Empowering Independent Alcohol Retailers Through Data with Mike Provance

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Jun 30, 2021

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast
Mike Provance

Mike Provance is the CEO of 3×3, a marketing technology company focused on modernizing the ways beverage alcohol brands sell to shoppers. Mike has a vast career in technology and software and has held many executive roles. He was previously the Managing Director of Growth Kinetics Inc., the COO of OneMind Health, and the VP of Viaken Systems, Inc. among others. 

Mike was also an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Old Dominion University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Mike Provance shares his background in the early days of the internet and how he worked for the first personalization server
  • How online personalization has evolved over 30 years
  • Mike explains how his company 3×3 came to be and how he got involved in the alcohol space
  • How 3×3’s system works for crafting a unique e-commerce experience
  • How Mike plans to grow 3×3’s data sets and get more retailers to use the system
  • How can someone get started using 3×3?
  • Mike offers advice to independent channels about selling their products online
  • Why setting up multiple e-commerce channels matters
  • Mike shares some of his favorite beverages

In this episode with Mike Provance

Are you a craft distillery looking to branch into the e-commerce space? How can you get started selling online? Why does customer personalization matter when buying alcohol? Mike Provance knows.

Mike Provance is the CEO of 3×3, a marketing technology company focused on modernizing the ways beverage alcohol brands sell to shoppers. He has an extensive career in technology, software, and the beverage alcohol space and is revolutionizing the e-commerce customer experience each day. He’s here to explain the ins and outs of online beverage shopping and why alcohol companies — both big and small — should dive into e-commerce. 

In this episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks talks with the CEO of 3×3, Mike Provance. They discuss the evolution of alcohol in e-commerce, how impactful personalization can be for the customer experience, why independent channels should sell online, and much more. Stay tuned! 

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!

To learn more, visit barrelsahead.com or email us at hello@barrelsahead.com to schedule a strategy call.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry, with your host Drew Thomas Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:19  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here. I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry, from sensory design experts like Dr. Hoby Wedler helps brands think beyond the visual. To today’s guest Mike Provance. His technology helps independent wine and spirit retailers compete with the big box stores. In today’s episode, it’s sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. One that highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. Mike, in short, if you’re a business looking to retain a winery or craft beverage producer as a client, Barrels Ahead will figure out a way to make it happen. Go to barrelsahead.com today to learn more. Now before I introduce today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to Scout Driscoll of VINT. On last week’s show Scout and I discuss wine label design. Check out that episode to learn why it’s more important now than ever to consider all viewing mediums when designing your new label. I’m super excited to talk with today’s guest Mike Provance. Mike’s a serial entrepreneur, author and speaker on technology. business model innovation in scaling startups, is a digital and technology strategist. Mike’s built groundbreaking technology businesses and launched award winning digital properties of over the past 30 years in the financial, information, manufacturing and healthcare industries. As the CEO Mike currently leads 3×3, a marketing technology company focused on modernizing the way brands and liquor retailers engage and create discovery opportunities for the independent channel shopper. Welcome to the show, Mike. 

Mike Provance  1:54  

Thanks, Drew. Happy to be here. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  1:56  

I’m stoked to have you on. So Mike, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Mike Provance  2:00  

Well as you mentioned, I’ve been working around digital and data and the internet now for almost 30 years, I like to think of having been in the internet business for all four waves of it from its very commercial beginnings, not not going all the way back, but from its commercial beginnings to now seeing how artificial intelligence and all of that have shaped it. And in fact, I was talking recently about the fact that I got into this business before there were cookies. And now I’ve been in the business long enough to see cookies go away.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:34  

That’s fantastic. What were the early days like, what were some of the first things you were doing in the internet?

Mike Provance  2:38  

Well, so the first company I had worked with the time was a company called The Internet Group. And we renamed it Imperative back in the mid 90s. And we were the we had built the first e-commerce systems. We built the first ones for a company called Micro Warehouse selling computer parts. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:55  

Oh man, I remember that company.

Mike Provance  2:56  

Yes, big company. But it was one of the first to actually be on the internet selling product. I also with that company, we were building the first personalization server for the internet. So the first means by which you could be remembered when you went to a website left and came back and company called MapQuest asked us to build their first version. So Oh, wow. Yeah, it was, it was pretty cool to be building new to the world stuff back in the mid 90s. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  3:21  

Yeah, at the time, I was working at a wine wine retail store. And I built their first website, right. It was I think was about ’94, ’95.

