Adventure Awaits Issue 02

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MARCH 2021 | ISSUE NO. 2

adventure awaits

From brainstorm to bottle— the makings of a good idea Award-winning distillery Boyd & Blair shares success tips behind their ideation process

Field of Dreams How Major League Baseball is helping dreams come true this summer

Thinking outside of the box How brands are making mail fun with monthly deliveries and more p12

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Spring is the proof that there is beauty in new beginnings. —Matshona Dhliwayo

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contents

What does insurance have to do with adventure? At Berkley One, everything. Adventure Awaits is a celebration of the things that keep you moving forward, with stories from entrepreneurs, foodies, designers, travelers, artists, athletes and more. At home or abroad, at work or at play—there’s adventure to be found, everywhere.

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From brainstorm to bottle—the makings of a good idea Award-winning distillery Boyd & Blair shares success tips behind their ideation process

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Field of dreams How Major League Baseball is helping dreams come true this summer

Cover photo: Adam Milliron Photography

Thinking outside of the box

How brands are making mail fun with monthly deliveries and more

berkley one | adventure awaits | march 2021

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Award-winning distillery Boyd & Blair shares success tips behind their ideation process

It was during a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery that Barry Young realized he could meld his background in science with his passion for spirits. “I thought to myself, ‘I could do this; I could start my own company. How difficult could it be?’” he says, laughing and turning to face his wife and business partner, Jennifer.

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Photo: Adam Milliron Photography

From brainstorm to bottle— the makings of a good idea


While Barry and Jennifer would never call the journey easy, they had a plan from the start for Boyd & Blair, an award-winning distillery that recently earned the coveted top spots for both vodka and rum in the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. They would enter the spirits market with a vodka, the best-selling product in the sector. They also knew they would make every effort to set themselves apart in the category. “We wanted to do a potato vodka because they’re harder to ferment than the corn and grain vodkas of the world,” says Barry. “There’s an extra conversion step in there, and that’s what gives them a smoother mouthfeel and a sweeter flavor.” The fact that potatoes were a prized local crop (Pennsylvania ranks as the 6th largest potato grower in the United States) only confirmed their decision.

Instead of calling upon a continuous still that automatically recycles the tails into bottling, Barry and his team decided to use a hand-built German still that allows them to cut the heads, hearts, and tails at key points in the process—and taste plenty along the way to ensure accuracy. “When people try our vodka, even at room temperature, they often can’t believe they’re drinking vodka on its own because of how clean the finish is,” notes Jennifer, who cautions vodka enthusiasts to beware of competitor labels boasting claims like “13-times distilled,” as this only references the number of times the tails are recycled back into the recipe, never accounting for their actual removal.

It’s an added step the team wanted in place to ensure the kind of high-quality vodka they themselves sought out—one that could stand up just as well on its own or in a martini as it could in a shaken cocktail. It wasn’t the only differentiating factor the couple Cocktail creation, too, was not far off— set out to offer. About six months into their journey, just last year, the team launched a line of Barry realized that adding Champagne yeast to ready-to-drink drams, featuring options the fermentation process was a game changer—it like a Blood Orange Cosmo and Chai Tea helped to hone in on the natural starches of the Mule, along with their Daiquiri. The latter product. Then there was the a rather unprecedented uses their house BLY Rum, the only route the couple took in their distillation process— other spirit they produce besides vodka. nixing the “tails,” or alcohol distillate, altogether. The reason, Barry offers, is one of “When you distill, you get three segments of alcohol restraint: “I could make everything, but it doesn’t mean I should from the still—the heads, the hearts, and the tails,” make everything.” says Barry. He notes that it’s the hearts alone that comprise the pure alcohol needed for the product, It’s just one of the lessons Barry and while the heads and tails don’t serve the end result Jennifer have learned in 13 years with in a desirable way. the company—more than a decade of insights into the imbibing world and their own ideation process. Here, we learned a few more tried-and-true tips that have come in handy in their entrepreneurship pursuits.

berkley one | adventure awaits | march 2021

Photo: Paul Bartholomew

Photos: Boyd & Blair

“Most vodka distilleries include the tails but try to mask them,” notes Barry, who credits tails with the harsh aftertaste people so often associate with vodka. “I never understood why I’d want to put something back into my product that would degrade the flavor profile.”

