• What is Hackadram

    Hackadram is a unique opportunity to define the future of spirits around the world.

    We’re inviting you to an incredible venue to work with fellow specialists for 2 days in January to solve the future challenges of one of the world’s most respected and innovative premium spirits companies, William Grant and Sons - creators of world renowned brands such as Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder, Hendricks and many more. Then pitch to the key decision makers for a chance to see your idea commissioned.

    Your ideas remain your Intellectual Property and any that are judged to meet the challenge could be commissioned by William Grant and Sons, who are committed to investing in the best ideas generated from the Hackadram. You know the brands, now the challenge is set to redefine their future.


    This isn’t just work hard, but play hard too - look out for roving bars, a skittle alley, experimental drinks and much, much more.


    If this sounds like your kind of thing, then sign up for free now.

  • Need a bit more info?

    The Hackadram distills the best practices from the tech startup world, where problems are solved quickly, in novel ways through ‘hacks’. Intensive, open minded, loose format sessions with a challenge to solve and a specific output at the end ... but no fixed way to reach the conclusion. This removes the shackles of forced innovation and keeps fun and creativity at the heart of the process.


    The Hackadram will use this ‘hackday’ format run over 2 days from 25th to 26th January 2018.


    There are a 4 challenges - from the drinking experience through to the future of ecommerce and bartender engagement. You can attend as a team, or individually (and form a team on the day).


    Then on the final day you present your solution to the team of legendary judges. The best ones are chosen to be taken forward.


    So bring your best concepts, bring your best team, or form your team on the day and pitch for the chance to win a contract to launch your project as well as grab some of the latest tech prizes.




    Your ideas remain your Intellectual Property and any that are judged to meet the challenge could be commissioned by William Grant and Sons, who will be investing in the best ideas generated from the Hackadram.


    For some creative inspiration the latest concoctions from William Grant will be available and everyone who participates will get one of the prized and properly stocked goody bags. Expect top quality food, music, amazing cocktails, well stocked bars and plenty of entertainment in the evenings. See more below.


    This hack is organised by 1UP (Formerly Hoxton Mix Collective) who have organised hacks for many innovative companies from Unilever to Durex.

    Need more info still? Email matt@get1up.co.





  • Who are we looking for?

    Are you an expert in your field, or have you ever stared at something and thought … I could do better? Are you the type of person who has solved a problem before others notice it’s a problem? Do you enjoy smashing ideas around with like minded and challenging people, or are you the kind to quietly mull over a problem?


    We’re calling innovators of all kinds - from bartenders, technologists, luxury experts, developers, book binders, retailers, curators, to spirited consumers, marketers, baristas and more to get together for 2 days in January 2018 in London.


    Come as a pre-formed team with an idea, or come on your own and form a team on the day.


    Everything you need is provided, including some liquid inspiration - just bring your minds (and a laptop might help). Sign up now.





  • The briefs​

    An overview of the briefs is below.


    Glenfiddich has been a disruptive influence and innovator in the whisky category over its 130 year history. The brand is however still sometimes perceived as being traditional or not particularly disruptive by consumers/drinkers.


    How can Glenfiddich build on The Experimental Series, to genuinely push boundaries, to inspire people who like to write their own rules in life, to inspire maverick spirit in how it communicates, in how it innovates and in how it delivers consumer experiences?



    How can we use technology to improve the customer experience in a retail environment that leads to greater engagement with our brands and therefore improved sales?



    Bartenders are the gatekeepers between the consumer and the brand. They are influencers, our biggest fans and our toughest critics. Brands communicate with them in the hope to inspire advocacy through a variety of mediums including bar tools, in bar POS items, packaging, experiences and events.


    How do we innovate to drive deeper connections between bartenders, our brands and their customers?




    e-Commerce is the fastest growing area of Retail. FMCG brands are working to build capabilities online in order to establish solid foundations & a foothold for the future. How can WG&S take early leadership in e-Commerce & build expertise through acquisition (e.g. Unilever < Dollar Shave Club), minority stakes, strategic partnerships or future e-Commerce trends?


