It was a canned drink 100 years in the making. Inspired by her pioneering great-grandfather, who established a ranch in far West Texas, Southern Methodist University graduate Katie Beal Brown is now putting her spin on her family’s staple drink: Ranch Water.
A long-time Texas classic, Ranch Water is a blend of tequila, Topo Chico, lime juice, and a splash of simple syrup—often described as a crude version of something that seemed half Tom Collins and half Margarita.
Brown and her husband, Tyler, went straight to Jalisco, Mexico, to find the perfect tequila and then spent the next two years working on how to make a hard seltzer version.
What was meant to stock shelves for six weeks sold out in a week,” Brown said about the first distribution of the product.
“On the first day, I picked up the phone and called [a local retailer] just to see if anyone had been in to buy it. And they said, ‘We’ve had it for less than 24 hours, and it’s almost sold out,’” Brown told D CEO. “I could not believe it, because we had just been through such a wild ride to get it out there. But also, just the feeling that people, who we don’t know, are out there buying a product that we created.”
Since Lone River Beverage Company’s launched its Ranch Water in mid-April, monthly orders have increased 1,150 percent. Lone River has had to double orders to distributors every month since.
The sales “exceeded all expectations,” as the yearly projections were surpassed within the first three months, said Kevin Nettleton, general manager of Dallas-based Ben E. Keith’s specialty division.
Nettleton said when looking for new products to distribute, Nettleton said, “it’s gotta be quality liquid, it’s gotta have impressive branding, and they have to have a good market plan. Lone River had all three of those.”
“The market place is very crowded and so to create a point of difference between your brand to make it more visible than the other brands at retail, you need that point of difference, which was provided by unique branding with Lone River. The logo on the can and the color scheme is very, very Texan, and it stood apart,” he said.
After graduating from SMU, Brown moved out of state with her college sweetheart. Two things never changed: missing home and missing ranch water.
“I kept grabbing…
Read more:: SMU Grad Stamps Personal Brand on Ranch Water