As BevNET prepares for the final pull-up of stakes for New York’s BevNET Live event, we had a big drop-off of samples from Bruvado (thanks, New England Brand Manager Steve Donas!) a fast-rising beer-and-liquor company that’s pulled in a lot of sales and marketing talent from the non-alcoholic beverage world.
Last year, the company signed on Tim Larsen and Marty Jay Zirofsky, a veteran sales team coming off a year with Rob’s Really Good; early this year, it staffed up its marketing and executive ranks by adding Mike Joyce, late of fast-growing incubator Shadow Beverages and Snacks and, even more impressively, BevNET has learned that former Muscle Milk marketing chief John Blair has joined the company as President after a slow exit from the protein drink’s parent company, Cytosport.
Judging by the variety of products that Donas dropped off — and the fact that there is already a New England Brand Manager to begin with — things have moved pretty fast for Bruvado since it first started making inroads with West Coast distributors in the fall of 2010.
What had originally been a 5-pack of Mexican beer cans with a 5-shot, 200 ml bottle of tequila called Blanco Basura (look it up) has morphed into a 9-SKU line that includes a 5-pack with a 200 ml bottle of Kentucky Bourbon (made at Buffalo Trace Distillery). Because of the varied nature of alcohol sales regulations from state to state, in some places (Alabama, for example) the team has gone out and sold 6-packs and 24 oz. tall cans of Bruvado Mexican lager, as well as 6-packs of the 200 ml bottles of booze.
Also keeping up with the mixer set, Bruvado’s selling a 5-pack Michelada kit, which contains 12 oz. cans and all the tomato juice-y fixin’s for the traditional Mexican “beery Mary” drink.
BevNET tried to reach John Blair to discuss the transition to the world of packaging-based innovation in the realm of the good old “shot and a beer” order, but he hasn’t called back. How presidential!