Welcome, thirsty listener. This is episode 1 of the Business of Drinks podcast. Today’s show is called “Release the Hound.” In this episode, we establish the roots of Hamlet Hound; introduce Christy Frank, founder of the company, and find out how she came up with the idea to start her line of spirits-based canned cocktails. We also learn about some of the problems Christy faced as she developed the product, key details about her marketing strategy, and the process behind creating cocktails that work in a canned format. Join us as we begin our investigation of what it takes to start and run a real drinks business.
This season, we’re going to follow a canned cocktail line called Hamlet Hound, from launch to growth. Along the way, we’ll interview key experts and ask them how a startup can go from idea to national distribution.
But back to the money. We’ve found that people (and brands) don't like to talk about how they become profitable, so we’re pulling the band-aid off and delving into actual dollars and cents.
You’ll get the real scoop on what works, and what doesn’t. We’ll also be looking at funding models, from venture capital and drinks incubators to bootstrapping your way to success.
Want to know how to build a successful alcohol brand? Tune in as we investigate!
About Christy Frank, guest:
Christy Frank is the Founder of Hamlet Hound, a line of canned cocktails. She has over 20 years of experience in business and the drinks world. She worked for many years as a brand manager at Moet Hennessy, overseeing both spirits and wine brands. She has founded two retail wine shops, including Copake Wine Works in Copake, New York, which she opened in 2015 with her husband Yannai Frank. Her original retail shop, Frankly Wines in New York City — which she launched in 2007 and sold 10 years later — was often touted as one of the top small wine shops in the country. Frank has also worked as a marketing officer at Wine Australia, among other roles.
Learn more about Hamlet Hound:
About Erica Duecy, host:
Erica Duecy is one of the drinks industry’s most accomplished digital and content strategists. As a consultant, she has built publishing and marketing programs for Drizly, Union, and other hospitality and drinks tech companies. Previously, she was Chief Content Officer for the wine-discovery platform Pix, and Editor in Chief for the wine/spirits publications VinePair and SevenFifty Daily. She also has led digital editorial teams at Architectural Digest and Saveur magazines. Her content, podcast, and video programs have won more than 40 digital and editorial awards. She is a WSET Advanced-certified wine and spirits communicator, and author of the cocktail book Storied Sips (Random House), about the real-life stories behind the world’s most famous cocktails.
To learn more about Erica Duecy:
About Felicity Carter, host:
Felicity Carter is a well-known journalist and editor based in Europe. She is the Editorial Director of ARENI Global in London, International Editor of Star Wine List in Sweden, and also works as a contributing editor to The New Wine Review. Formerly, she was founding Executive Editor for The Drop at Pix.Wine, and Editor-in-Chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, a trade magazine she built into a global must-read, with subscribers in 38 countries. She has consulted to the Dutch government and to Liv-ex, and been the keynote speaker at the wine industry’s biggest conferences and events, from New York and Sydney to Hong Kong. As a writer she has contributed to the Guardian USA, Delicious magazine, and the Sydney Morning Herald, among many other publications. Felicity is also an international wine judge, who has judged in France, Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg and Georgia.
To learn more about Felicity Carter: