MILWUAKEE — Ready, set, pour!
According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, Central Standard Craft Distillery is launching a new product line with Pour Ready Premium Cocktails.
This concept first came to the minds of Central Standard co-owners Evan Hughes and Pat Mcquillan several years ago when the ready-to-go drink started to trend.
"That’s more of a single-serve opportunity," Hughes said. "We wanted to create an experience where it was instead of ready-to-drink, ready-to-pour. You’re getting a larger volume of liquid and really designed for speed of service."
Pour Ready Premium cocktails remove the hassle of needing all the ingredients and the process of making the beverage. In addition, all the ingredients in the Pour Ready Premium Cocktails are organic and all-natural.
To determine the flavors, the distillery looked at its bestselling cocktails.
The Door County Cherry Vodka has always been the most popular in the Door County Cherry Lemonade or Door County Cherry Mule.
The Pour Ready Premium Cocktails is a 750-ml glass bottle and 1.75-liter plastic bottle that contains 15% alcohol by volume, or 30 proof.
Central Standard's chief operating officer Jim Kanter said the distillery looked at the IRI market research and found that the pre-mix cocktail category is ranked the fourth biggest category out of the eight analyzed that include whiskey at No. 1, vodka at No. 2, and rum at No. 4.
"That’s been a recent phenomenon," Kanter said. "They continue to grow at a double- and triple-digit rate every year. They’re about 9% share of the market last year, which is way bigger than things like tequila or even gin in the state of Wisconsin."
Kanter also expects through at least 2025, the pre-mix cocktail category to grow 15-20%.
"There is a ton of upside," he said. "When we started looking at what was going on in that pre-mixed category, it was a lot of things at that entry level or base level. There was nothing really playing in that craft position or in above premiums. That’s where we saw the white space where no one else was really playing. People want that elevated experience."
There is a lot that goes into creating this process. Central Standard had to invest in new equipment, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.
"When we’re using organic and all-natural ingredients, I think our biggest fear on this was...that there would be some settling. We don’t want if you have a bottle that’s on the shelf and you have some stuff on the bottom. We wanted to make sure we were doing the right things for the right outcome," Hughes said.
The product includes a screw top to ensure the consumer can reseal their cocktail and drink at any time.
Central Standard's distributors are picking up the product this week and will then begin distributing to different retail accounts, including out-of-state, on-premises, and large format stores.
Kanter added that the on-premises accounts are to many consumers’ interest.
"Part of that is people are really leaning into speed of service. This is easy to pour. They have a cocktail that’s on the craft side. People want that quick, convenient cocktail in the on-premise environment. They are also short staffed in a lot of on-premises accounts. This is super easy for them to pour, and it solves a problem," Kanter said.