Mike Provance  3:28  

Yeah, that’s right. Right, when we’re launching MapQuest and launching the e-commerce platforms. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  3:33  

That’s amazing. We never It took us a few years before we got an e-commerce, it was just a just a brochure site.

Mike Provance  3:39  

Yeah, but it took a while for the systems to support it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  3:42  

Yeah, How so? You’ve started with personalization? Yeah, how have you seen an evolve over the last 30 some odd years?

Mike Provance  3:49  

It’s it’s funny that it’s in some ways it’s changed dramatically in other ways it stayed the same, right? So it’s, it’s still about it’s still very much about the producer remembering the shopper and pushing more of their product on the shopper as they come back. You know, think about all the times you you know, sign in and shop for things on Amazon or you buy something on Amazon or you decide not to buy something and then it’s showing up in all the ads and all the other websites you’re going to later well you know that that’s a lot more aggressive than it ever used to be but it’s all pretty much the same. Same thing and you know, in a lot of ways it misses the mark about understanding the shopper.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:27  

Oh yeah. And I guess a lot of it but that the personalization as I think it’s gotten a little more accurate in some ways, like I remember some of the things that I used to you know, cruise around the internet and some of the cookies they used to get installed on my computer and what the heck did that recommendation come from?

Mike Provance  4:43  

Yeah, it was a little more wild west back then definitely in even with MapQuest you would get recommendations that didn’t necessarily make sense but I think it was really a supply and demand problem that you know, you can’t not recommend something if you’ve got a you know, the cookie wants to recommend some Don’t think so it’s gonna go to whatever is available.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  5:02  

That’s a great point. That’s a great point. So as more people embrace it, the more accurate it gets.

Mike Provance  5:07  

Yeah, the more people embrace it, the more suppliers of content that can be recommended come online, then it gets better and better and better.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  5:15  

So your latest venture is kind of like latest iteration of this sort of personalization recommendation, as a technology platform. How did this idea for 3×3 come come about?

Mike Provance  5:25  

A couple of different factors I was I came in to help work with a company that was doing digital rebates in the independent alcohol space. So packaged liquor stores, you know, forever hanging the the paper rebates on the bottles or outings and digitizing that. But the challenge is that, you know, in 2015, when that started, people were not downloading apps as frequently and so app use was blowing down. But we knew from seeing what was happening there that there was an opportunity in this independent channel, the independent liquor store, the independent brand that sells to the like, through those liquor stores, then we began to try to figure out what that look like and I coming at it, not so much from the industry, but from outside. But having come from a healthcare startup, where we were trying to aggregate lots of small dental practices to deliver services to them, the model was very similar, which was, you know, you have all these small dental practices who are being, you know, aggressively competed against by large corporate dental practice as well, in this space, you had lots of mom and pop liquor stores all being really beat down by total winds, and big box stores, and grocery and everybody else, and all the rules and regulations that were changing in favor of large s and in favor of online shopping, like Drizly and Amazon and others. So, you know, we saw a mission in trying to help that mom and pop liquor store even a small chain be competitive in a world that was very quickly changing to digital first, right? And you’d asked what was the same and different from when I started, the biggest thing was back then most people didn’t use the internet, most people didn’t use digital, it was a novelty. But today, it’s the reverse of that, right? Everyone’s on it. 80% 90% of Americans have access to the internet and internet shopping in one form or another through mobile or, or desktop. And worldwide. It’s it’s growing dramatically, primarily on mobile, but the stores hadn’t changed their way of operating. Right. So they were kind of lagging the consumer ship to digital. And we set out to help change that mindset with these independent retailers. And frankly, the brands that you know, even up to 2020, we’re still very traditional in their marketing mechanisms and how they reach shoppers, whether it was through, you know, outdoor advertising, or newspaper or magazine and television.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  7:57  

And with the week, the weekly newspaper food food insert.

