Archive for the ‘Diageo’ tag

BEER EXPERTISE BROUGHT TO A NEW LEVEL AT MKTG

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MKTG’s very own Senior Guinness Brewery Ambassador Chris McClellan was recently notified that he passed his Advanced Cicerone Exam. To put this achievement into perspective, there are currently 100 Advanced Cicerones in the world, and less than 10% of people who pass, do so on the first attempt, as Chris did. We all know that Chris knows beer, and this certification places him in rare company. We sat down with Chris to learn a little bit more about how he turned his love for all things beer into a career, and how the entire Guinness Brewery Ambassador team at MKTG has helped Guinness build on their reputation as a leading global brewery.

Q: Tell us about your role as a Senior Guinness Brewery Ambassador at MKTG:

A: We started the Guinness Brewery Ambassador program at MKTG about three years ago with the vision of building a national team of beer experts and storytellers. This is a totally unique offering in the beer business, even today, with no other brewery offering this sort of team. It’s an unbelievably interesting and competitive beer market here in the U.S with almost 7,000 operating breweries across the country. The previous high for number of breweries was in the 1870’s at just over 4,000!

Today, beer is all about great stories and education, and our efforts have nicely positioned us to fully support and help build on the audience for Guinness’ portfolio. My role is both as a regional Ambassador for the brewery, and strategist for program. I help set some of the vision for the program, along with our entire team of talented Ambassadors, build our digital presence and toolkit, and try to act as a sounding board for any/all beer-related programming in my region.

Q: How did you land a job working in Beer? What was your journey?

A: I have worked in beer for about ten years now, on and off. My first job in beer was upon finishing business school at the University of Vermont when I landed a job at Magic Hat Brewing Company, my local brewery in my hometown of South Burlington, VT. Most people have heard of Magic Hat, so it was a great springboard into the industry. Since then, I’ve worked in various positions, both in strategy, marketing and sales.

I started my storytelling website and digital consulting practice about six years ago, The Brew Enthusiast, which I still try to write for with whatever time I’ve got left in the day (if you’re interested in beer, sign up for the weekly newsletter). I have written about beer for a bunch of different publications over the years as well, which is how I got on the radar for Guinness. I could talk about this story for hours…I’ve gotten lucky more than few times to get to where I am now, and I think most people could say that about their careers in some regard.

Q: What is the Advanced Cicerone® Exam? Is it for Guinness experts only or for beer experts across the board?

A: You can see more details on the Advanced Cicerone exam here, but essentially it’s a very difficult 10-hour exam (all in one day) held a few times a year on all things beer. The Cicerone Program was started eleven years ago by Ray Daniels, a legend in the beer industry. You need to have passed the previous two levels (Certified Beer Server® and Certified Cicerone®) to be eligible to take the Advanced Cicerone® exam.

It’s very similar to the levels of the Sommelier program in wine, which people might be a little more familiar with. It’s essentially built to help certify and benchmark industry standards in knowledge and education.

Not only do I have to be an expert on global and regional beer styles and their history, but also beer quality, draught systems, food and beer pairings, off flavor identification, etc. The sheer breadth of what you can be tested on is quite extensive, so I’m very proud of and humbled by this achievement.

Our entire team of Guinness Brewery Ambassadors, all of whom bring a unique skillset and incredible knowledge to their jobs, are at least at the Certified Cicerone® level, which is an extremely difficult level to achieve by itself and very rare in the beer industry (there are only about 3500 Certified Cicerone’s in the world right now). The program is definitely NOT just for Guinness experts, but most folks who take the Cicerone exams work in the beer business in some capacity. It’s for anyone looking to help certify their knowledge and become a known expert in the field.

Q: How did you prepare for the exam?

A: It helps tremendously if you work in the businessfor a few years at the very least, but on top of that I studied for almost the past few years whenever I had some free time. Beer style tastings, off flavor tastings (when you identify what’s wrong with the beer), reading all of my beer books over and over again, taking apart draught systems and putting them together, reading all the blogs I could, brewing with friends who work in the industry…again, I could go on for hours. It’s fun and a little stressful.

 

 

Q: You are now one of just 100 Advanced Cicerones on the planet! How does that feel and what’s next?

A: It feels great! I’m grateful for the support from MKTG and Diageo to help me get there. The entire GBA team is going to continue to push the needle for a great conversation around beer, and this accreditation is just another step on the stairs. I’m very passionate about beer, mostly because of the fascinating people who work in the beer business, so it doesn’t feel like work to me.

 

 

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 12th, 2018 at 11:54 am

A Day In The Life of…Guinness Ambassador Ryan Wagner

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It’s that time again! Time to get to know another one of our amazing #HumansofMKTG.  To finish off the year, we’re taking a look at a day in the life of Ryan Wagner, our Baltimore-based Guinness Brewery Ambassador.

