Ohio-based Rambling House Cocktails just surpassed its initial minimum target goal, having raised over $118,270 from more than 207 investors on its live Wefunder raise. Pre-valued at $2M, the small-craft soda company first product was a “healthier” craft ginger beer.
“In 2017, we pivoted to spirits, bottling a Moscow Mule that we think is a perfect combination of our ginger beer and vodka. In our first year, we sold almost 19,000 bottles and found shelf space in almost every Kroger [a chain grocery store] in Ohio,” according to the campaign. “Now, with a new Kentucky Mule recipe in the works, we’re optimistic that our first real marketing push will get us on shelves around the country.”
Funding will be used to market the startup’s new drink, its third, a bourbon-based Kentucky Mule, made with the same ginger beer used in the Moscow Mule. Rambling House Cocktails anticipates expanding its relationship with Kroger in order to distribute to several states by 2020, and by 2021, ten states.
Co-founded in 2013 by John Lynch, Rambling House Cocktails started as a small-batch soda company five years ago with a main focus on ginger beer.
“Over several years, we went through more than 10,000 pounds of fresh ginger to create a ginger recipe that we felt perfectly balanced sweetness with a subtle, spicy kick. We’ve sold the sodas to bars and restaurants around town in kegs, and they serve it on draft, but most of the bars would use it to make cocktails,” commended Lynch in the Wefunder Q&A. “So about three years ago, we started thinking pretty seriously about turning our ginger beer product into a packaged cocktail product. It took about a year to work through the regulatory and manufacturing issues that we knew we were going to face.”
“There are very few companies like us in the U.S., so we were kind of starting from scratch in that area, but after about a year of research we figured out how we could manufacture the product. Then we really began working on a formula. We spent about a year developing the formula with a third-party team of beverage scientists from Kentucky. That included tastings of dozens of different variations of the product by sample groups. We finalized the recipe in October 2016. Once we had a product with the taste we desired, we started taking the cocktail to retailers and distributors to find out if there was interest. We bottled our first official batch in the spring of 2017.”
In addition to the Kentucky Mule, Rambling House Cocktails is also working on a recipe for a canned version of its non-alcoholic ginger beer.
With regard to other growth opportunities, will Rambling House Cocktails eventually include a distillery?
“As for our spirits, we are not a distillery. We don’t plan to become a distillery. What we’ve chosen to do is to be very particular in where we source our spirits. Right now, 100% of our vodka comes from a local distillery,” explained Lynch. “They make a premium vodka out of gluten-free ingredients. It’s been a great partnership for us, and we will look to continue to source the spirit side of our cocktails from great companies around the United States. We’re in the process of selecting a bourbon supplier.”
Investor perks include a Rambling House Cocktails T-shirt at the $250+level,
Rambling House Cocktails engraved copper mug (perfect for Moscow Mules) at the $500+ level, investor-only bottles from a test batch of our soon-to-be released Kentucky Mule at the $1,000+ level and lastly, at the $2,200+ investment level, a limited edition vinyl record featuring a compilation of live performances from the Rambling House over the past five years.
As for future growth, Lynch shared his vision on Wefunder:
“The most exciting thing is that we have a product that, taste-wise, stands up against any alcohol product available in the store, whether you’re talking about a spirit, a beer, or a wine. We’ve met with several retailers, and the fact that the product is truly unique excites every one of them. In a time in the alcohol industry when it’s difficult to get shelf space, we’ve had no problem securing shelf space, even in major retailers, because they don’t have products like ours. Even those who do have pre-mixed options don’t have craft-based products. We’re really on the ground floor of a specific alcohol segment. We have a product that’s priced very reasonably and tastes awesome. I see no limit to how much Rambling House can grow.”
For campaign updates and more Rambling House details, please click here.
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