Mike Provance  8:01  

Exactly. Yeah. And that’s changed. Now, thankfully, they’ve recognized the value of digital, but it still takes a while for that to have an effect.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  8:10  

And that that is so near and dear to my heart, I spent the bulk of my marketing career helping independent wine stores compete with the better lovers chain stores, then, you know, they don’t have your technology I wish we had because most of the time back then was just convincing them that they need to be online, and they need to be selling their products online. You guys have taken it to another level. Talk to me about this.

Mike Provance  8:32  

Yeah. So we we came into this in 2018. And you know that there were a number of e-commerce players already lining up to help stores like the ones you’re talking about, figure out how to sell online. But what we looked across the competitive landscape and saw was nobody was focusing really on how do you get shoppers to know that they want to shop at the local liquor store, right? When there’s so many different options? And so many different channels available for that shopper to buy alcohol? A How do you help them find the brands that they want to find right discovery is really core to the independent liquor store. But when you shop at a grocery store, you’re not trying to discover the next new wine or the next new beer spirit. You’re just trying to stock up? And so how do we get them to the right liquor stores? And how do we get them finding the right brand? That was the problem that we set out to solve.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:26  

That is key because a lot of times like if you’re googling your new, we’re searching for your most new latest bourbon that’s hard to find. Oftentimes, those independent stores aren’t going to have the SEO push even rank for those terms or even a product.

Mike Provance  9:40  

And even then you’re assuming that you know the name right but one of the magical aspects of that small liquor store is people don’t walk in there with a shopping list. They walk in there and then they wander the aisles and they talk to the owner and they you know, maybe discover wine for dinner they discover a tequila they’ve ever tried and you know that comes highly recommended. So that that magic of discovery, you know, is something that was unique to the liquor store and not to the other channels. And we wanted to capitalize on that. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:08  

Oh, very good. Very good. So how did you guys capitalize on it? explain this a little bit more.

Mike Provance  10:12  

So we started off really building a core of a data business, right? So we built a nap nationwide network of small retailers, about 1500 of them who are sharing their point of sale data with us sharing, you know, what was sold the product sold, the we had, through that effort built a data set of $10 billion worth of transactions that occurred over the last two to three years that gave us insights into the kinds of shopping behaviors that are out there, what’s in a basket, right? This is data that nobody ever really had from the independent liquor store side. But we had tons of data about what the retailers bought from the distributors, right, that was freely available, not freely available, widely held them. But nobody had ever really tried to collect in any systematic way, a picture of the shopper on the back end, what products are leaving the store? What’s going in the trunk? And what you know, what, what’s the makeup composition of those baskets? So we set out to do that we built a fairly massive data set that showed us the pictures of what happens in independent retail, but then we took it one step further, because the problem really wasn’t understand the product dynamics and what selling it was, how do you translate that into what a shopper might be in intending to buy in the future? And how do we build a model that lets us compile all that data and look at it from the point of view of shopper behavior, to make it predictive of other products that that shopper might like to buy in the future? And so we’ve been able to translate? What essentially is sales data into shopper behavior data that ties to how Zoomers think about drinking alcohol? How they decide, based on their taste preferences, what they’re going to drink.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:59  

And this allows it, how does this out help the independent retail so they now can predict so your system help them predict what the consumer might want to be doing or might want to be purchasing?

Mike Provance  12:08  

Correct. So it helps them think about things like merchandising, or product selection. It helps them with discovery, right? So, you know, the events of the recent past with the pandemic have forced a lot of retailers to rethink how they engage shoppers and that engagement has moved from walking store aisles to showing up on their website or calling in for an order and discovery pretty much died. Right and but what we’re working now with retailers and brands to do is to inject discovery back in but make it digital. How do you find you know, if you’re sitting home and you’re thinking about going down to the liquor store, but you realize you’ve got to call in that order. You got to go online and look you know, most of the most of the shopping sites are not geared toward discovery they’re geared toward convenience and and velocity right. It’s really easy to find Tito’s it’s really easy to find Johnnie Walker on the website. It’s not easy to find KOVAL whiskey on our website, unless you’re going to KOVAL’s website, you have to know about that. So what we’re trying to do is going to speed up that process of discovery for the shopper. And you know, what we’ve been able to do is take that sales data, translate it into how people like products. So to give you an example, from my own preferences, I drink a lot of Breckenridge bourbon. And so I tested our system, I wanted to see what it recommended and kick back, and Irish Whiskey from a Chicago bar kickback, a $5,000 bottle of a special rare Jim Beam edition that isn’t on the market anymore. And then it kicked back KOVAL, which is a small Chicago distiller and so I actually I was heading through Chicago stopped and bought a bottle. And it turned out the taste preference worked almost perfectly to fit what I might taste profile versus what the system told me, I would like based off the shopping behaviors of 1000s of other people, right. And that’s the kind of cool influence that we can have with retailers because we can now help them have the power that a total wine has or that Amazon has of recommending products to shoppers.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:16  

