How many times has a parched cowpoke growled that line to a barkeep in a B-movie western? Today, purveyors of fine spirits are hearing more of it than ever, but not from chaps-wearing ranchers bellying up to the bar.
To be clear, while all bourbon is whiskey, not all whiskey is necessarily bourbon. There are subtle differences in where it’s distilled and how, but suffice it to say spirits are gaining in popularity and Beverage SuperStore, with locations in Suwanee and Grayson, is keeping pace with the demand. And not just any spirits. Flavored whiskeys are finding favor with millennials and women who haven’t previously enjoyed whiskey. Like microbreweries that pump out craft beer, there’s an upward trend in craft spirits––whiskey, vodka, gin––many of which are distilled in microdistilleries right around here in places like Lilburn (Garner Creek Gin-Hope Springs Distillery), Dillard (Fire on the Mountain-R.M. Rose), and Atlanta (Fiddler Unison-ASW Distillery). Naturally, a higher price tag is expected for a product with limited runs and attention to handcrafted detail.
“These are artists who are making spirits,” says Beverage SuperStore General Manager Mitch Teat. “And they’re making them with unique ingredients.”
Surveys say millennials are affecting the rise in spirits sales. As they mature and increase in spending power, that should be even more evident. But one thing that distinguishes young consumers from their parents and even their older siblings from Generation X, is their lack of brand loyalty.
“They want to try new things. They come in and say, ‘What have you got that’s new?’” says Karl. “Especially beer.”
Adds Mitch, “Millennials want it custom, they want it now. They want instant gratification.”
So to please the particular palates and the search for the new and exciting, Beverage SuperStore constantly brings in new products––last year they featured more than 1,400 new products at their Suwanee location alone––then back up the quality selection with knowledgeable customer service and low prices.
“You’re always looking for that new thing and trying to get ahead of what the new craze is going to be,” says Karl.
Mitch and his staff personally select the products that wind up on their shelf. Karl tells of the time he went to a local distiller with no intention of buying––he wasn’t a fan––until he tasted their stuff. He laughs about it now.
“It was so good!”
As a result of his taste test, Karl bought the whole barrel and now the Suwanee store is the only place in Gwinnett County where it’s available.
“The consumer wants something that someone can vouch for,” says Karl. “We pick good stuff out. We’re good at what we do.”
Fine Wines and Spirits