Western Son Vies To Become Texas’s Next Breakout VodkaMay 8, 2017
Texas-based Western Son Distillery is in expansion mode, with volume of its namesake vodka brand expected to double this year to more than 100,000 cases. With Lone Star State forerunners like Tito’s and Deep Eddy providing a template for national success in the vodka category, the company is moving aggressively to widen its distribution footprint.
Western Son’s core, unflavored vodka (40% abv) comprises about 60% of sales, with flavors (30% abv) accounting for the remaining 40%. Blueberry is the company’s best-selling flavor, and Watermelon, Prickly Pear and Cucumber round out the top four, says Evan Batt, Western Son’s co-founder. Batt adds that the flavors tend to engage new buyers in developing markets, while the original product carries the torch for the brand in its mature markets. Both the core vodka and the flavors retail at $18 a 750-ml. and $29 a 1.75-liter.
While Texas accounts for about half of Western Son’s sales, the brand is increasingly spreading its wings beyond its home state, with Florida and Georgia leading the way. The company is also focused on developing its flagship label in states like Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Colorado, Tennessee and Arkansas.
In 2015, Western Son moved from a 5,000-square-foot facility to a 30,000-square-foot space in Pilot Point, Texas, north of Dallas. The new location gives the brand the ability to scale up production. Since relocating, the distiller can produce 300,000 nine-liter cases a year on two lines with two shifts. Looking ahead, the company plans to add a third line and shift, expanding capacity to 500,000 cases. The new distillery also hosts concerts and brand events. —Shane EnglishSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.