One Washington liquor label recently picked up some serious star power. On March 3, Brown Sugar Bourbon — a popular flavored bourbon created by Gig Harbor-based spirits maker Heritage Distilling Company — announced that Academy Award-winning actor/singer-songwriter Jamie Foxx purchased the brand.
Though only a few years old, Brown Sugar Bourbon (BSB) has earned a few accolades in the industry already, including a double gold medal at the 2020 SIP International Spirits Award, and garnered a steady following for its subtle sweetness. Heritage in Washington produces the liquor, but BSB went independent in 2019 and is distributed nationally by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Even with BSB’s new ownership, Heritage said it will “continue to have an interest in the brand” and plans to support its expansion.
In the short term, Foxx’s stewardship brings some cosmetic changes to the bottle packaging and online presence, and BSB said the star will help navigate the bourbon’s creative direction, as well as future releases. “Before the quarantine I watched bottles of BSB disappear at all my celebrations and knew this was a brand I wanted to bring into the spotlight. Anyone who tries BSB is going to love it just like I do,” Foxx said in a statement.
Celebrity-backed booze brands are nothing new, whether it’s George Clooney hawking tequila or Jay-Z selling cognac. Washington has had its share of stars attaching their names to local wine efforts, including singer Brandi Carlile (XOBC Cellars) and actor Kyle MacLachlan (Walla Walla’s Pursued By Bear), plus Mariners legend Edgar Martinez once had a line of mezcal. BSB has already experienced some commercial success pre-Foxx, so it will be interesting to see where it goes now with some extra juice behind the name.