447 – The Economics of the Used Barrel Market with Ben and Jess Loseke

We’re all too familiar with the barrel and it’s impact on whiskey but what about it’s life after whiskey? Actually, there’s quite a lot. These barrels can be used for aging other spirits, beer, furniture, bbq smoking chips, the list is endless. But did you ever stop to think how those used barrels go from one man’s trash to another man’s treasure? Well, there’s one company that has made a name for themselves and that’s Midwest Barrel Company. Ben and Jessica Loseke join the show to talk about how Ben got into the used barrel business and the economics behind it. If you ever find yourself glued to an episode of Storage Wars or Pawn Stars, you’ll love to hear how Ben stumbled into used barrels and everything else he tried to flip in the process. Today, Midwest Barrel Company is brokering tons of used bourbon barrels and talks about how he develops his sales pipeline and acquires new customers.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about price and quality opinions.
  • How did you discover a business in used barrels?
  • Do you remember for you first big score?
  • Did you ever get in legal trouble buying and flipping stuff?
  • What year did you buy your first barrels?
  • How many empty barrels can you fit on a full truck?
  • Who were your main customers?
  • How did you figure out how to scale this business?
  • How hard was it to let go of certain aspects of the business?
  • How do you find new suppliers and new customers?
  • Is this considered commodity trading?
  • Is this a cutthroat industry where you are overbidding others?
  • How fast can you turn around a barrel once you receive it?
  • What are you doing when you steam a barrel?
  • What other things are people making with barrels?
  • How do you know what your pipeline looks like for sales and purchasing?
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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