Do you know this fun, energetic and innovative beverage magazine, The Mutineer? If you don’t, run to your local newsstand and get one. It’s the most relaxing, entertaining and informative magazine on all trends in the beverage industry. I’m not talking sodas, but spirits, cocktails, wines… “fine beverage…redefined”, as stated on the cover.
I heard of Alan Kropf, the young entrepreneur who started The Mutineer about two years ago. He was then launching his magazine mostly in .pdf format with a very reduced distribution. Two years later, his magazine is distributed nationwide and has a strong following. Alan is like his magazine: fun, innovative, creative. When we met him “in person”, he was traveling in France to taste wines on a press trip. We shared a nice evening talking about the wine and beverage industries, comparing notes on a few wines and exchanging ideas on the state of the Internet.
There is a big generational gap between Alan and myself but I didn’t feel I was in foreign territory. Alan is so open and learned about everything beverage related it is a real pleasure to talk to him. And I learned so much about cocktails in the last issue of The Mutineer. One of my favorite cities in the US is New Orleans, its heat, its music scene and its inhabitants. But I’m not much of a cocktail drinker, which is a problem in New Orleans. Try to drink a glass of wine in a bar! I managed but I had to insist heavily. I feel sorry for myself now: what a mistake! I should have visited the Museum of American Cocktail , tried the famous Sazerac cocktail or gone to Crescent City Brewery.
What does the success story of The Mutineer tell us about wine marketing and innovation? There were so many wine and food magazines, so many lifestyle magazines available when Alan started that it seemed difficult to succeed. But his positioning, young, trendy and centered on beverages, was exactly what was needed by young and inexperienced consumers. Alan and his team found the right way to address this younger consumer who is not interested in the technical Wine Spectator, or in the too food oriented Wine and Spirits or very serious and a litlle off putting Saveur. The impertinent but informative tone of the Mutineer went directly to the heart of the young consumer. Congratulations to a bright entrepreneur! And long live The Mutineer!