THE IRISH EYES WERE SMILING!
I don’t know if there is any true way for me to convey the excitement and energy at Milwaukee Irish Fest. I’ve attached a few pictures of the crowds but words are inadequate to describe the intensity of being there and experiencing it firsthand. The lines of people at the tasting tent before we even set up, the fact that we were the only brand at the festival getting crowds at the tasting tent, the reactions of people when they tried it, the conversations we had with people and the genuine enthusiasm and good will they had for us and for this brand. It was absolutely amazing! People love the taste and they love the bottle….when they learned they couldn’t buy full bottles at the festival, many people were begging us for the empty ones!
The distributor had set aside 40 cases for the festival, but on the very first night (which wasn’t even a full night of the festival, it was the VIP/Sponsor night with only a few thousand people in attendance) we went through enough cases to know that 40 cases was not going to be enough for the full festival. The distributor brought in 20 more on Friday morning, bringing us to 60 total.
But after going through as many as 10 cases in just one of our four allotted one-hour tastings, even 60 turned out not to be enough. Five Farms was being poured in the hospitality area and sold in three Jameson bars and two coffee bars, and we woke to the news on Sunday that they were down to 9 total cases. We tried to bring more in but couldn’t, so every bar was sold out by about lunchtime and we had to cancel our 3p tasting that day. 60 cases depleted! Last year, MKE went through an average of one case per day for each of the three days of the festival.
We have changed the game at the largest Irish festival in the world! The executive director of the festival, Mike Mitchell, gave me this quote: “Our expectations for level of interest in Five Farms among our over 105,000 guests were far exceeded. Patrons spoke of the quality and superb taste and everyone loved the bottle. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with our friends at Five Farms.”
Shanna reports lots of activity in the local market in the days of the festival – stores going through cases, new accounts sold, and an on-premise account with featured Five Farms cocktails having people come in requesting it after tasting it at the festival.
There was also a ton of activity on social media and a spike in visitors to our website. Josh put together a slide (image attached) showing just a sampling of the customer comments coming out of the festival.
Joe, Mark, Wyatt, Matt, Shanna, Shawn, Josh, Paige, and of course Patrick and everyone’s favorite Irishman Johnny Harte – GREAT JOB TEAM!!!
EVERYTHING’S BIGGER IN TEXAS
In other news, Mike Dry, Kelly Sporich, and Phil Kizziar are seeing some great signs in Texas in advance of their launch in the state. They have launch meetings set up every Friday in the month of September in various parts of the state, and have already been meeting with the chains. Goody Goody has authorized 22 stores, Spec’s has authorized 71 stores, and both chains have committed to lots of tastings on the front end. Mike was at the TPSA (Texas Package Stores) Convention recently and the owner of Spec’s came by and said he thought the package looked cool and wanted to try it. Mike gave him a sample, he loved it, and what Mike had originally thought might be a 15-store authorization turned into almost five times that amount, with the buyer telling Mike that “John (the owner) really likes this product and I’m giving you 71 stores.” Fantastic!
Their distributors at RNDC are excited about the brand as well! Kelly shared a deck of recipes created by RNDC’s in-house mixologist to show off some unexpected ways to use the product! It is attached for you to use and share.
FOOD & WINE & FIVE FARMS
Irish festivals aren’t the only festivals that are a great fit for Five Farms! We have two upcoming partnerships with Food & Wine Festivals in September! Mike Edwards reports that we were invited to participate in the Salt Lake Food & Wine Festival “Meet Your Maker” tasting and dinner on September 15, where we will be featuring Five Farms in samples and in the Tiramisu Cocktail. Mike was also able to get Broker’s Gin and 360 Vodka into this event, which 400 people are expected to attend. This is an exciting opportunity right as the brand is launching in Utah, where strict laws restrict the number of samplings that can be held in a year.
Joe Quinn and Cody Schnurbusch will have a huge presence at Denver Food & Wine on September 8. We will have a large and prominently located tent and will focus primarily on Five Farms, but will be featuring 360 Vodka, Broker’s Gin, and Hussong’s Tequila as well. We’ll be giving out samples and also serving featured cocktails for each brand. Denver Food & Wine is a big event that brings in incredible crowds to sample the finest in food and spirits. It is the perfect way to introduce Five Farms to the state of Colorado!
Keep the good news coming, everyone! For everyone who is local to the KC area, I highly recommend that you put next weekend’s Kansas City Irish Fest on your calendar. With anticipated crowds almost as large as MKE, we’re expecting another great festival. Come down and see it all for yourselves!