THE PINNACLE GUIDE : A brand new 1, 2 & 3 PIN recognition system for the world’s best bars


A brand new recognition system for the world’s best bars has been announced – set to become one of the bar industry’s most respected accolades of excellence. 

The Pinnacle Guide begins its road to launch with an innovative, industry-first, six month Consultancy Phase, with all members of the global drinks trade invited to shape the way excellence in bars is measured and rewarded. 

The restaurant industry has long enjoyed the benefits of a globally recognised 1, 2 and 3 Star rating system in The Michelin Guide, which has entered the vernacular as a symbol of excellence and hugely impacted the visibility and appreciation of fine dining. Within the drinks industry however – the equivalent does not yet exist.

The people behind The Pinnacle Guide are three of the leading faces of the global bar scene -Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne, the co-founders of London Cocktail Week, alongside Dan Dove, the owner and operator of Global Bartending. 

Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne said: “We have been working behind the scenes on actualising The Pinnacle Guide for many years. We truly believe that the creation of such a system 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. 

We approached Dan Dove to collaborate with us on The Pinnacle Guide a few years ago. We have been friends and colleagues for many years on many different projects but through his most recent work – Global Bartending – he will provide a solid foundation and infrastructure -ensuring this project is a real success for the whole bar community.”

The Pinnacle Guide will become a new authentic, reliable and trusted recognition system for the bar industry, underpinned by clear and visible processes. As such, the road to launch begins with a six month Consultancy Phase, with all members of the global drinks industry invited to have their opinions heard and be part of the process of shaping The Pinnacle Guide. 

The Pinnacle Guide is designed to sit seamlessly alongside all existing bar recognition and ranking systems. It will have no limit on the number of bars that can receive 1, 2 or 3 PINs and will reward excellence based on factual, impartial information. Bars will be graded by anonymous, local reviewers, within a clear set of published parameters, that once finalised, will be used consistently across the globe. 

The Pinnacle Guide will also make the most of the opportunity to gather insight into the top echelon of the global drinks trade – an area of data that is currently in short supply. Through innovative analysis and presentation of the information required in order to award a PIN, 

The Pinnacle Guide offers a unique opportunity to elevate the entire industry through insight. 

THE CONSULTANCY PHASE : A first for the global drinks industry 

The Pinnacle Guide will be launching to the drinks trade in March 2022 with an in-depth six month Consultancy Phase. During this time – all members of the global drinks industry are invited to shape the way excellence in bars is measured and rewarded.

There will be a series of fortnightly open forums and panel discussions to finalise the format,alongside one-on-one video calls. Anyone with an opinion is welcome to have their say and anyone with an interest is welcome to watch the discussions. 

The full schedule and links to sign up to these sessions will be available onthepinnacleguide.com/bepartoftheprocess

Dan Dove said of the Consultancy Phase: “What has become abundantly clear as we’ve brought this project to life is the importance of conceptualising a system that is both fair and relevant across all territories and all styles of bars – which gives real opportunity to venues outside of capital cities. This is why the six month Consultancy Phase is vital. Creating ThePinnacle 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.” 

Following the six month Consultancy Phase, the final criteria and reviewer training programmes will be formalised, with bar reviews starting and the first PIN announced in 2023. The Pinnacle Guide will be awarding PINS within eight key markets in 2023 with the ambition to expand to 50 wider markets by 2025. 

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