When Terry Bradshaw decided he wanted to get into whiskey, he knew he couldn’t put his name on just anything. As a top athlete who has won four Super Bowls in his career, with many other accolades picked up along the way, ordinary just doesn’t cut it for Terry. As a whiskey lover too, he knew his release had to be special.
That’s why he chose Green River Spirits Co. as a home for his brand. Green River distills Terry’s whiskey at the historic and recently revived Green River Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky. We spoke to Terry and Cathy Steen, Chief Commercial Officer at Green River Spirits Co., about the partnership and his Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon and the launch of his new Kentucky Straight Rye.
What does Green River Spirits Company do?
Cathy Steen, Green River: I like to think of us as a brand creation company. We’ve assembled a team of experts that create brands that can come to life in a multitude of ways. At the heart of the business is our “crown jewel,” the historic Green River distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky led by our incredible Master Distiller Jacob Call. He and his team craft wonderful, award-winning bourbon and rye. When it comes to whiskey, there’s no better place for brand partners to call home than our distillery. It was founded in 1885 and is DSP-KY-10, one of Kentucky's original permitted distilleries. Many of history's most beloved whiskey brands were born there, and now today’s most beloved brands, like Bradshaw’s, are. Our customers can tap into that history and be part of a home that's building on this historic legacy.
How does the company partner with brand owners like Terry Bradshaw?
Cathy Steen, Green River: We partner with brand owners however they'd like – with as much or as little support as needed. We worked with Terry Bradshaw to develop his Bradshaw Bourbon and now his Rye from beginning to end. We helped his team to develop the whiskey from concept and bourbon development to branding and package design. Terry is a wonderful partner. He is a bourbon lover and we love working with folks who understand the passion and heart that goes into what we do.
Terry, why did you choose to partner with Green River?
Terry Bradshaw: We couldn’t ask for a better home for Bradshaw Bourbon than Green River Spirits Co. I’m a bourbon guy, and I appreciate quality. I wasn’t going to put my name on something I wouldn’t sit down at the end of the day and sip. As soon as we tasted the bourbon with Green River’s Master Distiller Jacob Call, we knew this was the whiskey and team we’d want to build our brand with. The quality whiskey plus the deep history of the distillery in Owensboro made for an easy decision. We’ve received great reviews, including a 91 point rating from Wine Enthusiast for our bourbon. Our rye was just released and we’re already hearing positive reviews as well.
Terry, can you tell me more about your new rye?
Terry Bradshaw: Building on the successful launch of our Bradshaw Bourbon, we once again worked with Jacob and the team at Green River to develop our Bradshaw Rye. We’re so glad to be expanding our portfolio of whiskeys with this product. It has such a nice complexity – you’ll get some fruit notes and some white pepper spice. This new rye is just starting to roll out, and we’re hearing great things so far.
What is the most important thing to look for when starting a spirits brand with sourced liquid?
Cathy Steen, Green River: The most important thing to look for is taste and quality because at the heart of any successful brand is exceptional liquid. At our Green River distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky, we make delicious bourbon and rye. I feel lucky to be working with our Master Distiller Jacob Call. He makes our job easy. I always describe Jacob's bourbon and rye as exquisite because they truly are. That’s what Terry and his team experienced when they visited our distillery for the first time.
Brand owners should also look for a partner that offers an authentic narrative. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory calls our distillery “Hallowed Ground.” Our customers can tap into the legacy of the distillery, which we call our “crown jewel.”
Brand owners should also make sure they will receive impeccable service from their partner and know they will be a priority. At Green River, our priority is always our partners, and they know they come first. When we opened the distillery doors in 2016, our model was to support other people’s business needs – that remains our commitment. Brand creation for our partners is at the heart of what we do, and we have assembled a team of professionals to create incredible brands that showcase Jacob’s amazing liquid.
How can I learn more about partnering with Green River Spirits Co.?
We’ve assembled a world-class team to help bring other people's brands to life, and we're always available to have conversations with potential partners about brand concepts and how we could work together. In addition to our whiskey focus in Owensboro, we have a state-of-the-art spirits production facility and innovation center in Charleston, South Carolina where we make vodka, gin, rum and more. Potential partners can learn more at www.greenriverspirits.com. For information on our distillery or visiting us in Owensboro, visit www.greenriverdistilling.com.