Jeff Hopmayer Exposes Secrets of Bourbon Sourcing to Bourbon Pursuit
For decades, the Brindiamo Group has been helping companies in the adult beverage industry build bigger businesses. We focus on delivering a unique partnership that finds solutions to individual needs. At times it can feel all business, but fortunately, there are moments when we can step back and talk about the areas within the sector that we find interesting and offer a unique perspective.
Recently, managing partner, Jeff Hopmayer had the opportunity to sit down with the guys behind the podcast Bourbon Pursuit. The podcast focuses on topics that range from distillation techniques to market speculation. It was a fun opportunity to provide insider knowledge to the hosts and their listeners. You can read below excerpts from the interview.
Today our guest is Jeff Hopmayer who is the managing partner of the Brindiamo Group based out of Nashville. Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
So, I want you to go ahead and kinda give us a little bit of a history here on how you cut your teeth in the industry. Really how you got into this and was it bourbon from the beginning or how it led to bourbon as well?
Jeff: So I really cut my teeth in the 2000s. I had this dream to start a highly infused vodka company and started up my own brand. I hired some people from Seagram's back in the day and exhibited at WSWA. I got introduced to Baron Eric Rothschild of Chateau Lafite and ended up taking our vodka company public in London doing a joint venture with Suntory, buying a winery. Then selling the whole company. I then really started as a strategic consulting company more to do mergers and acquisitions and help with strategy in the beverage space and ended up doing my first transaction in the space you guys may know Collier and McKeel which was Mike’s operation here in Tennessee and ended up selling that property. Somebody asked me could you find some bourbon for me and ended up doing this sourcing hunt and really built a pretty big business doing exactly what Fred is saying kind of knowing were some of the barrels are and and being trusted and delivering on our word and had created you know unique position for ourselves.
Talk a little bit more about what your current operation with the Brindiamo Group and what you do because I know it's just not all sourcing you also helped orchestrate investments and take over stuff like that.
Jeff: It's kind of like a stool with four legs on it one portion of that is mergers and acquisitions and it's not just in the spirit space. We have a winery right now we're selling in Oregon. There's a mergers-and-acquisitions piece of the business. There's a helping companies match up with financing. Not necessarily bank financing but strategic investors that may be able to give them the capital they need to move forward. We also do some strategy work helping whether it be in securing distribution or brand ideas and things like that and then we do the strategic sourcing.
Talk about the evolution of sourcing of what it used to be too kind of what it is today. I'm assuming it's gotten a little bit harder to find some of these barrels. Or, have you just been able to shake enough hands along the way that you can shake a few free?
Jeff: I can’t tell you all the secrets cause then everybody will do it (laughs). But, I think that as the popularity of brown goods has really ticked up, it’s really created an opportunity for people that focus on relationships first and go in and just create a great relationship with these distilleries and the people at the distilleries, so if there is an opportunity or somebody is right-sizing their inventory that we’re the first call they make.
A lot of people don’t understand this side of the industry. It’s a mystery to people even inside the industry. And, I understand you want to guard some secrets. But, how do you get 12 and 14 year old bourbon right now when the demand for that product has never been higher? I mean seriously, what are you doing?
Jeff: I think that it's about the relationships that we have and the confidentiality that we keep and the price that we pay.
You’re paying a premium?
Jeff: There’s no doubt that I think we reward sellers of the product with a pretty high premium.
Do you feel like they’re profiting better when your buying then, let’s say if they were to dump it into a batch, or create a new brand around it? Do you feel like you are able to help their bottom line a little better than if they were to enter it into their portfolio?
Jeff: I think it depends on what the ultimate goal is Fred because I think that you can. If you're looking to sell a brand, you can get a higher multiple down the road based on that brand’s volume being up. So, if they pour it into the brand with the intent of selling it for 20 x down the road that's going to be a better value to them then selling it to me so that I can resell it. But, I think what we're able to do is affect a sale and transfer over a dollar or 15 million dollars tomorrow and make it happen.
To listen to the entire podcast you can click here or watch the video below.