The Pinnacle Guide's founders image 1

The Pinnacle Guide's founders

The founders of The Pinnacle Guide are three of the leading faces of the global bar industry.

Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne are the pair behind London Cocktail Week – the largest celebration of bar and cocktail culture in the world, now in its thirteenth year, having started under the umbrella of Difford's Guide.

They are also consultants, contributors and connectors for the global drinks industry through their consultancy business HANDS, with clients ranging from multi-national drinks companies to independent start-ups.

Dan Dove brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in a multitude of sectors across the hospitality industry, with over 18 years experience in beverage marketing, international event management, advocacy development and bar operations. He previously worked for a decade as the World Class Manager for Diageo Reserve and now owns and operates Global Bartending – a world-leading talent, event and strategic agency, managing an international network of some of the most influential bartenders on the planet.

Like many people within the drinks industry, the idea of a Michelin Star-style system for the bar world had been on the trio's mind for a number of years. Hannah and Siobhan claim that they'd been conceptualising how it could actually work since 2017 when they registered the brand name. In their words, "We've been talking around this for many years, trying to see how we could bring our specific expertise to making this happen. When the pandemic started, and suddenly we had a lot more time on our hands, we realised that now was the time to actually see whether it was feasible".

That's when the pair approached Dan, who had been friend and colleague for many years on many different projects. Dan himself had too explored how a rating system for the bar industry might work, especially during his time at Diageo. "When Hannah and Siobhan came to me with The Pinnacle Guide - I knew that the three of us were perfectly placed to actualise it. Between us we have more than 50 years experience of taking platforms to a global scale, on top of being brand agnostic, non-bar owners. I said yes straight away".

As well as his experience both within a major corporation and running his own global business, Dan brings the proven infrastructure and foundation from Global Bartending, which will ensure a solid "back of house" for The Pinnacle Guide

The three believe that the creation of The Pinnacle Guide will help advance the interests of the bar industry and bring luxury drinking experiences to a wider consumer audience. "We have been championing and promoting hospitality to the general public for well over a decade and believe we can continue this work on an even bigger scale", say Hannah and Siobhan.

Over the last two years, the three have been working behind the scenes on establishing how such a huge project could be realised. Whilst they maintain that they have a clear idea about how it should work, they believe that the responsibility of conceptualising a system that is both fair and relevant across all territories and which gives real opportunity to venues outside of capital cities, should not sit with just themselves. As such - they have decided to facilitate an opportunity for all voices within the industry to be heard before the format is finalised. This is where The Consultancy Phase comes in - a six-month process to which everyone in the industry is invited. The main element of this phase is the Round Tables - fortnightly Zoom panel discussions, each tackling a different element of The Pinnacle Guide. Alongside this, there is the opportunity to have one-on-one calls with the founders and submit feedback via anonymous surveys.

Dan Dove said: "The six-month Consultancy Phase is vital. Creating The Pinnacle Guide is a unique opportunity - one which we all take extremely seriously and one we hope the entire industry feels united by and inspired to be part of."