182 – Exposing the Secrets of Bourbon Sourcing with Jeff Hopmayer, of Brindiamo Group

An insider exclusive where you get to see what happens behind the scenes of the bourbon business. Bourbon sourcing isn’t a new concept but it’s a hidden fortress of the industry the average consumer has no clue about. Jeff Hopmayer of Brindiamo Group tells us some of the tricks of the trade in the barrel sourcing world, how he has created a connected web across the world to get people access to any spirit, and how he has seen fake bourbon come from tankers that would fool even the best master distillers. He has helped brands like Kentucky Owl, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Barrell Bourbon and many more. This episode is one you can’t miss.

Show Notes:

  • How did you cut your teeth in the industry?
  • Talk about BRINDIAMO GROUP and some of the services you offer to the spirits industry?
  • Can you talk about the evolution of sourcing?
  • How hard is it to come by barrels now?
  • How are you getting your hands on 12-14 year old bourbon when the demand couldn’t be higher?
  • So you can do transaction tomorrow for $15million?
  • Are you looking to create blends or brands with an intent of selling?
  • Say we want to create a brand called Old Ascot. Where do we start?
  • How do you gauge if a barrel is worth the investment?
  • Brass tacks, what’s a barrel cost?
  • When you get a barrel and it’s big cost. Do you ever get a leaky or an empty barrel?
  • How many brands are you supplying that are non-distilling producers?
  • What’s the typical acquisition of barrel amounts?
  • How many barrels do you have in inventory?
  • Are you buying a lot of younger barrels and waiting and aging?
  • What’s the level of risk introduced from buying barrels with younger distilleries that don’t have a proven track record?
  • Do you think there are NDPs that may not actually have bourbon in their bottles?
  • Can you give us a percentage of what you think that’s out there is fake bourbon?
  • How much is stuff being reclaimed from overseas?
  • Do you think should consumers should know if it was reclaimed?
  • You’ve got very successful brands like Kentucky Owl, Barrell Bourbon, and Bardstown Bourbon Company as lighthouse customers that our listeners are familiar with. At what stage were you helping these brands out?
  • What contributes to not being successful?
  • What’s your long term view on where this market is going?
  • You seem to think $50+ is the successful strategy for pricing products. That seems steep to us.
  • Are you concerned this may price out those true bourbon consumers?
  • Are manufacturing costs and trading hands contribute to a higher cost?
  • How do you buy barrels on the open market? Is there a dashboard of what’s available like the stock market online or is it an old boys club?
  • Talk about the 1792 Barton Warehouse collapse. Were those barrels owned by you or the distiller and what happens in that scenario?
  • Is there a distillery NOT selling their whiskey on the open market?
  • Any other states besides KY, IN, and TN that has a lot of whiskey on open market?

3 thoughts on “182 – Exposing the Secrets of Bourbon Sourcing with Jeff Hopmayer, of Brindiamo Group

  1. Great podcast,
    one of many of my questions is – So if a brand is created from a purchase of random barrels how can you recreate that same drink year after year?

    1. The same could be said for bigger brands too. Have you tried a standard off the shelf Buffalo Trace from 5 years ago to the ones today? I’m certain there are varying differences. But this also opens the window for companies like Barrell bourbon who will always make unique batches and do not try to replicate the same taste over and over again.

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