Celebrities are taking shots at the liquor market

Actors, athletes, and celebrity chefs are eyeing massive payouts in the lucrative liquor space.

Guy Fieri (welcome back to our email) owns Santo Tequila (Source: Santo via THR)

On HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” former billionaire Russ Hanneman built a tequila brand aptly named Tres Comas in an attempt to re-billionize his bank account.

Now, it seems a growing number of celebrities are also trying to add tres comas to their names by shaking up the liquor space.

The proof is in the proof

Hip-hop artists — like Diddy (with Ciroc) and Jay-Z (with Ace of Spades) — have a track record of scoring big in the liquor space.

In recent years, A-list names *taking shots* at the market include:

  • 2017: George Clooney sold tequila startup Casamigos for $700m
  • 2018: MMA Champion Conor McGregor launched a whiskey now valued at $235m
  • 2020: Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin sold for $335m (we wrote more about the hilarious Reynolds here)

With celebrity brands currently making up ~5% of the space, insiders see room for growth.

Who’s the next Clooney (or Diddy)?

One name you might know: Dwayne “[On] The Rock[s]” Johnson. The mega-super-duper-star launched Teremana Tequila last spring and broke records by selling 300k+ cases in 2020.

Others mixing it up:

  • Football player J.J. Watt, cycling legend Lance Armstrong, and Momofuku founder David Chang are all investors in nonalcoholic Athletic Brewing Co. (We wrote about it here.)
  • Guy Fieri and former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hager (!!) own Santo Tequila
  • Actress Kate Hudson launched King St. Vodka in 2019

Oh, by the way, Tres Comas exists IRL. In likely the funniest official press release to date, publicly traded liquor conglomerate Diageo proclaimed it as “the only tequila acceptable for billionaires.”

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