That’s amazing. Absolutely. Going back a second on the data sets, just to put it into perspective. So you’ve got, you know, $10 billion worth of, you know, retail sales cross 1500. How does that compare with maybe the analysts because the total line and bevmo they’ve all had this type of analytics, or I mean, those data sets competitive.

Mike Provance  14:32  

Completely perspective in terms of scale, right, we generate from our network about somewhere between two and a half and $3 billion of sales data a year, that’s roughly the size of abetment. That’s roughly the size of a total and in terms of the data flow that they’re seeing. And so we have, by aggregating all these retailers, given the the small retailers the same market power of gathering intelligence that Abed mower, total wine has,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:58  

That’s amazing. That’s It’s amazing. And then as your footprint increases, your data sets just going to get that much larger, potentially expanding faster.

Mike Provance  15:06  

Exactly. That’s the game plan. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:08  

That’s amazing. So once it so you have this data, you’re recommending great bottles, and your service goes a little bit beyond that, how do you actually how do you not yet know how to actually do it? But what are some of the tangible ways that you help these retailers through your 3×3?

Mike Provance  15:22  

Right, so 3×3’s focus is shopper engagement. So we work with retailers and brands to identify the kinds of shoppers likely to want to shop in their store or buy a particular product. And then we’ll help them run marketing, digital marketing campaigns, digital advertising campaigns, e-commerce campaigns to get them to get the right shoppers to show up and purchase and get that or that’s either walking in the store, going online, whatever that outcome is that the store the brand’s looking for. But ultimately, ultimately, it’s about narrowing the pool of people you’re selling to. Historically retails always been about wait for people to walk in or just kind of blast the advertising in the Sunday circular. But the reality is, if you if we’re going to learn from other industries were targeted marketing and precision marketing go on. Those same models work here, if you can start with a good clear picture of that shopper, what the bourbon shopper looks like, or the tequila shopper looks like and how they may be similar or different from a red wine shop or or an IPA shopper. That’s the modeling that we do. And then we narrow that audience down and help the store engage and help the brand engage in the best way possible for their business goals.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  16:33  

Oh, man, so this so your platform actually helps them actually advertise online?

Mike Provance  16:37  

Yes, advertise drive them to their e-commerce sites track the buying behavior so that they can see a translation from content that they delivered to sales outcome on the back end, it really depends on you know, oftentimes, we’re helping a brand figure out which retailers are their best sources of sales, right? It doesn’t help anybody retailer, distributor or brand, if a product sits on a shelf, because it’s in the wrong store. So you know, in a lot of ways, we help the industry understand the best placement of products so that you can most efficiently sell.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:13  

Oh, man, I wish you guys were around 30 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of struggle.

Mike Provance  17:20  

I remember that I was working in a wine store in Boston and 30 years ago, 32 years ago. So I remember the same struggles.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:27  

So how, um, so we got the independent retail what, speaking of independent, is it a two store chain one store chain? What How does someone get started with 3×3?

Mike Provance  17:36  

Yeah, so we define independent and a lot of this is because every state defines it differently. And what licensing laws are, but we look at independence is anyone that operates as kind of a local level as a store right. And so even BevMo in some ways, is a is a local as a as an independent store, because it well, until it got bought recently, it doesn’t deeply discount product. It’s not you know, trying to move people like total wine would off of it’s often the mainstream brands to private label aggressively, right. It’s not it’s we focus on stores that are trying to they primarily only sell alcohol, right, they may have some food, but they’re not like it’s not grocery plus a liquor store. It’s the liquor store. Although, you know, we do have some in some states, you see a lot of liquor stores that almost look grocery, like in their in their book floorplans. But we’re alcohol is their primary or main revenue stream, that’s what we focus on. And we focus on helping them do that efficiently, whatever size that is small chain, single store that we have, we have some physical stores that are enormous and bought in just the volume they do. Because- 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:48  

