• Robin Honhold

Blocktail : Future drinking

Cocktails, Innovation, Consulting, drinks, bar, restaurant

Last year, Mr Lyan & I published an open letter in the drinks industry magazine, Imbibe. (Read the article here). Recently I've discussed this idea with a number of contacts and many have been super interested, however there is still confusion around our motivations, where the idea came from and where we hope that it goes.

Our collaboration with UCL & DH Ready came about through a shared passion for technological potential and creating a bridge allowing our creativity to pair with the different creativity of technology experts. The ambition is to make tangible solutions that challenge the issues we think need discussed! As a company Mr Lyan believes that we have an opportunity, through laughter and delight, to help consumers make better choices. Wether that's in our own venues, or by showcasing ideas and concepts that the wider industry might be interested in, ultimately we enjoy giving the option for people to explore new ideas.

The impact that our choices, as an isolated community, have on the wider global community are becoming well documented. The way we touch other ecosystems, wether that's in wildlife, social networks or global markets is high on our list of concerns and clearly on other people's too. The greatest tool we have to make change is our wallet, it is our permanent link to communities worldwide. To make choices with our money we need as much information as possible, don't underestimate just how difficult this is! Up until very recently, the choices presented to us came with little to no information on how they effected anyone but us; now we are in a period when we're not even sure if we can trust the information given to us.

The technology part of "Blocktail" - blockchain - provides an opportunity to irrefutably prove that what is claimed is true. Even at the best publicised, and world famous venues (like our very own Cub & Dandelyan), we rely on consumer trust to back up our claims. Quaglino's in Mayfair just released "The world's most sustainable cocktail", an exercise in trust from it's consumers (and the wider public). There is currently no way to verify a claim like this, it would be incredibly easy for that trust to be abused and the sceptical observer would be inclined to question their integrity. Which is incredibly sad, as any business willing to make changes to how they operate and promote the idea of sustainability should be applauded! This abuse of trust is what we now see in the wider reaction to media. 

Our aim with "Blocktail" is to showcase a platform that gives back control to the consumer, that allows them to make choices based on the knowledge that what they buy into is what they get. A method that allows the toil and effort that goes into giving consumers a better choice to be vindicated with the technology that often enables it in the first place.

We've seen a huge rise in interest for Blockchain across many sectors, our own initiative has drawn a fantastic response from peers and competitors alike. Often the biggest challenge that is cited is the complexity of explaining why blockchain is needed in the first place, what it brings to the party. The second biggest challenge is engaging suppliers in becoming a part of our blockchain, there is very little perceived incentive outside of a philanthropic gesture challenging our norms. So we encourage anyone who is vaguely interested to get in touch, from experience the imagined obstacles are much smaller in reality! We are only one or two ingredients away from having a fully-realised chain, with the right partners it wouldn't take much effort to reassure larger players this is a truly viable formula.



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