Local bartender extraordinaire Jesse Held and his business partner and “liquid chef” Jeff Erkkila have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their Earl Giles line of cocktail mixers. One of the incentives will buy you a lifetime of bragging rights.
For a mere $7,500, you’ll travel with Helm and Erkkila to the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. There you will get to pick out a barrel of Knob Creek Bourbon for Parlour and Constantine, two of the bars where Held heads up the drink program. Your name will go on each bottle of bourbon from that barrel. You’ll also get a personalized barrel head from the distillery – and the empty barrel once the bourbon is bottled.
Held and Erkkila have been making mixers like ginger beer for use at their bars for years (if you’ve had the Moscow Mule at Parlour, you’re likely already a fan). Now the pair, who combined their middle names to christen the company, need more space and more efficient equipment. They will then expand production and sell their sodas, syrups, bitters, and other drink-enhancing ingredients to the rest of us. The Kickstarter campaign will help with the start-up costs and free them from investor influence.
Held and Erkkila have set a Kickstarter goal of $50,000. Can’t swing the $7,500 level? A more manageable $50 contribution gets you an “Earl Giles supporter” T-shirt or stocking hat, a seasonal fan-club release of the Earl Giles variety pack, and a four-pack of Earl Giles ginger beer.