Starting up your own liquor line? Vol. My son has cookies

9,093
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Joined Aug 30, 2008
How hard is starting up your own line of liquor?
This thought just came into my head. I know what the streets want.

What is needed to make this happen?
I think it would be kind of fun, you know? From designing the bottle, to flying out to different distilleries, to drafting up a perfect marketing plan, to finding someone to be the face of the liquor. Sounds fun to me.

Anyone have any 1st or 3rd hand experience?
 
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U planning to use your own startup capital or are u pitching to angel investors and vcs
 
13,348
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Joined Sep 28, 2004
From permits, to licenses, it's an uphill battle. You are going store to store trying to distribute . The bigger guys have their own distribution line. You are going door to door trying to state why your product is better than the cheaper ones.

Unless you can find a niche audience asap, or get your product into clubs etc. right away and make a name for yourself, its just like any other company out there. One that needs to get their foot in the door and distinguish themselves from the rest.


Licenseing and permits seem to be the main factor. Then you look at capacity issues. Can you produce a quality product cheaper than the middle tier guys?

best of luck, but its not easy money
 

fontaine

Banned
8,053
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Joined Jul 5, 2013
Licensing and permits are the tough part, like homey said...

The equipment purchases can be tough... I know a guy that makes beer... Dude was struggling for about a decade and his wife almost left him...

Be broke through and got a distribution deal with a bunch of grocery stores in the Houston area, and is across the south

I forgot what kind of beer it was...



If you know any rappers, you should get them to try and push your product.

May sound stupid, but the quickest way to come up in the alcohol game is having somebody cosign...


I don't think its something you can just DO.
 
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Why not try making a product that doesn't lead to abuse, stupid decisions, fatal car accidents, and feeling terrible in the morning.

You want a prime market? Organic whole foods type stuff still has some juice left in the squeeze. Figure out how to make a good tasting soft drink that isn't terrible for you. Tons of people have stopped drinking soda for health reasons but relapse all the time. I don't know the chemistry behind carbonated beverages but you'd already have a market and could swoop on people who don't buy diet soda strictly because of the stigma.

Have Dr. Oz promote it and guaranteed millions will come
I ain't got the background for it otherwise I'd do it myself.
 
10,322
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Joined Apr 28, 2010
Why not try making a product that doesn't lead to abuse, stupid decisions, fatal car accidents, and feeling terrible in the morning.

You want a prime market? Organic whole foods type stuff still has some juice left in the squeeze. Figure out how to make a good tasting soft drink that isn't terrible for you. Tons of people have stopped drinking soda for health reasons but relapse all the time. I don't know the chemistry behind carbonated beverages but you'd already have a market and could swoop on people who don't buy diet soda strictly because of the stigma.

Have Dr. Oz promote it and guaranteed millions will come
I ain't got the background for it otherwise I'd do it myself.
Boo this man!
 
9,093
7,276
Joined Aug 30, 2008
If you know any rappers, you should get them to try and push your product.

May sound stupid, but the quickest way to come up in the alcohol game is having somebody cosign...


I don't think its something you can just DO.
Definitely would try and get it in the mouths of rappers, pause. And in clubs like @WallyHop said, good info y'all. Repped


Why not try making a product that doesn't lead to abuse, stupid decisions, fatal car accidents, and feeling terrible in the morning.

You want a prime market? Organic whole foods type stuff still has some juice left in the squeeze. Figure out how to make a good tasting soft drink that isn't terrible for you. Tons of people have stopped drinking soda for health reasons but relapse all the time. I don't know the chemistry behind carbonated beverages but you'd already have a market and could swoop on people who don't buy diet soda strictly because of the stigma.

Have Dr. Oz promote it and guaranteed millions will come
I ain't got the background for it otherwise I'd do it myself.
I feel what you saying...
But I can't stunt with some carbonated green tea, B :lol: jk

A non alcoholic drink would be marketable to a wider variety of people though.. I don't know if the streets would accept it though :lol:
 
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9,093
7,276
Joined Aug 30, 2008
U planning to use your own startup capital or are u pitching to angel investors and vcs
Use my own cash. You don't own it unless you use your own cash. You're never suppose to have cash on you, you keep flipping it till you get a billion
 
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Did Dame, Jay, Diddy ect actually START a liquor line or did they just buy one and rebrand it?
 
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It ain't easy, my uncle has one up here that he started in Everett, WA. Been going for 2 1/2 years and it is still a local vodka. Obviously, the big picture is to go nationwide with it but battling vodkas is tough. His "Cinatra Vodka" is same quality level as goose; has a nice design, look and slogan. Distribution and a team that actually believes in the product is essential to overcoming the challenges to push the brand.  
 
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Before you spend any money. Pick a spirit and master it.

The licensing and whatnot is expensive and you better learn it out the a** (as you can quickly accrue fatal fees) but it really should not be your focal point. Trust me, I was the compliance manager for a mid-level wine importing company for 2 years and my only job was to make sure what we were doing was legal year in and year out. That's as important as that job ever is, no more, no less. I did it right after college so go figure liquor/ wine companies just consider it upkeep.

The marketing would be the most fun part of the venture, as you can strategically decide which batches are your Declared Vintages or more exclusive selections like holiday versions and whatnot, and you can help yourself by going to tasting events and expos to network, but I can tell you right now you better put all your marbles behind your product, because if it's trash, no one can dig you out of that hole.

If you look at your target demographic, I assume bars, you better be looking at top shelf, cause anything in the well, (Skyy, Jack Daniels, Gordon's, Lunazul, Jameson, Wodka, etc. ) is pretty much untouchable. They are staples in all bar wells and you'd be hard pressed to even imagine your liquor in one. Companies like Ciroc and Dusse do well because they are of good quality and lots of financial backing, which if I were starting a company would also be out of my league. On the bright side, if you get close to bartenders/ bar managers, I honestly believe they can move product faster than your best weed dealer, they can just h** the hell out of your product on busy nights and run through your whole stock by nights end (ie. "sorry we don't have any more Patron tonight, but I can make you a killer cocktail with ______ for you and all your friends all night") If the bar still hits its mark by the end of the night, no one is going to complain about what brands were sold.

Im a bartender now, and if there were one area of opportunity imo, it would be in cocktail mixers. Start a line of very very good vermouth, or liqueur like Campari or Sambucca and you could potentially finagle your bottle into a few spots. I say that because all cocktail bartenders want to make creative and unique drinks every season, and they'd give you more time of day if you told them you wanted to change their mixer and not their liquor. For them, changing from Skyy to Ketel One for a basic cocktail is nothing special, but if they can throw in a unique mixer that they feel kind of makes their cocktail more signature, they'll take notice and so will all other bartenders.

Still after all I've said, your better off working as a rep for a liquor company first and foremost to build your network and knowledge of the industry all without investing any of your own capital. More power to you if you move forth with this venture, it definitely won't be easy, but it is possible.
 
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akajae

formerly akajaedeuce
13,410
13,371
Joined Sep 2, 2005
I have my own liquor line...

it's called Thot Juice[emoji]8482[/emoji]

It's basically Ciroc + any juice mixer.
 
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