The Cask Project

Sharp’s spoof advert shows why real bar staff remain invaluable

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Sharp's Solar Wave advert highlights importance of bar staff

Related tags Brewing Cask ale Cellar management Branding + marketing

Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery has launched a short mockumentary video about an “AI-powered barman” that illustrates the importance of a human touch to the pub experience.

The Alexa-style ‘barman’, which is called ChatIPA, is part of a campaign for the company’s hazy cask IPA, Sharp’s Solar Wave, which was introduced to the on-trade in April this year.

Told through the eyes of a very sceptical licensee, the video puts ChatIPA at the front of a bar that shows pub customers constantly being interrupted by the machine – from a ruined first date to badly poured pints.

sharp's IPA chatIPA

Demand for hazy beers

Brewed at the Sharp’s base in Rock, Cornwall, Solar Wave Hazy IPA comes as “demand for hazy beers and IPAs continues to rise – styles favoured by drinkers in the craft beer category”, which has grown by 68% since 2018, according to CGA data cited by Sharp’s.

The new hazy cask IPA “aims to deliver the big, tropical hop aromas associated with New World beers, and a style and brand identity that stands out against more traditional-looking cask ales”.

Sharp’s Brewery marketing controller James Nicholls said: “With more than 300,000 pints of Solar Wave bought across the UK so far, we’re proving that our new hazy IPA doesn’t require any gimmicks.”

Importance of bar staff

Nicholls continued: “Taking an ironic look at the AI craze is about highlighting how important great bar staff are to the pub and bar experience and is another step in our bid to bring traditional cask beer to a new generation of drinkers through Solar Wave.

“We know that the secret to success lies in combining tradition with modern innovation. At Sharp’s, we have a dedicated pilot brewery where we have produced over 50 innovative new brews using our tried-and-trusted brewing methods, and Solar Wave is a perfect example of that experimentation in action.”

The video is available to watch on YouTube​.

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