Another driver of Big Whiskey’s improving sales has been the reinvigorated drink menu. Sundy says there’s currently a “White Claw mentality” in which hard seltzers are making a hard press on the market. However, rather than jump 100 percent into the seltzer game, Big Whiskey’s devised a plan called “skinny sipping,” which involves non-sugar drinks under 100 calories for the healthy drinker.
The menu also takes crafted cocktails and creates a twist, such as the Filthy Manhattan and the Blackberry Bourbon sidecar. Meanwhile, certain best-selling drinks, like the All American Margarita and the Stir Crazy, stayed on the menu. There’s two new whiskey flights, an updated Happy Hour portion, and a rejuvenated wine list, as well.
“Our new drink menu almost brought us to tears when we got it completed,” Sundy says. “It was like the culmination of the last 14 years of—what did we really want our brand to be? What did we want to look like? We understand that not every human is going to bow into whiskey and want to drink whiskey. … We wanted it to be over approachable for the non-whiskey drinker, but at the same time, paying homage to the drinks of yonder year with some of our Manhattans and some of our sidecar drinks we’ve had.”
Riding this momentum, Big Whiskey’s opened three stores during the pandemic. The unit in Hoover, Alabama, which opened in June, obliterated company sales records by 30 percent in the first four weeks of business with 50 percent capacity limits.
Patios, yard games, and an open floor plan are all a part of the experience. The location is based in an emerging development called Stadium Trace Village that comprises retail, recreation, and entertainment, leading to a heavy dose of foot traffic. The building—a spacious box built on its own lot—is a “piece of eye candy,” White says.