It’s Not Just Music Celebrities Are Entertaining People With, Some of Them Run Their Own Alcohol Business to Do It Better
Celebrities are in a fantastic position to be able to launch any product that tickles their fancy and make it a success. Like the question – what came first – the chicken or the egg… Are these celebrities able to sell their alcohol brands because they’re famous, or would success and fortune still have followed them regardless?
Let’s find out.
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If you’re too busy chugging on your favorite drink, we wouldn’t want you to bother yourself with all the reading. Just kick back and enjoy our YouTube video on the topic:
If you’re a slow drinker and would rather have a good read compliment a good bottle, let us present the first celebrity and their alcohol brand that got them all the gold.
Bethenny Frankel – Skinnygirl Spirits
Complete all-rounder and wonder woman entrepreneur, Bethenny Frankel found fame as a contestant on the reality series, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005. She was a main cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City, and several spinoffs thereafter.
The 2009 launch of her book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, was the beginning of her journey into her Skinnygirl brand.
Skinnygirl was a line of pre-packaged diet-friendly margaritas, which quickly expanded to include low-calorie vodkas, wines and ready to drink cocktails. Her brand has grown enormously to include candy, deli meat, sweeteners, popcorn, salad dressings, shapewear, jeans, and apparel.
Beam Global Spirits & Wine bought the Skinnygirl spirits brand in 2011, and Frankel retained the rights of the non-alcoholic products.
It’s not certain what Beam Global Spirits & Wine paid for the brand, but Forbes estimated it to be $120 million!
Ryan Reynolds – Aviation Gin
As if Ryan Reynolds needed more money, he’s recently become a few hundred million dollars wealthier and it’s all thanks to the humble juniper berry.
Reynolds is or rather was co-owner of Aviation American Gin, which he acquired in 2018. Its one of the fastest-growing brands in the gin market in the US. In Reynolds words, “Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with.”
Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, bought the company, along with a few other brands, for $610 million. A press release stated that Reynolds would retain an “ongoing ownership interest.”
There would be an initial payment of $335 million, and if the alcohol brand performs well over the next decade, a further payment of $275 million will be made.
Money aside, Aluxers, the advert for Aviation Gin as a response to the Peloton exercise bike advert, is enough to have you running to buy a bottle of gin just to show your support! Just remember when you buy your gin… “Exercise bike not included.”
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – Rosé Wine and Champagne
Unlike their marriage, the Côtes de Provence estate, Château Miraval continues to thrive. Thankfully, as critics were sceptical about its rosy future.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie still co-own the estate and they produce a lovely rosé blended from of Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle and the lesser-known grape Tibouren, which is sold at 469 co-op stores across the UK.
Miraval released a top-of-the-line cellar which produced the record-breaking prestige rosé cuvée called Muse de Miraval alongside Pierre Péters. It sold at auction for €2,600, making it the most expensive rosé in the world.
Château Miraval is valued at $67 million, and although its not known how much money the estate brings in for Jolie and Pitt, suffice to say, it’s a lot. Pitt is devoted to Miraval and is selling his rosé champagne for $390 a bottle. There are only 20,000 available and it’s a sound investment as you can see in our video, “10 Ways Rich People Save Money.”
The bottles earned Brad the green of his life, he’s still not coming slow with the box office hits. Check out Most Expensive Brad Pitt Movies.
AC/DC – Wine Range
Bottoms up to legendary rockers, AC/DC, who not only released 200 million records, came 4th in VH1s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” and achieved many other accolades – can now add winemakers to their CV.
The Aussie group released a range of wines alongside Australia’s Warburn Estate in 2011. Within in its first week, 30 000 bottles were sold. The second week it more than doubled.
Expect names like “Back in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon, Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc, and You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato”
They released a “super-premium” 2010 Barossa Valley Shiraz in 2013, in a beautiful gift box with the bottle boasting the band’s logo.
It’s unclear what the boys are making from their wine, and the added range of beer and tequila, but with one of Australia’s top 10 wine producers Warburn Estate, producing and disturbing their wine – you can be sure the guys don’t need to record an album in a hurry!
George Clooney – Casamigos
He’s the kind of guy that whatever venture he decides to go into, you know it will be a success and alcohol is no different.
George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman co-founded Casamigos, a tequila company in 2013.
