In episode 2 of the DrinkX podcast we hear about Ilan Avitsur’s fifteen year acscent from local bartender on the local Tel Aviv bar scene, to Area Manager for one of the world’s top 10 spirits companies, Roust Inc.

The episode begins with Ilan telling the incredible story of how one man’s vision turned Russian Standard into the world’s second-largest producer of vodka by volume in the world, over the course of just a few short years…

Episode 2 Highlights

2:00 minutes in

What makes Russian Standard special? Why did the world need another vodka brand, and why this one?
The founder of Roust Inc, Roustem Tariko, was driven both by his passion for vodka and pride in its origins. As the birthplace of vodka, he contended, Russia needed to be producing the world’s finest version of this popular spirit. And so Russian Standard was born, combining premium local ingredients and advanced distilling technology to create a vodka that is exceptionally smooth.

11:00 minutes in

How has the spirits industry changed in the last 15 years, especially in light of new access to information online?
It might sound strange today in a world that is always looking for new categories, but back in the early 2000s it was extremely hard to get people to try new brands. Direct distribtion was limited and wholesalers, for the most part, weren’t open to taking chances on stock that consumers hadn’t heard of and might not sell. So there weren’t a lot of opportunities to help people discover us. And yet we knew that given the right conditions, people would be interested in experimenting. So we used below the line brand education to appeal to those wholesale ‘gatekeepers’. They were the influencers back then. 😉

About: DrinkX is a new podcast about the global drink culture from tech and product innovation to industry trends and marketing. We will be talking to thought leaders, influencers, brand innovation managers, baristas and mixologists from around the world to serve you the most interesting topics out there.

Host: Geva Telem, Product Marketing Manager at Ripples

Research: Yifat Yudovsky: Head of Key Accounts at Ripples