Brindiamo Group Announced as Principal Sponsor of the World Whiskies Awards
The leading bulk whisky supplier is now a proud supporter of the world’s largest whisky-tasting competition
When you ask Brindiamo Group founder Jeff Hopmayer to explain the philosophy behind his business – one of the largest bulk bourbon and whiskey suppliers in the world – he has a simple answer: “We just do good. We try to do the right thing. We try to be transparent. We try to be open and honest all the time. And it just works”.
When he says ‘it just works’, he’s putting it mildly. From starting from a room above Jeff’s garage, the business now employs 22 people and is a market leader in bulk-spirit supply. Beyond that, Brindiamo is also well on its way to operating as an essential arm of the global whisky family, a position the team is keen to build upon as it celebrates the company’s first year as headline sponsorship of the World Whiskies Awards (WWA), the competition from the team behind Whisky Magazine. The title sponsorship included hosting the American phase of the WWA’s judging at the Brindiamo Penthouse suite in the iconic Spalding Hall in Bardstown, Kentucky.
With sourcing liquid as the backbone of the business, the expansion into storage and insurance was a logical one, prompted by the costs of keeping a massive inventory on other people’s premises. As Jeff explains, “We were paying to store all these barrels that we were buying. We were paying distillers, so we said, ‘Well, maybe we should own some rickhouses’”. So they built some. With three sites in Kentucky already up and running, and a further six more planned by the end of 2024, the Brindiamo Group could soon be holding more than 400,000 casks in the US alone.
The business has also made moves into Europe with one eye on the rapid growth of a resurgent Irish whiskey category. “When I look at what we have created here…I don’t see anybody doing it in Europe like we do it,” says Hopmayer. From that start, the Brindiamo Group has now accumulated an inventory of nearly 10,000 barrels of Irish whiskey, from new make to 20 years old, and has opened its own warehouse on the site of West Cork Distillers.
On both sides of the Atlantic, it is the same simple philosophy that governs the way the team chooses to conduct business. As James Hewlette, the Group’s Vice President Brand and Distillery Sales explains, “It’s really a testament to what Jeff’s built. The relationship is first, not the sale, and it’s about growing that relationship and making sure that you are the trusted adviser for your clients and they know that you have their best interests at heart.”
It was this quest for trusted advisor status that has led a business that sets itself out as ‘not really marketing or advertising’ to becoming the headline sponsor of the World Whiskies Awards, the world’s largest and most well-recognised global whisky competition. From the moment the relationship was suggested, Jeff was clear on a couple of points: firstly, that he isn’t doing it to gain customers; secondly, that it had to be done “the way Brindiamo does things – in a big way”; and thirdly, that the Brindiamo team will enjoy themselves while they’re at it. “It’s going to be so much fun and so cool,” Hopmayer enthuses.
With entrants from around the world coming together at two of the industry’s showpiece events, the Whisky Magazine Awards in Bardstown and London, to shake hands and share some stories over a glass of whisky, it was only natural that a business as relationship-driven as Brindiamo was going to want to be involved. For Hopmayer, every interaction is a chance to make a new connection, and if you’re in the market for some storage space in Kentucky or anything from labels to a new distillery, he might have just the offer for you.