From Bourbon Enthusiast to Retail Store Owner with Luke Castle of Ace Spirits (Bourbon Pursuit #361)

, | June 12, 2022

Many of us have a passion for bourbon but I’m not sure we think to ourselves, “I want to run my own liquor store.” Our guest today took that leap. Luke Castle makes his return to the show but not to talk about being a bourbon enthusiast but to talk about his new endeavor taking ownership of Ace Spirits, it’s a retail shop in Minnesota who you may have heard about from a prior guest when we talked about moving volume with shipping. Luke puts it out there for those wanting to learn about the business and answers the questions many of us want to know as bourbon consumers such as distributors, barrel picks, allocation, and figuring out what determines a best customer.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about XYZ
  • You were back on Episode 166, but tell folks how you got into bourbon.
  • What made you want to leap into the business after being an enthusiast?
  • What did you want to change to make it your version of Ace Spirits?
  • What’s the currently landscape for direct to consumer in Minnesota?
  • What would direct to consumer mean to you as a retailer if it opened up or shut down completely?
  • Are you starting to see the decrease of allocated barrel picks happen?
  • What are the new brands people are getting excited about?
  • Do you prefer a small or large distributer to buy from?
  • Do distributors and brand reps just show up randomly to try and push stuff?
  • What do you find the most challenging aspect of owning a liquor store that you didn’t know about?
  • What is your method for selling allocated bourbon?
  • Are you figuring out your best customers through a rewards program?
  • What is your method for growth to find new customers?
  • @acespirits
  • Support this podcast on Patreon
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This post first appeared on Bourbon Pursuit at https://bourbonpursuit.com/2022/06/09/361-from-bourbon-enthusiast-to-retail-store-owner-with-luke-castle-of-ace-spirits/

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Bourbon Pursuit

Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil host the Bourbon Pursuit podcast from Louisville, KY. Together, they share a passion for the stories that made an industry flourish with a focus on history, personality, and of course, great bourbon. Their guests include master distillers, bloggers, historians, local events and more.