Craft Business Daily: Island Brands, One of the Fastest Growing Private Cos, to Debut Spirits RTDs

Craft Business Daily: Island Brands, One of the Fastest Growing Private Cos, to Debut Spirits RTDs

Making “better for you” beer continues to be a popular strategy for growing new bev alc brands. 

Case in point: Island Brands, which touts bringing “better, cleaner beer to the world,” was just named to Inc. 5000’s 2022 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

And it’s not stopping at beer – CEO Scott Hansen told CBD the “lifestyle brand” is getting into RTD spirits with a lineup of rum- and tequila-based RTD cocktails after its success with its FMB line, Crush, earlier this year, [see BBD 06-10-2022]. 

The Charleston, South Carolina company founded in 2017 came in at no. 2,341 on Inc’s list, which noted Island Brands has a 250% 3-year growth rate. 

Island Brands is also among the top growing private companies in the Southeast region, coming in at no.108 out of 173 companies on Inc’s 2022 regional list.

It joined another brand in the “better for you” category that made Inc. 5000’s list – NA superstar Athletic Brewing [see CBD 08-16-22]. 

Catering to “active, socially conscious consumers” Island Brands brews its super-premium beer with “all natural, GMO ingredients” which the company says helped it stand out “among more than 7 million privately held businesses in the U.S. to earn a spot on the exclusive 5,000-company list.”

RTD COCKTAILS ON DECK. The company’s imminent rum-based RTD line, called Island Riptide, will include a mojito, pina colada and “stormy.” Island Brands will also sell 750ml bottles of a dark and white Island Coastal Rum. 

Scott said the company is also putting the “finishing touches” on a partnership with a distillery in Jalisco, Mexico for forthcoming tequila-based RTDs called Island Wave Water – a play on Texas Ranch Water. 

Among the lineup will be a margarita, paloma and tequila sunrise.

Island Brands’ new spirits-based RTDs are slated for a soft-launch in December. Large-scale distribution will start in Q1 of 2023, Scott told CBD. 

“We’re simply giving the community more of what they want,” Scott added.

He said “Island Brands fits in the middle” of the RTD cocktail space compared to the “very large conglomerates and monolith-type companies and small batch craft companies” with products already on the market. 

By filling that gap, “we expect a pretty strong pull out of the gate,” Scott said, noting Island Brands is currently “assessing which distributor networks we want to partner with.” 

Island Brands has also expanded its Gulf Coast distribution footprint. Scott said they recently expanded in Louisiana statewide and are in talks to expand into Texas. 

OTHER BREWERS THAT MADE INC. 5000’s 2022 LIST, include:

  • March First Brands, holding a three-year growth rate of +614%
  • Bishop Cider Company, +273%
  • Mighty Swell Spiked Seltzers, +217%
  • North High Brewing, +155%
  • Mast Landing Brewing Company, +132%
  • Mother Road Brewing Company, +103%

For the full list of the fastest growing independent companies in the Food & Beverage segment, click HERE. You can also check out our coverage of the fastest growing wine & spirits HERE.