Drinks with Pat

51

A few years ago, while working for the NHL team in Las Vegas, my wife brought home a new drink.

It was apparently all the rage with the players. It came in a pleasing blue can, with a fascinating name: The Finnish Long Drink. There’s a pretty cool story about the true Long Drink in Finland, if you have some time to look it up!

It was incredible! Delightfully crisp, cool and refreshing, the gin-based beverage tastes
remarkably like Fresca. (It comes in four varieties: classic; low calorie, which tastes about the same; strong, which, again, tastes about the same but packs a punch at 8% ABV; and
cranberry.)

When I moved back to Michigan, I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t here yet. BUT then, a few weeks later, it was. Now, it seems like it’s everywhere — and it’s got some crazy investors too, including multiple NHL players and golfers, actor Miles Teller and a few people from Founders Brewing, as well.

I recently caught up with Carley Morrison, who I once worked with at the Mitten Brewing
Company. She is now the West Michigan sale representative for The Long Drink.

Pat: For those who haven’t had the pleasure of running into a Long Drink
yet, what can they look forward to?
Carley: A lot of people have been drinking a lot of beer and seltzer and it’s kind
of fun because it’s a little more flavorful than seltzer, but a little lighter and more
refreshing than beer. It’s one of those things you can drink all day and it’s going
to taste good.

Pat: I first had it out in Las Vegas, but now in Michigan, I’m seeing it
everywhere. You started in July, so how have you seen it grow?
Carley: It’s been huge in West Michigan. It’s in 41 states and Michigan is the top
state for sales for the year. The forecasted numbers, we’ve just blown them out
of the water. September was a bigger month than June, which is crazy because
that’s summer and it’s a perfect summer drink and September is, well, less
summer. West Michigan really likes it. Also, it’s the national drink of Finland and Michigan has one of the largest Finnish populations in the U.S., so that helps.

Pat: Is there anything coming up that The Long Drink fans can look forward to?
Carley: Right now, the mentality is if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We’re not looking
to change things, because it’s a super good quality product and it tastes great.
We had a short release of variety packs and those are coming back in
November, but we’re not looking to add any flavors at least until next summer. If
we do it’ll be in a variety pack. We’re just hoping to grow and expand and fun things like events. I have a costume contest at the indoor dog park later this month and that’s a Long Drink event. We’re just hoping to do a lot of fun things and keep growing the brand.
WhistlePig tailgate contest! I’ve mentioned WhistlePig Whiskey a few times, it’s a fantastic craft rye whiskey after all. Now, the company is giving its customers a chance to win a big tailgate party for the Super Bowl. WhistlePig’s Maple Sugar Shack is making tour stops in Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa and Austin, but the winner of the contest gets a fully stocked Sugar Shack for the game. To enter, it does require a video submission, so go forward at your own risk.

What’s Pat Drinking?
Well, this week, I’m on my way to Austin for the United States Grand Prix.
If you’re not familiar with Formula One, check out the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive. It’s fantastic and certainly a different, and refreshing, sport than we’re used to in America.
In Texas, I’ll probably drink plenty of Lone Star, the National Beer of Texas, and hopefully some great local brews!

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