For actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, the reason for launching their own bourbon brand is personal. The two have been good friends since playing brothers on The Vampire Diaries. Although it’s been four years since the popular CW series completed, the co-stars stay close – so close that they helped develop an alcohol brand called Brother’s Bond Bourbon.
“We drank bourbon on the show,” Wesley told Yahoo Finance Live. “Ian and I drank bourbon off the screen when we finished work. We fell in love with bourbon. We shot the show in the south and that’s extremely organic to us. And it’s simple – it’s something that makes perfect sense. “
Somerhalder added, “This [bourbon] was in the making for over 10 years. This guy and I spent so many hundreds – well, thousands and thousands of hours together on set. And that’s the most authentic thing we can imagine. Our soul is in this bottle. “
When bourbon hit the market in May, it sold out online within a few days. Since then, Somerhalder have sold 50,000 cases of the pure four grain bourbon whiskey, which retails for $ 39.99 and is sold online and in major chains such as Albertsons (ACI), Trader Joe’s, and Walmart (WMT).
Wesley said the two had “plenty of time” during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to put their business plan into action.
“I mean, of course it was a terrible time, but at the same time it forced us to sit in our homes, step up our zooms, talk every day and develop this product. Ian and I live close together, ”Wesley said. “So I went to Ian. We mixed this bourbon together in his living room. “
Paul Wesley (left) and Ian Somerhalder say their Brother Bourbon brand was inspired by the brotherly bond they made with the Salvatore brothers on the CW hit “Vampire Diaries”.
There is certainly no shortage of alcohol brands owned by celebrities: there is Ryan Reynolds Aviation American Gin and George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila – both brands are now owned by beverage giant Diageo (DEO). There’s also Brian Cranston and Paul Aaron’s Dos Hombres Mezcal, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila, Matthew McConaughey’s Longbranch Whiskey, Post Malone’s Maison No.
The story goes on
“First of all, I want to set the record,” said Somerhalder. “We do everything in our power not to call each other or refer to ourselves as celebrities.”
Wesley added, “Most people – and I don’t say specific names or anything, but most people put their name on a bottle and sell a product that they really weren’t involved in developing. Everything you see here, from the label to the name, to the contents and the bottle, was designed by Ian and me and our team. So it’s extremely organic for us. “
The two’s “passion project” is also about giving back with a view to sustainability. The brand donates part of the proceeds to regenerative agriculture and its goal is that the brand is CO2-negative.
“The future of business is triple profit companies,” said Somerhalder. “People, planet, profit – the end of the story, right? We obviously know that science-based regenerative agriculture can stop climate change, so let’s double up and put our money where our mouth is … We are an agricultural company. And we will make sure that we invest heavily, heavily, heavily in regenerative agriculture[riculture] by storing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and storing it safely in the ground where it belongs. “
The brothers’ Bond Bourbon
Somerhalder stated that the label of two men sitting under a tree is “super symbolic”.
“The brother’s bond is the anchor that holds this large organic structure between the boys. You have the ability to be confident, look outside, and have perspective, ”he said. “These are the grains that are actually built into the tree, corn, wheat, barley, and rye that are built into the tree. And the birds mean nature and freedom. “
“And the tree is an oak,” added Wesley, “and as we all know, bourbon is aged in oak barrels. So everything has a purpose and a meaning. “
Alexis Christoforous is an anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.