We’re pleased to announce that Toulouse Red, Absinthe Rouge, is now available in Pennsylvania, thank to our partnership with innovative craft spirits store BOTLD.
BOTLD has created a fascinating business model in which they acquire spirits in bulk from a variety of distilleries and then bottle them under license in Pennsylvania. While independent bottlers have been around for a long time, BOTLD gives this model a new twist by bottling spirits under the name of the original producer and with identical packaging.
Thus, if you buy a bottle of Toulouse Red from BOTLD in Pennsylvania, it will look (almost) exactly the same as the bottles we distill and fill in New Orleans. The only difference is on the back label, which indicates that BOTLD bottled the bottles. (Try saying that three times fast.)
Another interesting aspect of the BOTLD model is the way they have used Pennsylvania’s extremely restrictive liquor laws to their advantage. Pennsylvania is a “control” state, where the state controls both distribution and retail sales of spirits. Navigating the byzantine regulations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is a major challenge for small distilleries. Getting listed by PLCB and then selling through Pennsylvania state-owned liquor stores requires significant effort and investment.
With that said, Pennsylvania has created a rather enlightened system for in-state producers. If you produce spirits in Pennsylvania, you can sell directly to the public and you can have up to five retail stores located around the state. On top of that, these stores can ship directly to in-state residents. Furthermore, if you bottle a spirit, you are considered the producer as a matter of law.
Are you catching on to the astoundingly clever nature of the BOTLD business model? Andrew Auwerda and his team at BOTLD source spirits from distilleries that would typically be unable to enter the Pennsylvania market the traditional way. (We know all about this as we looked into it previously and tried.)
The BOTLD Beta Shop at Rittenhouse Square, Philiadelphia, PA
Photo credit: BOTLD
After bottling them, they sell these spirits directly to the public at their store and via their web site. (Buy Toulouse Red in Pennsylvania.) So far, they have opened their “Beta” store and are taking orders on their web site. But we suspect a bigger presence may be coming in the future. Likewise, we’re just getting started in Pennsylvania with Toulouse Red. For now, we’re saying “CHEERS!” to BOTLD and to Toulouse Red arriving in Pennsylvania.