New House of Suntory Brand Ambassador

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Kirsten Blackie-Gault



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We are excited to announce the appointment of our first UK brand ambassador for The House of Suntory, James Bowker.

The House of Suntory has been instrumental in establishing the Japanese Craft Spirits category in the UK and the appointment of James will ensure the trade can experience the true spirit of Japan, without leaving the country. As a result of his significant expertise in the category, James will be working closely with leading bartenders across the UK, to drive wider awareness and discovery of The House of Suntory spirits through brand education, category training and continued serve development.

James joins The House of Suntory at a very exciting time, following 10 years’ bartender experience at iconic venues such as Jekyll and Hyde Birmingham which allowed him to fine-tune his cocktail making techniques and master his palate. During this period, James also became head bartender at The Edgbaston Hotel, where he learned about Japanese technique, five-star service and developed a selection of over 60 Japanese whiskies for consumers to enjoy.

Shortly after this, James spent time in Japan working as an apprentice at Bar High Five in Tokyo. Here, he deepened his knowledge of Japanese cocktail techniques and spirits by visiting the country’s major whisky distilleries. This role strengthened his capability to communicate Japanese authenticity and therefore, his ability to become a true ‘embodiment of The House of Suntory’ as part of his new role.

James said: “I’ve always had a passion for spirits and grew very fond of The House of Suntory whisky portfolio during my early days behind the bar. I can’t wait to become the face of The House of Suntory in the UK, building strong partnerships with bartenders and venues across the country to broaden the appeal for Japanese spirits, serves and the brands’ founding principles for continued perfection.”

Nick Temperley, General Manager, London added: “With his broad knowledge of the Japanese whisky and spirits category, his growing passion for The House of Suntory and strong recognition within the UK trade, James has all of the qualities, skills and experience necessary to further drive brand advocacy and inspire customer loyalty amongst the UK industry. It is a truly exciting time for The House of Suntory with Japanese whisky category growing 35% and UK consumers increasingly tuned into Japanese culture. With new initiatives and investment to support the on-trade, we will further drive the popularity that The House of Suntory has already enjoyed over recent years.”