What exactly does it mean to be a Guinness Brewery Ambassador?

Well, there’s a team of nine of us around the country, we divide up the country evenly. My territory is Maryland, DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It’s our job to kind of spread the gospel of Guinness in any way that we can. So it’s mainly focused on education, and whether that’s getting in front of the sales team at a distributer, or getting in front of the bartending staff at an on-premise account and making sure that they’re up to date on Guinness’s quality standards and pouring techniques and all those things. Then it’s also designing consumer-facing events. I’m working with the Maryland Zoo for instance, in creating a program surrounding live zoo animals and the animals that are on the Gilroy posters from Guinness. So I do whatever I can to increase awareness of the things that we’re doing and making sure that everyone is as educated as possible about the world of beer. Not just the world of Guinness, because if people are smarter drinkers, then we hope that’ll lead them to Guinness anyway. And then also because I’m based in Baltimore and our new brewery is being built here, I’ve been spending a lot of time helping everybody get up to speed at the brewery and in the taproom as well.

The cat that’s “probably screaming”

Would you tell us a little bit about your morning routine?

Because I work primarily with staff at bars and restaurants and things like that, I tend to use my mornings to get caught up on admin work, whether that’s responding to emails or dealing with expenses. So I usually take my time in the mornings because, more often than not, I know it’s going to be a later evening. I’ll spend the earlier part of the day working on the busy work.

 

What about first thing when you wake up in the morning? The before work stuff…

Oh my goodness. I hit the snooze button like 17 times. I deal with the cat that’s probably screaming at me. If it’s the day my fiancé doesn’t open the gym where she works, then I’ll get up and make breakfast for us. If she’s already gone and it’s just me then breakfast is something really simple like cereal. Then I sit down and turn the TV to CNN or ESPN and get caught up on what’s going on in the world. Finally, I open the computer and get to work.

 

Are you a big podcast listener?

Occasionally I’ll listen to a couple of the beer podcasts. Some of the stuff that the guys at Beervana do or Good Beer Hunting to, again, keep up with what’s going on in the market.

 

Do you have any go-to lunch spots?

Yeah, Smoothie King! When you work in beer, and you know you’re going to be drinking a lot of it, you know a lot of your calories for the day are going to be coming from beer. So you have to try to keep it light for lunch. It’s not always easy, but if there’s a Smoothie King around I try to have that for lunch.

 

What about an after work activity? Do you have a favorite?

Spending time with my fiancé. We both work a lot. Depending on the time of year I work three or four jobs and she’s busy as well. She’s a group fitness director for a regional chain of athletic clubs so my favorite activity is literally something as simple as an SVU marathon and laying on the couch and just being around each other.

So you said you’re typically working 3-4 jobs at a time, can you tell us a little more about what those are?

Yeah it’s quite a few things! My background is really varied. Obviously, Guinness is my fulltime job and where I spend the majority of my time. In addition to the experience I have working with beer, I have a couple other part-time gigs that are a lot of fun that I like to do whenever I have the opportunity to. One of them is teaching a class called Body Pump, which is a group fitness weight-training class. So I’ll typically do that once or twice a week it’s usually early in the morning where I’ll go to the gym and teach a class. And then I also work for the local CBS radio affiliate in Baltimore doing sports talk radio. So I’ll do that a few times a month, where I’ll pick up a few hours and go in and talk sports. Then I also work for the Orioles when they’re in season. I am the announcer at the ballpark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so I’m the public address announcer at the stadium.

 

So let’s say the Orioles are in season, what does your workweek look like?

I mean it depends. So they’re home 81 times a year typically for anywhere from 3-10 days in a row at a time so it really just varies from week to week. But if I’m working all of my jobs simultaneously, which doesn’t happen terribly often, I might wake up at 5am to go teach a 6am class. I’d get back to the house at 7:30, have breakfast, and work on some admin stuff until it’s time to go on the road and go do my Guinness day. I’d visit a couple of accounts, do a staff training, work with bartenders on Perfect Pour, meet with a distributor. I’d meet with my distributor manager, see what’s going on for the week with him. Then I would be at the ballpark by 5 or 5:30. The game would start at 7. I’m there until 10. Then there are days where I go right from the ballpark to the radio station to do 10:30 until midnight on the radio. Again, it doesn’t happen often but if I’m doing all four in one day that’s what it’d look like.

It was a pleasure speaking with Ryan about life as a Guinness Brewery Ambassador, sports announcer, group-fitness instructor, and radio host.  You can keep up with Ryan on Instagram and Twitter @rwags614 or just catch him at the Orioles home games next season.  

Now that we’re wrapping-up 2017 A Day In The Life pieces, I highly recommend closing your year by sitting down with a colleague you don’t know so well and getting to know them better. It’s a privilege to hear the stories of the people we surround ourselves with every day. One thing’s for sure, MKTG is full of some pretty amazing humans. – MaryKate

 

 

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 30th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

MKTG wins Diageo’s ‘Breakthrough Performance’ Award at Supplier Awards

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Thrilled to share that MKTG was honored by Diageo North America for “Breakthrough Performance” at the 2017 Supplier Awards. Thank you to our long-time partners at Diageo, and to our amazing team for all of their hard work and dedication.

See here for the press release

Cheers!

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

November 2nd, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Smirnoff Love Wins Launch @ Stonewall Inn

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Last week, Smirnoff officially launched their Limited-Edition No. 21 Vodka “Love Winsbottle in their continued support of the LGBTQ community. No two bottles are identical as they each feature a unique rainbow color aesthetic as well as various polaroid images of real couples on every bottle created and photographed by San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon.

The launch was held at the iconic Stonewall Inn NYC, a national historic landmark site that launched the riots and modern LGBT rights movement. MKTG had the supreme pleasure of being at the forefront of transforming the iconic venue, elevating the look and feel of the space and executing the “Smirnoff Love Wins Launch Party.” The launch party also included several major media and social influencers such as Girl With No Job, Bachelorette Caila Quinn and several more.

Smirnoff has committed to donating $1f or every limited-edition bottle created (not, not just sold but created) to the Human Rights Campaign, which has currently equated to $260,000.
Go out there and buy your limited-edition bottle and support the cause!
To read more about the story behind the Love Wins bottles, see here
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TopSpin New York 2016

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For the sixth year in a row, MKTG was proud to produce another successful TopSpin Charity Ping Pong event last night at NY’s Metropolitan Pavilion as part of our MKTG4GOOD initiative. TopSpin raises awareness and provides funds for exceptional nonprofits that provide educational opportunities for under-served youth.

Over 1000 revelers enjoyed bites from some of the city’s top restaurants, themed cocktails and took home some insane goods from the ever-popular silent auctions…all the while cheering on celebrities, athletes and industry executives as they as they battled at the tables to take home the coveted TopSpin trophy and bragging rights.

Celebrity guests included US Women’s National Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dexter McDougle and Darryl Roberts from the NY Jets, Guillermo Hernangomez, Kyle O’Quinn, John Wallace, John Starks and Larry Johnson, WNBA stars Stefanie Dolson, Sue Bird and Deveraux Peters and Ibtihaj Muhammad, musician Kevin Jonas and the American sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics.

Take a look below for photos from last night’s event! Or watch our video HERE!

 

 

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

December 2nd, 2016 at 11:16 am

MKTG Brings You: Merry & Bright Bevies

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With the countdown to the holiday break in full effect, we wanted to make sure all of our fantastic followers are well equipped to bring the holiday cheer.  Show off your hospitality and bartending skills with the below list of holiday cocktails that will be sure to wow your friends and family.

The Zacapa Solera Hot Cocoa
ZacapaHotCocoa

1 1/4 ounces Zacapa Rum 23
1/2 ounce Pedro Ximenez Sherry
5 ounces Hot Cocoa
Grated Cinnamon and Cracked Pink Peppercorn for Garnish
Combine rum, sherry and hot cocoa into a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour contents into glass mug. Garnish with grated cinnamon and pink peppercorn.
(Recipe by Lynnette Marrero for Zacapa)

 

 

An Old Fashioned Holiday
OldFashion

1/2 
teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 
orange peel
5
 dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/2
 ounces Bulleit bourbon
1 1/2 
ounces apple cider
Muddle sugar, peel and bitters until sugar dissolves. Add bourbon and apple cider and add ice. 

 

 

Tanqueray Gin Flip
GinFlip

1 ¼ ounces Tanqueray® London Dry
½ ounce almond syrup
½ ounce heavy cream
1 egg
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with star anise.
(Recipe courtesy of Tanqueray)

 

 

Morgan Mule
Mogan Mule1.5  oz. Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
4  oz. ginger beer
2  sprig(s) mint
2  lime wheels
Muddle a mint sprig and lime wheel in the bottom of a tall glass. Add rum and ginger beer. Garnish with mint and lime.
(Recipe courtesy of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum)

 

 

 

 

The Ketel Fig & Rosemary
Ketel-One-Fig-Rosemary1.5 oz. Ketel One Oranje® Flavored Vodka
1 tsp. Dalmatia original fig spread
1 small branch of rosemary
0.25 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Club soda
Dry shake Ketel One Oranje flavored vodka, fig spread and rosemary in a mixing glass. Add lemon juice and simple syrup and shake with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and Angostura bitters.
(Courtesy of Kettle One)

 

Don’t forget to get the party started with MKTG’s own Holiday Cheer mix on Spotify.

