by Brian Kaiser

Room to Ramble

If you’re a ramblin’ man or woman, trying to make a living and doing the best you can, then listen here because I’ve got a proposition for you: Bottled cocktails.

Columbus’s own Rambling House has rung the opening bell on their brand new crowdfunding campaign, unleashing more opportunities for growth and inviting the public inside the company.

“We’ve made being part of our community a focus since opening,” said John Lynch, founder, day-to-day operations manager and one of the “60 Coolest People in Food and Drink” two years running according to Daily Meal. “The crowdfunding platforms really seem like a natural way to reach out to people who support what we are trying to do.”

What’s important to understand from the jump is that investing in Rambling House is not investing in the intimate music bar in SoHud called Rambling House Soda.

Lynch describes the neighborhood watering hole as a great testing grounds and marketing vehicle for the beverage company, Rambling House Cocktails; what your shareholder dollars would actually be supporting.

Rambling House Cocktails began as a small-craft soda company five years ago. Then, in 2017, Lynch and his team pivoted to ready-to-drink spirits made from their meticulously crafted ginger beer with which they bottled their crown jewel cocktail: the Moscow Mule. Hopefully, this is only the beginning.

“It really can take a lot of work to try to break through and get noticed, so if you find something that’s unique and awesome you really should tell people about it,” said Lynch.

Which brings us to their recent crowdfunding campaign. I could bore you with things like “capital,” “shares,” and “distribution” but instead, with the help of Lynch, I’ll use this ink to convince you of why supporting the local beverage biz—be it investment opportunities or simply patronage—is so important.

The quality

The success of Rambling House stands largely on the shoulders of their ginger beer recipe. With such an important job came a great responsibility for the soda scientists, and they did not rest until they had perfected the elixir.

We went through more than 10,000 pounds of fresh ginger to create a ginger beer recipe that balances sweetness with a spicy kick,” Lynch explained.

When it came to their flagship bottled cocktail, Rambling House set a neighborly example by leaving the other half of the Moscow Mule—the vodka—up to the local experts at Watershed.

Together, the adult libation is naturally gluten-free and low-calorie without compromising taste.

“We feel it tastes better than a cocktail you get at 99 percent of the bars in town, better than a lot of beers and wines,” boasted Lynch.

The pioneering

There’s no “First in Flight” debate here: Rambling House Soda was the first ever to create and distribute a ready-to-drink cocktail in Ohio.

Their first batch of premixed Moscow Mule rolled off the line in February 2017. A short two months later, it hit retail shelves.

In the first year, 19,000 bottles were enjoyed by the public.

“From the start, we signed a deal with Kroger that puts us in almost every one of their Ohio stores [200 in total],” said Lynch. “We also signed with Southern Glazer’s, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the U.S. to help expand our retail footprint.”

Now, in 2018, they’re the first to jump another hurdle.

“We are going to be one of the first central Ohio businesses to try out this new possibility for raising capital,” said Lynch.

And with the funds raised, Rambling House can boldly go where few craft players have gone before: Into the belly of the direct sales ready-to-drink market.

Sharing the love

You love Rambling House, I love Rambling House, but does Joe Schmoe in New Jersey love Rambling House? No, because, sadly, he’s doesn’t have a clue whether that’s a hip new band, or a used clothing shop, or a beverage company.

In this instance, what he doesn’t know does hurt him.

“$500K could be enough to expand into other states,” explained Lynch. The way he sees it, if Rambling House can top out at its goal of $500,000 in backing, they could onboard a marketing team, infiltrate out-of-state markets without raising their budget, and continue to shift beer and wine drinkers towards bottled cocktails

Then, ol’ J. Schmoe in Jersey can enjoy an ice cold, ready-made Moscow Mule just like you and me.

Another round

Rambling House will focus a majority of their crowdfunded capital on marketing efforts but a piece of the pie will be allocated to new product development AKA more tasty drinks for us to slurp.

“We have a new drink—a bourbon-based Kentucky Mule made with the same ginger beer—in the works now that should be released in late 2018,” explained Lynch. “By adding this to our product line, we’ll be able to acquire more shelf space, spread our distribution footprint, and grow to a national ready-to-drink cocktail brand.”

Without even getting into the nickels and dimes of it all, there is a wealth of reasons to support your local beverage company as it embarks down a path few have tread before. So, I raise my bottled Moscow Mule to the achievements and dreams of Rambling House Cocktails and pour one out for all the fallen ginger homies who sacrificed their lives so that we could get to where we are today.

Learn more about Rambling House Cocktails at ramblinghousecocktails.com/ and donate to the Wefunder at wefunder.com/rambling.house.

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