288 – How to Scale a Brand on Sourced Whiskey with McCauley Williams, CEO of Big River Distilling

Building a brand on sourced whiskey is difficult. When you’re not the one distilling the product, it’s hard to be price competitive. At the same time, you’re at the mercy of the market on barrel availability so it’s hard to determine the continuation of a product. In this episode, we’re joined by McCauley Williams, CEO of Big River Distilling, who is behind brands like Blue Note Bourbon and Riverset Rye. We talk about how to run a large scale business that relies on sourcing and how you protect the brands flavor integrity for the future.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about empty bottles.
  • What game show would you want to be a contestant on?
  • How did you get into this business?
  • What was the first step to start a spirits business?
  • How did you raise capital to make this happen?
  • Tell us about your brands.
  • Did you have a proof of concept?
  • How do you select a distillation partner?
  • Talk about the competitiveness of the sourced market.
  • Tell us about the pricing of sourced whiskey.
  • How do you differentiate your products?
  • Why 93 proof?
  • How do you get a brand to market?
  • Any states you’ve seen success in that you didn’t expect?
  • Which is a better ROI, liquor stores or bars/restaurants?
  • Do you experience any frustrations with acquiring packaging materials?
  • Any other frustrations with the business?

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