How to Launch a Custom Headwear Program at Your Distillery

Posted by Melissa Kovach on Mar 8, 2019 1:46:06 PM
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If you're looking to launch a custom headwear program at your distillery or need some ideas to spice things up with custom merchandise, learn from the folks over at Leopold Brothers, who came to us to get their program up and running. Here's the story. 

The humble beginnings of Leopold Brothers whiskey

As it turns out when you have equal parts malting and brewing combined with equal parts economics, industrial engineering, and environmental engineering, the result returns a zero-waste internationally competitive and award-winning distillery. 

At least, that’s how founders and independent owners of the now 20-year-old distillery Leopold Brothers Todd and Scott Leopold began the business, which opened its doors in Ann Arbor, Mich. as a microbrewery in 1999.

A brand name built on handcrafted quality and thoughtfully produced spirits

Repurposed whiskey barrel at the Leopold Brothers Denver distillery is used in their merchandise store to display the company's custom headwear collectionToday, Leopold Brothers – the only Colorado distillery to malt, mill, mash, ferment, distill, age, and bottle spirits onsite – is a James Beard Award Semifinalist two years running and is now located in Denver. (BTW, the James Beard Award is akin to winning an Oscar in the foodie world.)

The family-owned and operated distillery churns out over 20 hand-numbered, small-batch products that are distributed in over 20 states including Washington, D.C., and parts of Europe. 

Their gins, whiskeys, vodkas, and liqueurs are crafted with meticulous attention to detail infusing different types of specifically European-grown botanicals for subtle flavor notes.

Each day, the distillery only produces enough trash to fill one standard size trash bin thanks to the environmental and sustainable prowess brought in by the sibling duo.

These nuances of the Leopold Brothers brand and its ethos are threaded through their custom merchandise and headwear programs.

Leopold Brothers expand the distillery experience with custom headwear and company branded merchandise

When Leopold Brothers came to work with us here at Anthem two years ago, they were just getting their custom merchandise program off the ground. 

Kicking things off with custom headwear, Spirits Education Manager Kristin Forsch was interested in custom headwear styles that would be wearable for a large and diverse audience while also maintaining the distillery’s simple and refined branding

Working with our Senior Account Manager Anne Robertson, Forsch built their headwear line with two different hat styles. We produced one of the styles in two different colors, allowing them to go to market initially with three branded hats. 

“The hardest part for me when it comes to custom merchandise and headwear is that I don’t know much about fashion like you guys,” Forsch tells us. “I love that your team knows and provides us direction for what’s trending.”

Low profile trucker with mesh back 

Front detail of the Leopold Brothers custom headwear low profile mesh trucker with embroidered patch and mesh back by Anthem Branding

Leopold Brothers custom headwear low profile mesh trucker interior seam detail by Anthem Branding

Full fabric dad hat in black

Leopold Brothers custom headwear full fabric in black by Anthem Branding

Full fabric dad hat in military green

Leopold Brothers custom headwear full fabric in military green by Anthem Branding

Custom hats drive more merchandise sales, increasing bottom line growth 

Leopold Brothers merchandise store on display at their Denver distillery

The Leopold Brothers merchandise store is growing and expanding — sales of Leopold Brother’s branded merchandise and headwear have more than doubled over the last two years. Positioned right up front at the distillery, it’s hard to miss the array of goods on display.

And after experiencing a Leopold Brothers tour and learning about the intricacies of their process and approach to distilling, fans want to keep the vibe going after they leave. Custom merch and headwear is the best way (in our humble opinion) to do so, especially when it’s as well-made as the brand’s core products. 

Interested in seeing where you can take your custom merch program? Or looking to refresh your custom headwear line up? Connect with one of our brand experts to learn more. 

Topics: Custom Merchandise, Custom Headwear, Client Highlight, Merch Highlight