Are bartenders the new chefs? Put another way: if chefs have been able to step out in front of cameras and become faces on consumables like packaged soups and sauces, does not it make sense that the same would be the case for bartenders and packaged cocktails?
It’s gamble LiveWire, a lively cocktail brand ready to drink. On the face of the Los Angeles-based bartender who became entrepreneur Aaron Polsky, the canned cocktail brand is ready to ride on the momentum built by the intersection of craft cocktail culture, growing customer appreciation of marquee bartending names and the popularity of tough seltzere. LiveWire also emerged at a time when the conversation about fair pay for hospitality workers has a new urgent character.
“It’s unlike any other liquor company,” says Aaron Polsky. “LiveWire is about paying the bartenders. There is a need and an opportunity for a more sustainable revenue stream for bartenders than the bar’s four walls. ”
Bartenders design the LiveWire flavors and get full credit on the cans, in motion that looks like going to a fancy bar, scrolling down the menu and choosing a signature drink based on ingredients, drink style or bartender -ry.
Flavors include Rocket Queen by Erin Hayes, a delicious blend of rum, pomelo, cinnamon, pandan and absinthe and Honeydew Collins by Joey Bernardo, a swirl of gin, honeydew, coconut, lime leaves and elderflower. The latest flavor to the watch list comes via New York bartender Shannon Mustipher. The cocktail bottle, Holy Tyger, is a sour-sand whiskey with bourbon, coconut, lime and Jamaican bitters.
“Bartenders get tipped every time you get a can,” Polsky explains. ‘It’s forever. Our business model is built around it. Polsky places the brand around its range of leading bartending talents, so that over time consumers become fans of bartenders and later fans of the brand.
“It’s going to be a quality brand.”
Launched on the happy date of March 3, 2020, LiveWire has had to overcome its share of first-year obstacles, including a pandemic lockdown and a host of unexpected material shortages such as CO2, cardboard and aluminum.
Consumer awareness and preference for the hard seltzer category means that bartender-designed finished drinks will be more easily embraced by a demographic eager for canned goods. Sales for the hard seltzer category hit over $ 4 billion in 2020, which is only in favor of ready-to-drink cocktails.
“A year ago, I said hard seltzer made it so that people tried things in cans,” Polsky says. “Now people are actively asking for cans.”
“The way we look at it, we’re producing something that hasn’t existed, so we want to create a whole new segment and demand.”