    What idea do you recommend to recruit new shoppers into our brands & step change the future of e-commerce at WG&S?


  • The judges

    We’ve scoured the UK for the best people to judge the ideas. They represent the best of tech, innovation and drinks industry.

    Ryan Chetiyawardana

    Global Bartender & Innovator of the Year

    Ryan was regarded as one of the world’s most innovative bartenders before he opened White Lyan in 2013, but this elevated him to a new level. It became famous for it’s fresh take on drinks and named Best Bar in the World, along with a host of other awards. It was the first cocktail bar globally to use no perishables whatsoever, no fruit and even no ice, meaning the amount of waste is significantly lower than any other bar.


    He followed this up with Dandelyan, and more recently Cub (mixing food and drinks with strong sustainability) - both of which have become equally famous and award winning year on year.

    He puts innovation at the heart of his business, and is known for nurturing great talent and ideas.

    Simon Devonshire OBE

    Serial Entrepreneur

    The Hackadram kick-off includes an inspirational keynote from serial entrepreneur, Simon Devonshire OBE who has co-founded and scaled-up a number of ventures including One Water, and Zopa.com.


    Simon's latest ventures include: Yoti.com Howz.com and Wrisk.co. Simon will share with us a fun perspective on where he gets his ideas from and how he converts them into rapidly scaling businesses. Simon co-founded and for more than three years ran the international start-up accelerator, Wayra Europe.


    And so we are especially delighted that Simon will also be joining the panel judges to help select the winning team.

    Benjamin Southworth

    Startup expert

    Benjamin Southworth has been working in technology and startups for eighteen years.


    He has held roles at a variety of tech startups as well as more established technology business. These diverse roles covered product management, marketing, community building and community management. Deciding that the community aspect is where his true passion lay, he co-founded 3beards, an events company serving the capital's tech, creative and entrepreneurial communities. 3beards is best known for its highly successful and now international Silicon Drinkabout events.


    The success of 3beards led to Ben being recruited to the role of Deputy CEO of TechCity, a government-backed organisation that was formed to foster the growth of the burgeoning tech hub around the Old Street area of East London.

  • Philip Gladman

    Global Chief Marketing Officer at William Grant & Sons

    Gary Keogh

    Regional Marketing Director EMEA at William Grant & Sons

    Cate Moore

    Global Director of Advocacy, Connections and Ecommerce at William Grant & Sons

    Matt Hawes

    Global Brand Director – The Balvenie, Monkey Shoulder and Drambuie at William Grant & Sons

  • Agenda

    Day 1: January 25th

    08:30 Registration and breakfast

    09:30 Introductory presentations

    11:00 Commence hacking

    13:00 Lunch

    17:00 Bar opens

    18:00 Dinner and entertainment

    23:30 Close


    Day 2: January 26th​

    08:30 Breakfast

    09:30 Day 2 introduction

    13:00 Lunch

    14:00 Bar & pitching starts

    17:30 Winners announced

    18:30 Drinks and networking

    20:00 Close


  • Sign up now

    If this sounds like your kind of thing, then sign up for free now.

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  • About William Grant and Sons

    William Grant and Sons is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. William Grant had the dream of creating the best dram in the valley and 130 years later this holds true. Today, the premium spirits company is still run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendricks® Gin, Sailor Jerry®, Milagro® Tequila, Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey® and Drambuie®.

  • Venue details

    The Hackadram takes place in the Plexal, the innovative start up space, based in Here East within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford from 25th to 26th January 2018.


    Address: 14 East Bay Lane, The Press Centre, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E15 2GW


  • Inspiration from William Grant and Sons brands

    The Balvenie

    The Balvenie Unveils the Secrets of Whisky Making

    Grants Whisky

    The Greatest Job Interview in the World


    How Glenfiddich is Rewriting the Rules of Single Malt Whisky

    Something Different, A Short Film by Hendricks Gin

    It's hard to describe, just watch

    Tullamore DEW

    The Beauty of Blend