Authenticity is something that THE DUKE distillery has placed great value on since the first distillation in Munich's Maxvorstadt and that runs like a common thread through the entire company. Of course, this also applies to the employees and our distillers share the same passion for fine spirits as our sales team or purchasing. This is why we are so pleased that we have had a brand ambassador for a good six months who is at home in the bar scene and lives for good drinks. We would like to introduce: Our bartender portrait #3 withGuy Irmhof-Britt, bartender at heart and brand ambassador for THE DUKE distillery.
Many recognize him by his hands alone. Guy's tattooed fingers can often be seen in press photos as they conjure up drinks with skillful ease at an event or pass freshly mixed cocktails over the bar in a trendy bar that almost look too good to drink. The well-built young man is in the office almost every weekend Rodman Bar, a hip hop club in Munich's Gärtnerplatz district behind the bar. It's not primarily about making extra money, but rather about the passion for nightlife and good drinks.
After Guy gave us his two signature drinks THE DUKE Gin and LION’s Vodka served, we chatted with him a bit at our distillery bar and it became clear once again: behind the many tattoos and the broad shoulders lies an extremely loving character and a very big heart.
THE DUKE Destillerie: Dear Guy, you have been with us at THE DUKE Distillery as a brand ambassador since spring of this year. We are very happy about this. What did you do before and what brings you to us?
Guy Irmhof-Britt: I started my training as a system catering specialist at Mövenpick in the Künstlerhaus in 2004. I have always been interested in good food and gastronomy itself, but my greatest passion has always been drinks and spirits. In 2006 I became bar manager at the Mövenpick Stadthaus N1 in Mannheim. Three years later I went back to Munich as restaurant manager for Feinkost Electronica in Lehel. In 2016 I took over the event management at Lebenslust Lehel for a year before starting the following year as Area Manager On Trade at Beam Suntory. As a Munich resident, I have known THE DUKE distillery since its beginnings on Barer Straße and when I heard about the Brand Ambassador position, everything happened pretty quickly. (laughs)
We know that you have a passion for spirits, but you probably weren't like that as a child? What did you want to be back then?
We are pleased that you chose the bar world instead of cars. Even though you travel a lot for THE DUKE, you still work in various bars on the side - what do you enjoy doing so much?
Getting to know different people and different characters. Every evening behind the bar is different and you meet people you might never meet otherwise. I find that very exciting.
What has been your biggest success so far?
It has always been my desire to work for an authentic brand and represent it both nationally and internationally. With my position as Brand Ambassador of THE DUKE Distillery, I can finally make this happen.
What couldn't you do without in your life?
Here's to good food. I enjoy treating myself to good food, looking at new concepts and getting inspired.
Why is THE DUKE Gin and LION's Vodka in your back bar?
Because the two of them – just like me – are real Munich kids! They are also manufactured with great attention to detail and handcraft. For me, the products are, above all, the people behind the brand. Starting with our founder Max, through our distillers Magic and Andi, who are great to talk shop with and philosophize about spirits, to our shipping team. We have a very special family spirit that I think is very unique.
I just can approve that too. Tell us your perfect drink!
Whiskey Sour! That just always works for me.
And what would you get up very early in the morning for?
For the fresh pain au chocolat when we are on vacation in the south of France.
Speaking of vacation – you really enjoy working and quite a lot. What does a day off look like for you?
First of all, sleep in, ride around the neighborhood on the Harley, meet up with friends and just relax and enjoy the day.
If you had one wish for the bar scene – what would it be?
That people learn to appreciate quality more. A fresh, delicious drink can sometimes be more complicated and cost a little more. You know this: The organic ingredients that we use for our spirits at THE DUKE are more expensive, but the quality of the products is simply much higher. That should be respected more.
You've been working in the catering industry for so long - let's talk a little about it. What is your craziest gastro story?
(Guy thinks for a long time, then starts to laugh and tells the story.) One shift on a Tuesday evening there were only a few people left in the bar around midnight and I sent my two colleagues off work. Less than fifteen minutes later, a tour bus stopped in front of the door and a huge group of Asians stumbled through the door, slightly drunk. The tour guide came to me and asked for twenty “little ladla”. It took me several minutes and two cell phones to understand that he wanted to order 20 small cyclists for his group. We had a nice evening and lots of photos were taken.
Finally, do you have a request for your guests?
Relax, enjoy your drinks and just have a nice evening.
The guy has already created a number of drinks with our spirits and has put many of them on the menus of various bars. Today we want to introduce you to two of his favorites: LION's Vodka and THE DUKE Gin; Of course with recipes so you can mix them at home. Voila:
If you get the opportunity to get to know Guy in person at an event or at the bar, here's a little note: "Guy" is a French name and it is pronounced "Gii" and not "Gai" or "Gui".