Talkin’ Whiskey with Florida Georgia Line
Say what you will about modern day country music, but Florida Georgia Line’s brand of tunes is straight up good times, drinking straight from the bottle on a boat music. The duo, who hit it big with songs like “Round Here,” “Cruise” and “Anything Goes,” have always channeled their whiskey-drinking lifestyle in their music, but a couple of years ago they channeled it into an actual bottle and launched Old Camp Whiskey.
The brand offers two expressions: the American (a classic, blended whiskey) and the Peach Pecan (a flavored whiskey). And now, starting May 1, Old Camp will release the Patriot Pack, a new bottling of their Peach Pecan whiskey launched in partnership with the United Service Organization (USO). With a star-spangled label featuring lyrics from the band’s song “May We All,” the new packaging is coming out just in time for summer music festival season and, of course, the Fourth of July.
Supercall caught up with FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley (aka BK) just before their debut performance at Stagecoach (speaking of music fests) to talk about the new offering as well as their whiskey drinking lives in general.
Supercall: How did you guys first start drinking whiskey together?
Tyler Hubbard: When BK and I first started playing together we had a thing where we’d go into the bar, we’d buy a beer, we would drink the beer and we would fill it with whiskey—something really cheap in a plastic flask that we bought on the way in. We would fill our bottles up with whiskey and we would sit there and drink it and everybody thought we were just drinking beer.
Brian Kelley: We’ve got a long past, a long history with whiskey. It’s definitely been with us on our journey and it’s been part of our lifestyle and our show for a while, so to have our own brand and our own flavor, it’s something we’re really proud of.
SC: Why did you decide to create your own whiskey?
BK: We’re creatives at heart and entrepreneurs. The opportunity came up with a third party consulting firm and we felt like they might be the right way to achieve the vision. We enjoyed the whole process. We tasted a lot of different whiskeys and going through our process it was fun to say, “We don’t like those notes. We don’t like the way this is tasting. We want this flavor. We want to add a little bit of Florida and Georgia with the peach and the pecan.” We wanted to create something different and fresh and, at the end of the day, something we could be proud of that our friends would like, that would translate well at the bar.
SC: Why did you decide to launch with a flavored whiskey?
TH: We were all drinking Fireball before Old Camp was in our life—I feel like it was for the non-whiskey drinker. And that was who we wanted to market to first because we knew we could make a good tasting whiskey and market to the whiskey drinkers, but we wanted to market to everybody.
SC: How do you like to drink the whiskey?
BK: I like the Peach Pecan straight. I like it on the rocks. I like the American whiskey with a dash of ginger ale. Pretty simple—I like a booze forward Old Camp drink.
TH: I agree with BK 100 percent. We drink together a lot, so we kind of drink the same thing.
SC: Why did you decide to launch the Patriot Pack?
BK: We’ve always wanted to partner up with the USO. We love what they do and we love our military. My family has some history—my grandfather was a WWII POW; he received two purple hearts. I never got to meet him. He passed away before I was born, but everything that I’ve heard about his life has inspired me. We’ve always done some things with the military but not really with the USO. For the brand, I think it’s smart, and for the fans, it gives them something new to look forward to.
SC: What’s your favorite whiskey drinking music (besides your own)?
TH: You know what song’s stuck in my head because we just left rehearsal with him? Morgan Wallen has a song called “Whiskey Glasses.” It’s what I’m singing in my head right now. And Cole Swindon has a song called “You Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” I think that’s a good use of a hook and a good use of whiskey.
SC: If you were going to make another spirit besides whiskey, what would it be?
TH: Probably tequila or vodka, something clear since we have the dark whiskey covered.
BK: Or some Florida Georgia ‘shine—watch out!