How Hemingway Whiskey Launched a Successful Limited-Release for Sale Online

Hemingway Whiskey

Launching a successful limited-time release for sale online

After pouring their hearts into perfecting their inaugural release, the team behind Hemingway Spirits needed an effective way to sell it directly to consumers. Fulfilling orders for less than 1000 hand-numbered bottles was a complex problem requiring a powerful e-commerce solution designed specifically to navigate DTC alcohol sales. Enter AccelPay!

Limited First-Edition Release

A family affair

Whiskey pioneer and founder Steve Groth and his two sons came together with 7th-generation Master Distiller Ron Call and his two sons, Clayton and 8th-generation Master Distiller Jacob, to author a new whiskey masterpiece and continue their legacy with Hemingway Whiskey.

Fulfillment headaches

After the recipe was perfected and the launch date grew closer, the Hemingway team anticipated several obstacles ahead. How could they accept orders for the limited-edition bottles online and have those orders fulfilled quickly and reliably by a retail partner, all while ensuring those retailers stayed in-stock and be able to ship orders directly to the customer?

“We knew that the inaugural release would be a special hand-numbered bottle in unique packaging,” said co-founder Kyle Groth. “We were very excited to sell directly to whiskey lovers across the United States, but weren’t sure how we could possibly execute on a DTC limited-release through our own website. It seemed pretty daunting at the time.”

Forming a successful partnership

Easy integration

Hemingway Whiskey was introduced to AccelPay through Drinkubator as their release date approached, and immediately recognized a solution for all of their e-commerce challenges. For Kyle, AccelPay’s extensive network of trusted fulfillment partners made it an easy decision to start working together. He could see that keeping retailers in stock, inventory up-to-date, and orders shipping out fast would be no problem for the AccelPay team. 

In fact, AccelPay was able to integrate with Hemingway’s website and get ready for launch in under three weeks with minimal complexity.

“It was amazingly efficient and easy to get things set up,” confirmed Groth. “Their team immediately got to work talking with their fulfillment partners and making sure the right stores were stocked up and ready to ship orders. From there, it was a simple process to get them plugged into our existing Shopify site.”

Consistent selling experience

Hemingway loved that AccelPay was able to keep the selling experience consistent for their online customers. Keeping shoppers on the branded Hemingway Whiskey website and controlling the checkout experience from end-to-end was a huge selling point. For an emerging brand, it was important to reflect their premium, artisanal distilling process in their branding and they wanted that to come through during the entire buying process.

As Kyle put it, “With AccelPay, we can sell online and tap into a large, trusted fulfillment network but still own the customer journey and keep the small batch, handcrafted ethos that drives our company and culture. For us, that’s a winning combination.”

A rewarding inaugural release

972 hand-numbered bottles sold in just 2 weeks

After launching their online store powered by AccelPay, inaugural release bottles went up for sale at the premium price point of $149.99. Each was hand-numbered, signed, and packaged in a library-style box with satin ribbon. Because of Ron Call, Jacob Call and Steve Groth’s reputation in the industry, demand was high and the limited release was sold out in less than two weeks.

“Every bottle from this first release was gone seemingly overnight,” said Kyle Groth. “We worried that this would cause out-of-stock issues for the retailers fulfilling the orders, but the AccelPay team routed everything perfectly and all of the bottles arrived on time and without issue.”

The Hemingway team looks forward to growing their online sales to new heights with AccelPay in the years to come.

“Having been in the industry for quite some time, I wish I had known about AccelPay sooner. Overcoming numerous obstacles, segregating our brand site from our bottle sales site, managing multiple partners and retailers, have always been challenging for our direct-to-consumer efforts. AccelPay's platform has allowed us to overcome these hurdles and optimize our e-commerce business.”

Kyle Groth
Co-Founder of Hemingway Whiskey

Search Pivot