Turns out there’s money and success in taking the snobbery out of whiskey. For proof, ask Daniel Whittington, founder of Crowded Barrel Whiskey Company and the YouTube star who built a loyal tribe by making whiskey appreciation fun and casual instead of stiff and stodgy.
As his prominence in a Texas Monthly feature about the rise of Texas whiskey attests, Whittington has tapped into a hot market and helped build a community with aficionados and fellow distillers working hard to help foster appreciation of great whiskey.
“We built it completely backwards. We started by building the community, and then the community went so far beyond our expectations that we had to figure out where is this adventure going to go,” he told One Man Brand host Ray Seggern. “Then we made a distillery and made them part of it.”
With over 310,000 online video subscribers, Whittington has the audience to grow into a global presence in the spirits world, and could join Austin luminaries like John Paul DeJoria (Patron Tequila) and Tito Beveridge (Tito’s Vodka) as local players on the world stage.
Of course, he’ll be busy in the coming years as the next chancellor of the Austin-based Wizard of Ads Group, the marketing and advertising community that was founded on the principles of tactical business concepts to help small businesses grow and prosper. He said the lessons he picked up in his years at the academy helped him fine tune his business intelligence to find the right niche in the whiskey world before committing valuable capital to the wrong opportunity.
“It’s a terrible idea to build something and convince ppl they need it. It’s better to find out what people want, and then do that thing.”