do with the age of our distillers, or maybe because they are seen as ‘not cool’, or perhaps they cannot connect because they are not ex-bartenders… we don’t really know why?

“For example, we recently had a marketing manager of a prominent bar in Melbourne say to us that the only way we can promote our distilleries in their establishment is to have our distillers working behind the bar in a bar takeover.

“Unfortunately our distillers are not ex-bartenders and some are elderly and shouldn’t be standing for hours behind the bar creating cocktails. We would rather see our distillers hosting masterclasses with trade and consumers so they can share their stories and distilling expertise.”

Also, according to Davies, this “new phase” at NOC will build the professional profiles of both the new ambassadors and the experienced distillers that they will represent.

“The ambassadors will become experts in the industry and champion the support of Australian craft distillers,” Davies said. “We had to dig deeply to find the right personalities drawn from this industry.”

More than 400 people applied for the three positions, Davies revealed – but, “of that number disappointingly only 13 were female”.

“It was extremely difficult to narrow down the right applicants for these roles so we employed the expertise of Quynh Van Nguyen ‘Freelance Consultant at The Drink Bubble’ as an advisor to help with the selection process,” she explained.

“The final candidates were also taken through rigorous psychometric testing which supported our final decision.

“It is important to the growth of our business to employ talent based on our strong views around diversity because we believe that strength lies in our differences.”

The group of three will undergo a detailed induction in May to arm them with the knowledge needed to tackle consumer and trade enquiries.

“This is a huge investment for our business so we need to get it right and spend a lot of time on this process,” said Davies.

“Our Brand Ambassadors will hit the ground running in late May, hosting consumer and trade events also conducting bar staff training and regular customer visits in major cities.”

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