Gerber and Clooney were building holiday homes in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, sampling tequilas while doing so, when they decided to commission a distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. They wanted a flavour that “tasted great and didn’t burn going down,” which they managed to do with great success.
Initially, they were only producing bottles for friends and family, and had no intention of going public. Fast-forward a few years, Diageo claims that Casamigos is the “fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the US,” and buys it for $700 million and a further $300 million depending on the brands performance.
Aluxers, that’s $1 billion! Clooney told CNBC, “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion-dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes.”
Sean Combs – CÎROC Vodka
CÎROC Vodka was founded in France by Jean-Sebastien Robicquet. His family have been making wine for hundreds of years and he worked for Hennessey for 10-years. Diageo approached him to do something quite unusual… produce vodka from grapes instead of grains… and he delivered.
In Europe, the vodka is considered a luxury brand, but they were unable to secure decent sales in the USA. Bring in Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2007 as brand ambassador and the result? A massive spike in sales and a massive spike in his paycheck.
CÎROC Vodka became the number-two premium vodka in the world and the rapper cemented his influence with Diageo when they bought DeLeón tequila. Forbes believes this collab with Diageo and his involvement with CÎROC is what pushed his net worth up to $700 million.
Fergie – Ferguson Crest
She’s a Grammy award-winning vocalist, an incredible dancer, all-round amazing mom and vintner… is there anything she can’t do?
Fergie and her father, Pat Ferguson, founded Ferguson Crest in 2006. It’s a 6-acre estate winery situated in central California’s Santa Ynez Valley. They planted their first grapes on half an acre in 2007 and by 2012, it had expanded to cover 6-acres.
The family run boutique winery has a variety of blends, including a Syrah, a Cabernet, and two blends called Fergalicious and Axl Jack.
They rely on the expertise of Joey Tensley when blending their wines, who is well-known for his delicious syrahs. The cost of a bottle of Fergalicious is $30 and an Axl Jack Magnum goes for $60.
She hasn’t been singing for a while, which fortunately, with a successful wine label behind her, doesn’t make a difference to her monthly budget.
We’ve got a feeling our next celeb was happy he dabbled in the alcohol industry!
Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo Tequila
AKA, The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar was part of the hard rock band Montrose during the 70s, then launched a successful solo career and had huge success as the lead singer of Van Halen from 1985 until 1996.
Cabo Wabo was initially a nightclub that Hagar opened in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Hagar wanted a place to hang out with his friends, and since then, a few more cropped up in California and Vegas. Not all were a success, but while spending time at the Mexican venue, he started serving his own blend of tequila – which patrons loved.
The tequila was made by a family-owned distillery in Jalisco. A Napa Valley wine importer started importing the tequila in the US in 1999 and it became an instantly successful alcohol brand. It quickly became the 2nd best selling premium tequila in the US.
Hagar sold an 80% interest in the brand in 2007 to Gruppo Campari, netting himself a sweet $80 million. We’ll drink to that!
Cameron Diaz – Avaline wines
She’s been pretty busy being mom to baby Raddix since December, but she’s managed to find time to launch her range of Avaline wines alongside friend, Katherine Power.
The initial launch included Avaline White, a dry Spanish white and Avaline Rosé, a French blend with melon and zest.
Said to be a “clean wine” range, unfortunately has failed to meet natural wine standards and venography have called it a “scam.” The wine is made from organic grapes and doesn’t use any animal by-products, but that’s as far as it goes.
The alcohol brand hasn’t deterred sales though, and there has been such a demand for the red wine of the collection to be launched, that they’ve moved the release date earlier, to October 2020.
Since the launch of Avaline Wines, over 120,000 bottles have sold. The White was a top 10 best-selling wine for the first month and top reviewers have given it scores of 90 and 91.
So, are they rich yet? Not just – but judging from the sales – they will be soon!
The viral #avalinewinechallenge has been seen on Tik Tok over 14 million times, so why don’t you check it out and give it a try for yourself! No spilling Aluxers!
Nicki Minaj – MYX Fusions
Let’s mix it up with Nicki Minaj and her alcoholic venture, MYX Fusions. Minaj is co-owner of the company, Myx Beverage, LLC which is why you’ll see her advertise the brand in several of her music videos, including “High School”, “Up in Flames,” and “Anaconda.”
Myx Beverage, LLC is the parent company for MYX Fusions beverages and in 2013, Myx Fusions had the number one selling Moscato drink in the US. Over a million alcohol bottles were sold in 6 months!