I can imagine. As far as for independent I know, one of the bigger challenge that I face back back in the day is we were targeting we’re targeting, we were helping independent retail stores market themselves, that they were very, very cautious about employing a marketing agency because we were also helping their competitors. And I kept trying to explain that the information siloed we’re not sharing trade secrets, what what sort of, have you encountered that sort of objection? or How can you respond to independent retail store just afraid of sacrificing their intellectual property? 

Mike Provance  19:19  

Right. We’re very careful not to use the the raw data that a store gives us to drive those people to another store, or, for that matter from one brand to another brand, right? What we use the data to do is build models of the kinds of shoppers we’re looking for. And then look locally around those shoppers. So we have, you know, situations where we’ve got stores in the same market using our service, but they use it differently, right one might use it to drive to their e-commerce site another might be driving only certain promotions. So it’s less about people are going to make the decision where to go based off some set of information. So from our perspective, if you’re in retail, and you’ve got to choose whether or not to do something that is, you know, precise and highly targeted and going to bring you the kinds of shoppers you’re looking for, it’s worth that investment to do that, right? It’s not like, I’m going to take you and send you over here, even though I got you from store a, I’m going to build a model and find other people like you with your buying, profile, and send them to all the different stores in our network that are participating. So you’re better off having that kind of activity, then not. And people are going to shop in multiple stores, whether you like it or not. And all you can do as the store owner is give them the best experience possible. So I guess my typical response is, this is all part of a broader marketing strategy that you do for your store. And that marketing strategy has to be about the user experience. And so- 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  20:54  

That’s a great point. So your your book data, even though it is shared in an anonymous level really helps amplify each store’s sort of unique experience, what they’re emphasizing what their strong points are. And you amplify that, versus just create this generic kind of platform where everyone’s doing the same thing.

Mike Provance  21:11  

Right? Right. We’re not trying to replicate the yellow pages, and then give it to the right people, we’re trying to say, look, give your stores a whiskey specialty store, then you’re going to want a certain kind of shopper coming to your store, if you’re red wine, or if you’re a wine, you know, Italian wine specialty store, you’re going to want a different kind of shopper. And today that you might not have a way to do that. Right? You’re gonna hope that the right people find out about you and walk in and you’re going to run some ads and the right magazines and hope people walk in. But the reality is, you’re still going to get an inefficient pipeline of shoppers coming to your store.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  21:45  

For independent channels, both craft distillers and retail stores. What advice could you give them starting out online, maybe even a precursor to leveling up to your 3×3 platform?

Mike Provance  21:57  

I think a, the most important thing is to start, right. I think Bruce Lee said that, just just if you if you need to do something, just start doing it. Because it’s you’re not going to have it perfect out of the gate, you’re not going to need to invest a ton out of the gate, you just need to get people to know that you are digital friendly, make it easy for them to find you. The simplest thing may be just making sure you’re showing up on Google Maps, and putting some information there. Yeah, that’s probably the lowest budget way of having a presence online is just make sure that the the sources people use to find stores like Google Maps, or Apple Maps or what have you, or even MapQuest because it’s still around today are that you’re on there. And from there, it’s all about deciding what you want to do and how it fits into your strategy. So build a website, definitely look at the e-commerce platforms that are out there, you want to make your product available to all different shoppers. And really, you know, one of the things we’ve learned about shoppers today and how they’re different. There’s a lot less tolerance for being told how you’re going to buy. And we have a much stronger set of expectations around. I want to buy this online. If that I want to buy it immediately online, then I’m going to go to the place that lets me do that. So as the retailer, if you’re not making it super easy for that shopper to buy from you, you’re losing out to someone else.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:23  

That’s great advice. As far as choosing an e-commerce platform. What sort of advice could you give on a retail on on that who may be you know, looking at different different systems and bells and whistles? What’s something to look out for there?

