Q&A With the 2024 Brand Battle Vodka & Gin Category Finalist

Jan 24, 2024
Washington, D.C.

Delta Dirt Distillery was the Vodka & Gin category winner of WSWA’s 2024 Brand Battle. From the owner's grandfather who bought our 86-acre farm out of sharecropping to his dad who saved it from peril by transforming it into a vegetable operation, Delta Dirt Distillery like many great American legacy brands, was born out of resiliency and ingenuity.  In the spirits world, Delta Dirt has accomplished the unbelievable and excited the imagination by handcrafting an 86-proof, multi-highest award-winning Vodka.  


Below is a Q&A with Delta Dirt, that will represent the Vodka & Gin category live, on-stage in the 2024 Brand Battle Championship at Access LIVE.


Tell us about your brand. What was the inspiration to start this endeavor?


Delta Dirt is a young brand with a rich story and an exceptional product. These two ingredients have enabled our brand to punch well above its weight class.  The inspiration started out pretty simple.  When my wife and I returned home after being away nearly 25 years, we wanted to do something different with our 4th generation family farm, plus we wanted to find a way to make a difference in our poverty-stricken community.  It all came together with this idea of creating a sweet potato vodka and locating the distillery several miles away from the farm in the once thriving and now historic downtown Helena, Arkansas.  The end result, an award-winning, hand-crafted, 86-proof vodka made from sweet potatoes and corn grown on land that was once sharecropped by my grandfather and his father.  Those 86 acres are the true inspiration behind our brand.



What are your growth goals?


I am particularly proud that we’ve more than doubled year-over-year sales each year since our 2021 launch.  While our growth goals remain bullish, the plans are straight forward. Keep pressing to WIN our home state. Then expand regionally into neighboring states and markets.  I’m confident that in due time, Delta Dirt will swell to become a national and international brand. 



Successful distribution partnerships are key to brand building success. What can distributors expect when working with you and your brand?


I’d say we’re extremely fortunate to have built such a strong distributor relationship in our home state. We’ve had an accelerated class in it; so they’ll get that we “get it”.  Bottom line for us has been to persistently find ways to delight consumers which in turn excites their customers. The rest will take care of itself.



Consumer connections are key. What sets you apart from other brands? Why will consumers connect with your brand?


The origin of Delta Dirt Distillery is one of great American resiliency.  The fact that I’m black is my bonus, but the effort and ingenuity to win in spite of the odds is classic American.  And everyone enjoys a good story, especially one that on some level resonates with them which often evokes a desire to tell the story themselves.  Bundle that with a memorable drink experience and you create a brand follower for life. 



How was your Brand Battle experience so far? What feedback from the judges resounded with you and will it have an impact on your business going forward.


So far, nervously fun experience!  I love sharing our story which I do regularly on our distillery tours.  The competition part turns the fun up a notch.  Best and most useful feedback for me has been to zoom in on the ONE thing that makes your brand standout.  



What are you looking forward to in the Championship or at Access LIVE overall?


Wow, there’s a lot. I’m looking forward to learning from the other competitors, receiving feedback from the judges, and more importantly the opportunity to expose so many to an unforgettable story.



Learn more about Delta Dirt on Instagram @deltadirtdistillery or on their website at deltadirtdistillery.com