 

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

December 22nd, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Portland Cocktail Week: F16 Bulleit

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Bulleit sponsored a lunch during Portland Cocktail Week and collaborated with 4 local vendors to create Bulleit-inspired menus, products and services for guests to experience. The local vendors included: Blue Star Donut, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream, Rudy’s Barber Shop and Portland Beard Company

The Blueberry Bourbon Basil Donuts and Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream were a hit with consumers. Rudy’s Barber Shop offered complimentary beard trims and Portland Beard Company distributed free samples and beard oils for purchase. Attendees experimented with the Maple Bourbon Sauce that was placed on all picnic tables, pairing it with burgers and sandwiches that were provided by food trucks.

See below for exclusive photos of the event!

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

November 5th, 2015 at 11:59 am

Portland Cocktail Week: Zacapa Rum

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PDXCW15_Major_Lounge_Zacapa-029

Zacapa’s global Brand Ambassador, Rebecca Quiñonez, hosted the Zacapa Rum Art of Slow Lounge at Portland Cocktail Week, as part of the Diageo World Class activation. Students at Portland Cocktail Week were able to access the Lounge space in-between classes, and there were four activation spaces set up in the same room by a variety of brands. Zacapa Rum transformed the Diageo space into the Art of Slow Lounge, allowing students to:

RELAX: with 5-10 minute chair massages, provided by massage therapists from the East West College of the Healing Arts (55 massages were executed in total)

REFUEL: Portland Roasting Coffee set up complimentary hot and cold brew coffee service, and whole beans were gifted to students in half-pound branded coffee bags

INDULGE: Macaroons were brought in from Farina Bakery

DISCOVER: World Class champion bartenders Charles Joly and Tyson Buhler served Zacapa Rum’s Guatemalan Coffee Cooler and signature Old Fashioned cocktails, along with Zacapa Rum National Trade Executor Lynette Marrero. Guests had the opportunity to meet our start bartenders, and learn about both Zacapa Rum and Diageo World Class

Follow our journey as we continue to recap Portland Cocktail Week highlighting other Diageo brands we worked with this year! Stay tuned!

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

November 3rd, 2015 at 2:42 pm

‘Power’ Party: Terrence J. Honors Lala Anthony at Zacapa’s NYC Rooftop Soiree

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thewrap-logo

 

Culture | By on August 28, 2015 @ 11:52 am

Event kicks off new series of intimate dinner parties toasting top NYC media and entertainment figures, in partnership with TheWrap, produced by MKTG for Diageo’s Zacapa Rum

COVER-Lala-Anthony-Terrence-J

E! host Terrence Jenkins raises a Zacapa Rum toast to guest of honor Lala Anthony, as Diageo’s Keenan Towns looks on, at the first Zacapa Room and TheWrap dinner party in NYC on Thursday night, August 27. (credit: Shannon Sturgis)

It’s not always lonely at the top.

E! News host Terrence J gathered 30 intimates on an NYC rooftop overlooking the Empire State Building for a special evening honoring former MTV VMA Lala Anthony on Thursday night. Anthony, star of 50 Cent’s Starz series “Power,” wrapped filming on Season 2 of the show two weeks ago.

For Lala and Terrence, the two have a long history together. In addition to co-starring in the “Think Like a Man” franchise and both gaining fame as hosts of live daily pop culture shows (Terrence on BET’s “106th and Park”, Lala as an MTV VJ on “TRL” and “Direct Effect”), Mrs. Carmelo Anthony would have you believe their bond goes back to the womb.

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ZaCoco-Cocktail-at-the-Zacapa-Room1

The ZaCoco cocktail started off the weekend early. (Shannon Sturgis)

– Source: The Wrap

 

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

September 3rd, 2015 at 9:26 am

TopSpin & MKTG Raise Over $400K for Youth Charities

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TopSpin 2014

MKTG INC and TopSpin, a national philanthropic group dedicated to empowering America’s youth through education, brought together members of the sports, media and entertainment industries on Wednesday, December 10th for the sixth annual TopSpin charity table tennis tournament at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City.

Dozens of celebrities, including current and former athletes including John Starks, John Wallace and Zab Judah, supported #TopSpin2014, which is produced pro-bono each year through our MKTG4GOOD initiative. In addition to world-class table tennis, the event featured three DJ’s, 15 food stations, top shelf bars, a silent auction and much more.

Proceeds benefit youth and education-focused programs in the New York metropolitan area. This year the money raised went to Horizons – BFS, A Better Chance, Wishbone, New Heights and Prep for Prep. With over 1,250 in attendance, the event raised $400k for these valuable programs.

For more information, visit www.topspincharity.com.

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