Rare On Camera Footage
Because it was Alan Kropf, someone who I greatly admire and who is pretty much one of the nicest people in the industry, I did something I usually try to avoid which is to appear on camera AND on the record. I'm very sensitive to interviews these days having done a podcast myself back in the day (I quit because guys like Alan came along and did everything waaaaay better than me). People say things on the record all the time that they wish they could change later on, not necessarily because they said something they wish they could take back, but because it didn't come off the way they intended. It's for that reason that I give all of my interviewees on D2D the chance to look at the transcript and change anything they're not comfortable with before we post.
I have to really slow down when I do interviews these days because I have a tendency to speak before I think, but sometimes I still goof up. There's a part in the interview with Alan where I compare the Leopold Brothers to the rock group the Pixies because they're the model for that every other distillery aspires to be. What I was trying to say was that despite all of their ability, accomplishments, and accolades, they haven't become the next Pappy Van Winkle with bottles flying off the shelves at break neck speeds. Instead, I said something like "they aren't thriving" which taken by itself is entirely inaccurate. I know this because—coincidentally enough—I was just emailing with Todd Leopold this week about business and he was telling me how important it was for distillers to plan ahead with their investments. The Leopold Brothers aren't just a model for what every distiller aspires to be, they're a model for creating the EXACT type of business I've been harping about all week: a self-sustained, well-operated company that is solvent, growing at a healthy pace, and has no intention of selling out. What I was trying to communicate to Alan is that being the best distillery in America isn't necessarily enough to make you the next cult superstar these days. That's because I think the Leopolds have pretty much the best distillery in America and should be the booze world's superstar producer. Just like the Pixies should have been much bigger than Nirvana because they're a far better band. But that's not always how things work. Going back and listening to that part now, I wish I would have said that differently.
What's crazy is that this interview was posted by Alan more than a month ago, but I didn't see it until last night. That was after Todd emailed me about the Pixies due to my Kim Deal blog post. It's weird how psychic energy works sometimes.