Mike Provance  23:34  

Well, so there’s there’s a lot of different options, right? You can be a retailer that plugs in behind different aggregating sites like Minibar or ReserveBar or Drizzly just be the delivery arm for them locally. And that’s a perfectly good alternative to having your own. But what we find from some of the best retailers and how they deploy things digitally, they don’t depend on one channel, right? They may be a Drizly partner, but they’re also doing Minibar, they also have their own website, they also are part of a club, you know, so it’s different, different channels for different shoppers. And as a retail you want to be in as many places as you can so that you get the most shopper action.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:16  

That’s a great point. And you know what, I don’t think about that too often. Usually just think e-commerce I’m online, but to think of setting up different e-commerce channels, it really just increases your footprint.

Mike Provance  24:28  

Yeah, I mean, just you know, the way I think about e-commerce channels from a retailer’s point of view are just different, different sets of people that are reaching out to you. And you’re not going to get the same people in those different channels because everyone from a consumer point of view has their shopping preference.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:44  

That’s great. So as far as 3×3, what haven’t I What else would you like us to know about it or independent channels to know about this?

Mike Provance  24:51  

Well, I think the best thing to know about us is that our our focus is an advocate for the channel and we believe wholeheartedly in the The long term success and viability and life of the mom and pop liquor store, and that we’re building our business around supporting the success of that channel. We also know that there are brands out there that find this channel to be hugely important to their success. And those are the kinds of brands that we work with to help move to the channel, though, where our focus is on precisely moving shoppers through their journey and helping brands and retailers be the recipients of that. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:29  

Amazing. Going back a second. So you mentioned that $5,000 Irish Whiskey did you do a taste test?

Mike Provance  25:35  

I didn’t taste test that one now I had to draw a line somewhere but the KOVAL was I think around 50 bucks and really worth the really worth the purchase.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:45  

Yeah, you are a bourbon guy. What aside from Breckenridge and KOVAL, what are you enjoying lately? 

Mike Provance  25:50  

Yeah, I’ve actually started to branch out to more American whiskies that are I tend to prefer a smoother one. So I’ve tried some rides that I think are fantastic Distillery 291 has a fantastic one. I fell in love with High West maybe six years ago when I was in Utah and went to their bar and they made me a dead man’s boots. So I still a lot of good High West bourbon every so often their campfire rye is good. But, you know, I used to be a scotch drinker. So I’m starting to try to get back into that and some of the Japanese ones as well, just because I miss, you know, miss some of the Highlands.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:26  

I just started diving into some of the Japanese whiskies myself. You met locally here now we’re based out of Carlsbad and down here in San Diego. Have you tried any of Malahat’s whiskies?

Mike Provance  26:37  

Malahat? No, I haven’t. I’m gonna have to look that one up.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:40  

Kind of a micro distillery down here, but they’re doing some excellent collaborations with some breweries with a little shared with the barrels and then they’ll age the whiskey and like a former IPA barrel or even a there was a coffee producer Mostra Coffee so they aged the whiskey in the coffee barrel, which gives it just a slight nuance, which is really cool.

Mike Provance  26:58  

All right. I’ll check that out. That sounds good. I like those. I like some of those unique flavorings that they do with the barrel because, you know, in some cases, that’s more marketing but with bourbon in particular, with whiskey in particular, it really does affect the flavor and in meaningful ways.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  27:15  

You know, little little subtlety and then you’ve got that that Alambic distillery that does the racer five whiskey. Oh I’ve ever had I’ve heard that one’s its charm, a chrb spirits and what they do is they I guess they take a Tinker of racer five IPA and actually distilled the IPA. So it’s not even finished. It’s just made for the IPA, which has a really distinct hoppiness. Okay, that’s another one of the favorite ones I like right now.

Mike Provance  27:39  

Racer five. All right, you gave me a couple to check out. This is good.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  27:43  

So Mike. Is there anything else? Where can people find you and 3×3 online?

Mike Provance  27:46  

Right, so our website is 3×3.us. 3×3.us. And that’s easiest place to find us. I’m mike@3×3.us if you want to reach out to me directly. 

Drew Thomas Hendricks  27:57  

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Today we’ve been talking with Mike Provance, of 3×3 Insights. Now if you’re an independent channel independent retailer looking to level it up and compete with the big box stores, you got to check them out. Thank you so much for being on today. 

Mike Provance  28:11  

Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Outro 28:17

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.