One of the pioneers of Australia’s booming small bar scene, Tim Philips-Johansson is set to leave the country, heading to Europe to take up a new role as Global Brand Ambassador for Johnnie Walker.

Speaking to The Shout’s sister title, Bars and Clubs, Tim said that while a brand ambassador role was not really something he had ever considered, when this opportunity came up, it felt like a dream offer.

“It’s been an exciting period for us, obviously a tough couple of months with the closing of Bulletin Place, but this role has been on the horizon for a while so it’s always been like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“It was over a year-and-a-half ago that I first started speaking to people about the role, and in true big corporation style, these things seem to take a lifetime to really get anywhere. We reached a point pre-pandemic where it was looking more likely than not, and then the role was shut down for 14-15 months, before a couple of months ago they re-approached me and asked if I was still interested.

“As someone as who has never been a brand ambassador, I’ve never had anything against brand ambassadors, but I just always thought to myself if I was going to do, I wanted to do it with conviction and obviously do it for a brand that I was inspired by and passionate about and be able to talk about in a full-time capacity.

“Johnnie Walker to me is the flagship brand of the Diageo portfolio, as a Scotch drinker my whole life I’ve always had a lot of respect for, so it was a dream offer.”

He added: “It’s the kind of role that you can look back on at the end of your working life and it certainly stands out as a bit of a watershed moment in someone’s career.

“It’s the world’s biggest whisky and it’s a brand that is on the back bars of every single bar in the world in some capacity and it’s probably in the liquor cabinets of most people at home. What I’ve come on board to do is really help to re-engage the brand with the trade a little bit.

“Scotch is a much historically maligned cocktail ingredient. Scotch in general has this unfair pigeon-holed expectation that it’s not to be messed with, so helping pair Scotch again with cocktail bars and showing them its flexibility and its versatility and just how malleable it can be, is exciting. And obviously within the portfolio of Johnnie Walker there’s a lot of great options there.”

For more from Tim on how he hopes to evolve Scotch as a cocktail ingredient and his not-so secret love of Baileys, head to Bars and Clubs.

Click here to subscribe to the Bars and Clubs weekly newsletter and keep up with the latest bar and Australian spirits news.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *