The evolution of the answer to: “How is your product different?”

It’s a common question that we get at tastings, events, and farmer’s markets.

I used to answer, “from what?” and then the conversation would typically go:

“From Absolut (or Stoli/Smirnoff/Belvedere/Grey Goose)?”

And then, my response would go something like, “we use 100% NYS corn in our products, have a unique mashing technique, control the temperature of fermentation, distill 3 times, and continuously filter for 4 straight days to remove as many impurities as possible to allow the base ingredient and our distilling technique to shine through”.

I was new to the field of distilling and I wanted to be sure that our customers knew they were getting the best technical information available about our product. I also started to see the familiar stare of someone glazing over but respecting our enthusiasm enough to stay with the conversation.

(I was probably trying to convince myself that I belonged too but that’s a separate blog post).

Then, the conversations started to evolve:

“Cool, what do the other guys do?”

“Well, I can’t speak to the other manufacturers on how they make their products. To be honest, I don’t even know what they make their spirits out of or how they filter (or if they filter). I believe Absolut uses wheat, Grey Goose uses rye, and Smirnoff uses sun-kissed mountain streams filtered through the eyelashes of angels”. I may have made up that last part.

My point is this: very early on in my wine career, it became obvious to me that any time I spent thinking and learning about what the “other” guys do, the more time is taken away from grinding over our products to make sure we put our very best out the door every single day. I have no idea what the other guys do but respect the heck out what they do because I know how hard they work.

It’s more important to us that you LIKE our product. And, if you want to know WHY they taste like they do, we’d be more than happy to talk technical.

So now, the conversations go more like this:

“How is your product different?”

“When you buy our products, you help pay for cleats, size 3.5”

~Ben Reilley