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Photo: Boyd & Blair

“I could make everything, but it doesn’t mean I should make everything.” —Barry Young


Photos: Adam Milliron Photography

Insight #1:

Insight #2:

Insight #3:

Don’t be afraid to change course

Keep your eye on the prize

Listen to those you trust

In addition to altering their “To paraphrase record producer respective trajectories—both Jimmy Iovine, racehorses wear Barry and Jennifer worked in blinders for a reason—so that healthcare before switching gears they can’t look left or right, they to the spirits industry—they aren’t can only look straight ahead,” afraid to be pioneers in several says Barry, who notes that such areas of their work. Case in point wisdom was particularly helpful with the specific decisions they for the launch of their craft made when crafting their star cocktail line. “When every other product, including a dedication brand was coming out with to potato vodka, inclination to canned cocktails, we wanted use a high-quality yeast, and the to offer something that better resolve for a distillation process exemplified the cocktail and the that would yield a better taste, elegance that it contained for despite the extra time and us,” he said. Their team debuted energy it required. “Just because a line of craft cocktails that everyone else is doing something they bottled in flasks, a way to one way doesn’t mean that you practically serve some of their will only be successful if you do it favorite concoctions, while also that way, too,” says Jennifer, who paying homage to the craft notes that although Barry had cocktail’s storied history. “We been trained to include the tails wanted to offer something in the distillation process, it was simple and sophisticated, so it questioning that approach that was important for us to put a led them to where their product lot of thought and time into the is today. “In order to really set presentation,” says Jennifer, who yourself apart in chasing what also notes they followed a similar you’re after, you can’t be afraid focus with their liter packaging, to change course.” which serves up to 11 guests. “We wanted to appeal to the person who really celebrates the complexity of a craft cocktail— it was just one more way in which we tried to find our niche in a crowded market.”

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When it comes to the impetus to act, Jennifer credits collaboration with the team, yes—but also, the promptings of sage family and friends. “We had been making a lemon lavender cocktail for years, and our family and friends were always urging us to package and sell it,” she says. “We weren’t sure it was the direction we wanted to take—we wanted to remain disciplined so as to solely focus on our flagship products.” It wasn’t until a conversation with Jennifer’s uncle, a chef who she notes as being typically reserved in opinion, that the couple knew they had something to work with. “He told us it was ‘the best cocktail he had ever had in his life,’ and that we would be ‘crazy not to sell it,’” she recalls. “His comment cemented what we were hearing and was our push to action.”

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she’s thankful they made the leap—and recognizes their close circles for much of that success. “Our friends and family have supported us from the very beginning, so when they offer feedback— positive or negative—we know they are genuinely seeking our best interest and we want to listen.” It’s a lesson that has led to successful—and delicious—results.

“In order to really set yourself apart... you can’t be afraid to change course.” —Jennifer Young berkley berkley one one || adventure adventure awaits awaits || march march 2021 2021

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Photo: Boyd & Blair

The team knew they didn’t want to rush anything to market, so they took their time in perfecting the recipe for a bottled lemon lavender cocktail, one that required consistency in large-format renditions. They also knew that unlike the cocktail they could concoct and consume within one evening, they would have to provide a takeaway version that offered flexible timing. “When we made it on our own at home, it would lose its freshness within a couple of days—but now, we’ve figured out a way to bottle it so that once opened, you have up to 10 days to enjoy it,” says Jennifer. With the ready-to-drink sector hotly on the rise,


Boyd & Blair craft cocktail recipe: Ginger Greyhound · 2 ounces Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

Ginger-rosemary simple syrup

· ½ ounce ginger-rosemary simple syrup

· 1 cup water

· 4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

· 1 cup sugar

In a shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Garnish with fresh ginger or a sprig of rosemary.

