Calling all innovators: William Grant & Sons to hold a two-day whisky and gin hackathon at Plexal

In every cask, in every bottle and in every dram, there’s no mistaking the heritage and love that’s gone into perfecting some of Britain’s most loved spirits. We’ve been drinking gin since the 17th century (when it was typically imbibed to cure everything from gout to stomach aches) and whisky first made its way to Scotland and Ireland even further back in the 15th century. But while tradition and history are part of the appeal for British whisky and gin brands, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a measure of innovation too.

And with that in mind, William Grant & Sons is inviting people from all walks of life to take part in Hackadram: a two-day hackathon at Plexal on 25 and 26 January 2018 aimed at shaking up the way spirits are talked about, distributed and enjoyed.

The brief 

William Grant & Sons owns spirit brands like Glenfiddich – the world’s best-selling single malt whisky that’s been made by the Grant family since 1887 – and Hendrick’s Gin –  which to this day is made in a small pot still originally built in 1860.

And it’s hoping that London’s entrepreneurial community can help it tackle four distinct challenges during the hack:

1. Help Glenfiddich push the boundaries and show consumers that it embraces innovation as well as heritage.

2. Explore ways of using tech to improve the experience of buying a spirit, encourage people to engage with William Grant & Sons’ brands and, ultimately, drive more sales.

3. Find ways to help bring bartenders, drinks brands and their customers closer together.

4. Leverage the ecommerce opportunities to drive engagement and sales.

What to expect

You’ll work in groups over two days to hack one of the above challenges, before pitching to a panel of judges who will be looking out for an idea to commission.

But it’s not all hard work: there will be food, roving bars, experimental drinks to get the creative juices flowing and plenty of socialising.

Whether you’re a bartender, creative, retailer, coder or simply a whisky and gin lover, people from all walks of life are welcome.

The event takes place on 25 and 26 January at Plexal Park (which also recently hosted the 24-hour Climathon hackathon) and places are still available if you want to sign up. Bottoms up!