4 Things We Can Learn From Deep Eddy Vodka About Success In Spirits

Spirit makers: Here are 4 take-aways from Deep Eddy Vodka’s success.

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Close up shot of the light-up Deep Eddy Vodka sign outside their festival trailer.

In 2010, vodka was making a big comeback in the US after being disregarded in the first wave of the craft cocktail movement. The 3 founders of Deep Eddy Vodka struck distilled gold at just the right time.

For the spirit once considered “passé” and enjoyed solely by “inexperienced drinkers”, Deep Eddy Vodka offered natural ingredients, approachable packaging, and a delicious taste that even the most sophisticated whiskey gurus couldn’t deny. 

It wasn’t long for Deep Eddy’s greatness to be recognized. Heaven Hill Brands bought the vodka company for a pretty penny in 2015, adding to their impressive spirits lineup of Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, and more. 

Now, we’d be remiss not to mention the connections and resources Deep Eddy had prior to their Heaven Hill sale. Clayton Christopher, one of the founding members, had previously started Sweet Leaf Tea Co. and sold it to Nestle. 

That said, apart from a substantial paycheck and killer LinkedIn creds, the Deep Eddy’s founders and current owners have made a lot of smart business decisions that are worth any craft beverage producer taking note of. 

So, here are 4 things in particular that other spirits brands can learn from Deep Eddy Vodka’s success:

1. Unique, Consistent Branding Matters

Deep Eddy’s name pays homage to a swimming hole on the outskirts of Austin, Texas. It was quite literally an eddy formed from runoff of the Colorado River before being converted into a concrete pool, then a resort, and now it’s part of a public park. 

A wide photo of folks standing by the historic Deep Eddy Pool with lots of tree coverage.
A photo of the historic Deep Eddy Pool, courtesy of deepeddy.org

The vodka company’s branding has consistently marketed the same easygoingness of poolside drinking: It’s casual, refreshing, fun, and enjoyed by everyone.

Deep Eddy has also differentiated itself from other vodka brands with bright, colorful branding and fresh fruit flavors. It’s a spirit you want to dive right into, and far less intimidating than the sterile-looking bottles of competitors like Absolut, Smirnoff, and Ketel One.

Not only is their branding noticeably unique, but its fun nature is consistent across everything they do: Visitor Center decor, guerrilla marketing, and, most recently, ready-to-drink canned cocktails.

2. Exceptional Product Quality Is Essential

Deep Eddy certainly doesn’t depend on playful branding and fruit flavors to sell their vodka. The company goes to great lengths to source natural, high-quality ingredients and is nationally recognized for their attention to detail in production. 

With corn sourced from Indiana, Deep Eddy column distills the vodka ten times, which uses steam in large towers to remove undesired agents from the mix. They don’t stop there on their mission to smooth, clean drinking: The spirit is then charcoal filtered four times for pristine taste. 

All of this is done in small batches for extra care and done locally at their Texas distillery. 

Deep Eddy also understands that not all of us can stomach straight vodka after that one party in college. Their website offers an easily-navigable cocktail recipe page: Simply filter by the vodka bottle you have on hand and access countless 3-minute recipes using fresh at-home ingredients. 

3. Diversified Revenue Streams Boost Profits

In addition to being easy to drink and easy to mix, Deep Eddy is easy to track down and experience for yourself! By investing in diverse revenue streams in addition to their distribution efforts, they’ve cast a wide customer net and watched profits continue to grow. 

Deep Eddy Is Accessible In Texas & In The Sky!

If you’re lucky enough to visit one of Deep Eddy’s physical locations, you’re in for an (Instagrammable) treat. With bright pops of color and spacious seating, your party is sure to feel thirsty upon arrival.

Their primary Visitor Center is located in their old distillery in Dripping Springs, TX. The renovations are gorgeous, the menu offers everything from frozen cocktails to any vodka on the rocks, and a local food truck, Crimson Creek Smokehouse, serves delicious BBQ outside. 

Whether a live band is playing or a wedding has the space completely rented out, Deep Eddy is using their Visitor Center to diversify where their revenue comes from and creating memorable guest experiences because of it.

“The culture of the Visitor Center is that you’re coming to experience the Deep Eddy lifestyle of carefree, good times and that lends itself to a memorable experience for our guests,” Eustacio Lara, the Marketing Manager, says. “The overall ethos of the facility mimics what the brand is and that’s been our key to success.”

Our advice in Dripping Springs? Order the flight and call an Uber home. 

Or, if your preferred method of travel is by plane, Deep Eddy has a partnership with Southwest Airlines: Guests have 2 Deep Eddy options in-flight! 

Watch Out, White Claw—Deep Eddy Makes Ready To Drink, Too

Ready to drink (RTD) canned cocktails are all the rage these days, with IWRS Drinks Market Analysis reporting that vodka and tequila-based RTDs will be the driving forces behind innovation in the product category this year.

To no surprise, Deep Eddy struck while the charcoal filter was hot, releasing 3 flavors of their canned Vodka Soda line in 2021. 

4. Do Events Your Way & Guests Will Engage

Experiences are core to the Deep Eddy brand, but it’s difficult to garner the kind of national customer attention they desire with a small-scale Bingo Night. As with all business decisions, Deep Eddy trusts their gut and relies on their brand ethos to lead the way. 

Sponsorships Spread Brand Awareness 

Deep Eddy has sponsored 230+ festivals and counting. No, really, there’s an event counter on their website. 

By supporting up-and-coming musical acts, Deep Eddy spreads brand awareness and helps curate good times for event-goers. That way, next time a group is suiting up for Coachella, perhaps they’ll choose Deep Eddy Vodka Sodas for their pregame.

Deep Eddy Cares Does Charity Work

Their program Deep Eddy Cares offers time, money, and volunteers to local efforts supporting Texas communities. The spirits brand has done everything from making hand sanitizer and masks during the pandemic, to helping raise nearly $140k to make meals for families affected by Austin’s 2021 winter storm. 

Niche Mobile Marketing For The Win

Thinking outside the box is actually ordinary for Deep Eddy. In fact, they were the 2017 Gold Winner for Best Mobile Marketing Vehicle. As part of their Dive In Tour, Deep Eddy traveled cross country in a custom 25ft Spartan trailer to increase brand awareness of their flavored vodkas. Talk about making a splash!

A Deep Eddy branded trailer with the side opening down to create a platform and bar where folks are hanging out and drinking.
Image courtesy of Timeless Travel Trailers

Key Takeaways From Deep Eddy’s Success

“The core values of Deep Eddy are using real ingredients—real juice, real honey, real natural cane sugar—and staying as true to the product as possible. That realness translates into everything else that we do, down to our marketing, sales tactics, and just being real people,” shares Eustacio.

Obviously, an established brand like Deep Eddy Vodka has the resources and brand recognition to go big with their distribution and marketing efforts. But the key takeaways remain:

  • Committing wholeheartedly to your physical branding and your core ethos makes for a recognizable (soon-to-be household) name.
  • Natural ingredients + thoughtful production = amazing products. Always.
  • You make more money the more ways you make money come in. (Say that ten times fast!)
  • Programming doesn’t have to be intimidating. Do charity work and sponsor events when you can, and simply shoot for exceptional customer experiences when you can’t.

Now, doesn’t a cherry limeade sound good?

Featured image courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka.

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