· 3 sprigs rosemary ·C hunk (about the size of your thumb) fresh ginger root, cut into slices

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Photo: Adam Milliron Photography

In a small pan over medium-low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water. Allow to cool slightly. Place the rosemary sprigs and ginger in a glass jar, and pour syrup into jar, allowing the mixture to steep for about 1.5 hours. Strain. Refrigerate reserved syrup in a sealed container and use within one week.


f o d s l e m i F Drea

Photo: Major League Baseball

A farm in Dyersville, Iowa seems an unlikely place for a baseball blockbuster—except, of course, in the case of 1989 hit flick Field of Dreams. It’s that farm that serves as the very foundation for Ray Kinsella’s enigmatic baseball field after he hears “the voice”—one with a message that ranked so loud and clear across America as to earn itself the title of the 39th top film quote of all time: “If you build it, he will come.” This summer, Major League Baseball continues the narrative. On August 12th, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees will head to Lansing Farm in Iowa—the site of the original movie—where they’ll play ball in a game that commemorates the film and serves as the first of its kind. Those who know the original storyline will recognize that the real-life rendition closely follows that of the flick: The White Sox and the Yankees are the two favorite teams of Kinsella’s father, a dedicated baseball fan with a key role in the film. The Lansing Farm has garnered attention ever since the movie’s release, but it wasn’t until 2011 that a woman named Denise Stillman bought the property with the intention of preserving the site and cultivating a special place for baseball buffs. In 2015, Stillman began talks with MLB for this event, which, just like the film, has required a bit of time travel (though originally scheduled for 2020, the pandemic pushed it back by one year). berkley berkley one one || adventure adventure awaits awaits || march august2021 2020

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l l a b e s a e B u e r t u g e a m e o L c r s o j m a a M e r How lping d r e e h m s i m u s this

Photos: Major League Baseball

MLB began construction on the new ballpark in 2019 and completed it last May, using Chicago’s Comiskey Park as a source of inspiration (the team paid particular attention to the outfield shape and center field bullpens during design). And while the replica playing field is worlds bigger than the original ballpark—this one seating up to 8,000 fans—much of the movie site’s magic remains: Windows alongside the right field wall overlook the landscape beyond the park, and access to the field is especially stirring, requiring fans to walk through the film’s iconic cornfields via a newly-built walkway. It’s in those fields that Kinsella first heard his calling to act, one that took him on a journey that spanned miles and decades before culminating in a ballpark built for former players to realize their dreams. The fact that this iconic scene has become a reality now, in today’s quickly changing world, may further point to what we all require most: time-honored and unifying treasures like baseball.

berkley berkley one one || adventure adventure awaits awaits || march august2021 2020

“Field of Dreams is an iconic, generational baseball story built upon a deep love of the game that transcends even the most impossible of circumstances,” notes Chicago White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “It seems fitting that 30 years after the film’s debut, MLB will build a ballfield here for a game to capture everyone’s imagination, allowing for fans to create their own cherished memories.” New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner agrees. “I fully expect that showcasing our great game in such an intimate setting will exemplify why baseball remains a cherished American pastime.” A celebration of competition, camaraderie and the enduring magic of sports, the event—which is also the first-ever Major League Baseball game to be played in Iowa—is currently scheduled for August 12th, 2021—though fans are encouraged to check the Major League Baseball site for updates. Information within this article sourced with permission from Major League Baseball News Release: Bourne, Matt and Teevan, Michael. Major League Baseball News Release. “Yankees, White Sox to Meet in “MLB at Field of Dreams.” 8 August 2019. Accessed 5 February 2021. 11 11


Thinking outside OF THE

box

Photo: Oui Please

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How brands are making mail fun with monthly deliveries and more 12


Photo: GlobeIn

There’s nothing better than receiving a package in the mail—especially one that feels tailored just for you.

Beyond an array of ready-to-go meals, the food and beverage vertical spotlights brands focused on specialty, niche finds—from coffee and cookies to olive oils and wines. There are also the globally-inspired, those boxes that showcase the best bites, sips, and seasonings from a particular country. Take, for example, Eattiamo (for Italy enthusiasts), Tienda (for lovers of Spain) or Bokksu, a monthly box boasting a medley of fun, premium Japanese snacks (think yuzu sake candy, mochi, and seaweed tempura).