In 2014, the brand collaborated with Young’s Market Company, one of the biggest alcoholic distributors in the US, and the product is now available in stores across the US and Canada.
With a net worth of $100 million, it’s unclear how much of that is derived from her company, but in Nicki’s own words, “You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don’t make moves and you don’t climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you’re not competition.”
Post Malone – Maison No. 9
While some were drowning their sorrows in 2020, others were out blending the grapes to drown those sorrows in.
Post Malone teamed up with friend, James Morrisey from Global Brand Equities, along with Dre London – music manager and owner of London Entertainment, to create this exquisite alcohol bottle of rosé. Malone recently held a pre-sale for his new offering and the website crashed when 50,000 bottles sold within 2 days!
The wine has been described as having “aromas of freshly picked fruit, such as ripe pineapple, pear and strawberry” and “hints of sweet French desserts once uncorked.”
Maison No. 9 was inspired by the tarot card, the Nine of Swords, and the bottle was created to encourage customers to re-use it, hence it’s exquisite design.
Considering it sold 50,000 bottles in a couple of days, we can safely assume that Malone will be toasting to his improved bank statement!
Drake – Virginia Black Whiskey
With several accolades under its belt, including: Wine Enthusiast: Top 100 Spirits of 2017, Wine Enthusiast: Awarded 91 points and Wally’s Wine and Spirits: Top 5 Spirits of 2016, Virginia Black Whiskey is Drake’s baby.
Drake launched the brand along with spirits entrepreneur Brent Hocking in 2016 and its available in several countries. He made headlines when the alcohol brand was launched, by selling 1,779 bottles on its release day broking the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s previous record.
4,650 bottles were sold in the first week and 30,000 cases in the first year.
Hocking said that the idea of the brand was “style, fashion, and music of the 70s,” where “nightlife was truly nightlife,” and a huge marketing coup was when Jimmy Fallon tasted the whiskey on his TV show.
At one point, Drake was planning to sell stakes in the business to raise $30 million for expansion. Regardless of what he sold there, it’s safe to say that his net worth of $150 million is being substantially subsidized by the sale of his exclusive whiskey.
Tituss Burgess – PBTB Wines
Alexander Fleming once said, “Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.” Aluxers, do you know what else makes you happy? Tituss Burgess! Now, let’s marry the wine and Burgess and you get PBTB Wines.
It all started on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, where Titus – with one S – sang his ditty, “Peeno Noir,” referring to the male anatomy. The snippet has been viewed millions of times on YouTube and fans started sending him bottles of, you guessed it, Pinot Noir.
And so, the idea was born, and he began his own range of alcohol bottles. He has formed fantastic brand partnerships like my Pride Pinot Noir and Rosé launches with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“Foop”, we can’t say exactly how much wealth he’s raking in, but we’re behind him 100% of the way.
50 Cent – Effen Vodka
The vodka is said to be “created by bartenders, for bartenders,” and it’s a project that 50 Cent has been involved with since 2014. The vodka comes in an array of flavours, including Original, Black Cherry, Raspberry, Cucumber, Blood Orange, and Green Apple.
In 2017 it was reported that 50 Cent and Effen Vodka had parted ways with 50 Cent earning $60 million from the split, but that’s been proven untrue – he still has a stake in the vodka brand.
Effen reported, “Contrary to any inaccurate media reports, EFFEN Vodka’s partnership with 50 Cent continues,” and 50 confirmed this on Instagram by saying, “I’m still on the brand I just got some cake out the deal.”
Ac/DC Jay-Z – Armand DE Brignac Champagne and D’Ussé Cognac– Wine Range
Who can forget Jay Z and Beyonce arriving late to the Golden Globe Awards bringing in bottles of their own champagne to an event sponsored by Moët & Chandon. Their bodyguard wasn’t too shy to hold the bottles of “Ace Of Spades” behind his back!
The Ace of Spades, AKA Armand de Brignac, is an alcohol brand owned by Jay Z himself. In June 2019, it was reported that he had made $310 million from the brand and a further $100 million from the D’Usse cognac collaboration with Bacardi. No surprises as to how he became the world’s first hip hop billionaire.
Let’s pour a glass of bubbly, Aluxers, while you tell us what your favourite celebrity drink is?