The coin for our times was designed by Bréagha Wolfgang of Draffens cocktail bar in Dundee.
The competition had over 170 entries showing that a) bartenders love them some Fernet Branca and b) that they still need an outlet for their creativity despite the lockdown.
From that 170, twelve finalists were picked (all their impressive designs can be seen below) who embarked on a social media campaign to garnish votes. These votes were combined with the judging panel which included Global Brand Ambassador for Fratelli Branca, Nicola Olianas, and his UK counterpart, Poppy Croft.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Fernet Branca Coin thing, it has been around since 2010. The theory is if you’re stood at a bar and someone puts down a Fernet Branca coin they have challenged you. If you show your coin they have to buy the drinks, if you fail to produce a Fernet coin then you are dusting off that wallet.
Since it launched there have been dozens of different coin designs minted. This year in the UK, bartenders were challenged to create a coin which showcased ‘what makes the industry great’. Celebrating family, community and creativity is the core belief of the brand and being able to engage and support the trade at this challenging time was paramount to them.
This comes through in Bréagha’s explanation of her design: ‘My coin design was inspired by reflecting on the tough times and stress we all go through in this industry and how incredible it is that our communities support and lift each other during those times. The ‘cheers’ around the edge of the coin is about seeing each other as an equal part in life, drinking to new friends and to those we’ve lost along the way which I think defines our industry well.’
Bréagha got rewarded with cash, coins, booze, merch and a trip to The Bar Back Games for her and a couple of colleagues. Most of all though she got to see her design made into a physical, and very swanky, coin.