185 – Famous Staves with Brad Boswell, CEO of Independent Stave Company

A Bourbon Pursuit exclusive! Brad Boswell, CEO and 4th Generation Cooper at Independent Stave Company, rarely does any media coverage so we are ecstatic to not only capture his family story, but how they take customer service to the extreme and continue to invest in research and development to push the bounds of today’s bourbon. If you’ve ever wanted to know the extent of oak influence on whiskey, this one touches every aspect from types of wood, the building process, charring, and finishing.

Show Notes:

  • Learn more about Pursuit Series
  • The week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Bourbon at Great Wolf Lodge
  • How did you grow into this business?
  • When you were young did you have a feeling of your family’s legacy in the cooperage industry?
  • Did you family ever lobby to have the law put in place for new charred oak barrels?
  • How has your family been able to maintain business all these years?
  • What other side business have you had in the past?
  • Have whiskey barrels always been the hallmark for your company?
  • Talk about the size of your operation.
  • Has the waiting list died down a little bit? Any issues meeting demand?
  • What’s the process look like for bringing on a new client?
  • Tell us the story of Maker’s 46 from your perspective.
  • Talk about the process of making a barrel.
  • What are the differences between various oaks, French vs. American vs. Japanese?
  • Do you have customers that prefer KY barrels vs MO?
  • Why do you keep innovating?
  • Are there any other core states you are harvesting oak from right now?
  • Tell us about Oregon oak.
  • What’s the wackiest spot you’ve gotten an oak tree from?
  • Tourism has changed over the years, what has that been like for ISC and what is the future?
  • What experiments are you doing with the barrels?
  • Do customers ever get upset about other companies copying their barrel finishes?
  • What’s a barrel experiment that ended with a bad result?
  • How can you control the variables?
  • How long can you char a barrel?
  • How many times can you reuse a barrel?
  • Where are we in the growth of American Whiskey?

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