epic western cowgirl magazine
Courtesy of Epic Western……

“The best thing to happen to South Texas was Mexico,” JT Van Zandt, fly fishing guide and part-owner in Epic Western Cocktail Co., declares. This cross-cultural sentiment is exactly what the burgeoning booze brand holds front and center. Epic Western is a lifestyle brand that happens to make delicious ready-to-drink cocktails. The Texas company has just launched two new flavors: Chispa Rita, a skinny margarita, and La Paloma, a grapefruit tequila cocktail. In keeping with the OG Ranch Water product, both the Chispa Rita and La Paloma are made with 100% blue agave tequila and imported from Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico. Chispa Rita is a bright and balanced take on a skinny margarita and contains zero sugar. La Paloma impresses with an authentic grapefruit nose and a silky tequila back end. “We think these two new cocktails will reach a broader audience given they are well-known cocktails and come in at 8% ABV,” Adam Love, Co-Founder and CEO, predicts.

The idea for the company was born on a truck bed parked in a dove field in South Texas. Love and his now business partners Royce Itschner and Dub Sutherland were mixing up Ranch Waters for a group of 30-40 wingshooters after the hunt. With a couple of bottles of premium blanco tequila, a flat of Topo Chico, a sack of limes, and a shaker of salt, the trio played bartenders the whole time. They could mix their favorite cocktails the best, so they were the anointed mixologists. As several more YETI rambler cups got refreshers, Love looked up to Itschner and said, “man, why hasn’t someone made a Ranch Water like this in a can?” Fast forward a couple of months and a few Ranch Water products burst on the scene. The San Antonio boys were excited; someone had solved their problem. But a new and bigger problem presented itself: they all tasted flat and chalky, or were not even made with real tequila. Two months later, the trio decided it was time to create a real ranch water so they hopped on a plane to Jalisco. “Our mission is to give consumers the best tasting, healthiest spirits-based RTD cocktail they can find,” Love exclaims. “We simply weren’t going to start the company if we couldn’t make our RTD cocktails in a can taste exactly how we make them at home.” This commitment to quality is clearly paying off as Epic is expanding much quicker than expected.

Epic Western Ranch Water has been on the market for 9 months now and sales have surpassed the Co-Founders’ lofty expectations. Outselling nationally distributed peers in the same stores, the Ranch Water liquid and golden can truly outshine. This initial success, combined with brand innovation in the form of the Chispa Rita and La Paloma flavors, has led to an expedited state expansion strategy. The young company currently has statewide distribhution in Texas and Nevada, and plans to expand distribution to Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina by the end of the summer.

The company has grown from 4 full-time employees to 12 in the last two months, including the addition of James Elledge as Chief Marketing Officer. Elledge comes from the industry and has a knack for building disruptive brands. He helped build Texas-based Deep Eddy Vodka into a national brand, and most recently led Marketing & Sales as Partner/Owner of Austin-based apparel brand, Duck Camp. Epic has offer letters out to Sales Directors, a Creative Director and several Market Managers, highlighting the company’s commitment to investing in exceptional and passionate employees. The company recently leased an office in Austin, TX, and is an official sponsor of the SXSW music festival with an activation at the outdoor stage concerts, March 17-19. With a vision to market the products through the brand pillars of Western lifestyle, Outdoors, Music and Sports, Epic Western has big plans to please palates nationwide.