Enter the subscription box, the customizable delivery tool that has now established itself as a staple in the marketing strategies of thousands of brands across the globe. As of February 2018, there were close to 7,000 subscription box companies in the world—with nearly 70% of those based in the U.S.1

With more people doing their shopping from home than ever before, the past year has only increased that interest. Of more than 1,000 shoppers surveyed, one in five had purchased a subscription box to have products easily accessible during the pandemic—making it easy to stay put and postpone a multitude of in-person visits to the store.4 The boxes with the biggest appeal? Those featuring meal kits or clothing and fashion. Another survey, which charted the categories that have ranked highly over time, reported a particular fondness for the categories of food and beverage and hobbies, with beauty and leisure trailing just behind.1

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Photo: Bokksu

When Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox and Blue Apron launched nearly 10 years ago, they paved the way for many companies to follow suit. Recent years have shown the industry’s massive growth: the market has increased more than 100% each year, jumping from $57 million in sales in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016. 2 In the past six years alone, the sector has grown by a whopping 890%. 3

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Photo: Tin Can Studios/Ingrid Carozzi Photo: Oui Please

Then there’s the hobbies category, which encompasses brands catering to a variety of lifestyle interests (including items inspired by and created for all things travel), while today’s beauty and leisure boxes highlight choices that are curated to address the biggest trends and needs surrounding self-care and the shopping experience. One example of the former is GlobeIn, a box comprised of several handmade products from artisans around the world (such as handpainted Moroccan mugs or fair-trade scarves from Thailand). Those seeking the latter can turn to options like OuiPlease, a Francophile’s dream box of jewelry, perfumes and accessories from luxury French brands.

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The purchasing emphasis on certain categories makes even more sense when considering the reasons people subscribe to such services to begin with—a varied response that included those looking to try something new (51%), those who enjoy receiving items in the mail (39%) and those who found the delivery system easier than shopping (37%)—especially during pandemic times. 5 And users will likely find more reasons yet to love this trend, as the number of subscribers to curated boxes is only expected to grow. Research reports that by 2023, as many as 75% of business-to-consumer brands will offer some form of subscription-based service, as brands continue to grasp this uptick in the industry and change in consumer behavior.4 14


According to Tien Tzuo, CEO at subscription management platform Zuora, the growth in the industry is a sign of the times—and an indication of what is ahead. “If these moments of time tend to accelerate underlying trends, we believe the current crisis will only accelerate the shift of the modern global economy towards digital services and subscription models,” he says.4 “It’s [less] about the physical product, [and more] about what the customer is trying to do. And that inversion of thinking is at the root of everything.”2 If Tzuo is right, consumer behavior data would point to two core desires: one of gaining firsthand experience, and one of establishing a sense of well-being. And if those two habitual pursuits can be met with some monthly “me-mail?” Well—it might just check all of the boxes.

1. Ramasamy, Ashin. “What is the future of global subscription in the e-commerce industry?” Entrepreneur.com. 28 May 2018. Accessed 18 February 2021. https://www.entrepreneur.com/ article/313813 2. Luna, Jenny. “Why every business will soon be a subscription business.” Graduate School of Stanford Business. 17 August 2018. Accessed 18 February 2021. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/why-every-business-will-soon-be-subscription-business 3. Kestenbaum, Richard. “The subscription box business continues to grow and change.” Forbes.com. 20 May 2018. Accessed 18 February 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ richardkestenbaum/2018/05/30/the-subscription-box-business-continues-to-grow-andchange/?sh=730d134f2c3e 4. Moore, Kaleigh. “Retail subscriptions thrive during COVID-19.” Forbes.com. 15 July 2020. Accessed 18 February 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kaleighmoore/2020/07/15/retailsubscriptions-thrive-during-covid-19/?sh=6d04c71c2a0b 5. “Exploring the ROI of subscription boxes.” Couponfollow.com. 17 July 2020. Accessed 18 February 2021. https://couponfollow.com/research/roi-of-subscription-boxes

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