By Hillary Latos.
For the Tastemaker, Brett Berish, developing liquor brands runs in the genes. His father was the former Chairman at Jim Beam and his brother managed the marketing budgets for high profile liquor brands. So it was a natural progression for the father and sons to launch Sovereign Brands- a family run business that has successfully created, launched and built some of the world’s most luxurious boutique brands such as Armand de Brignac and D’USSE which have since been acquired. The company has continued to innovate with unique brands, including Luc Belaire, a family of French sparkling wines and Bumbu, the Original Craft Rum which takes the approach of wine making to crafting an aged rum. Here we speak to Brett Berish, a force behind the creation.
For Brett, first and foremost it’s the liquid but it has to work together with the packaging. He combs the world in search of a family partner who can produce a truly exceptional product. Their next step is to design everything in house from the name to the packaging. Each week they sit with their 60 employees to taste new concoctions and brainstorm over everything from name generation to the label and packaging design and brainstorm over what resonates with their consumer. He feels that bouncing ideas around friends and family first is a more organic approach to creating a successful brand rather than overthinking it like some of the bigger companies.
Though they have a proven track record of developing brands that are later acquired by larger companies, Berish asserts that they never gone into this thinking we are going to sell it. ‘We have no hobbies, we love what we do, it’s about building great brands. To me when we’re approached to sell a brand it’s just a testament to what we are doing. I treat everything like a little baby, and at some point maybe someone can do something else with it.
What makes their collection so unique?
‘We believe what we have is better than anyone else and customers can taste it. That’s where we win. Everything we do is very organic. We want to feel like I’ve found something special and consumers feel like they’ve discovered it and they want to talk about it.’ For his latest project, Bumbu rum, Berish applied their wine knowledge and to the rum category, just like grapes are to wine, Bumbu rum is culled from sugar cane from 8 countries each which have a unique flavor to each country. It’s all word of mouth and demand driven. We’re just touching the surface on where we can go.