Where Are They Now - Drunken Ape Social Club
This is a project I had actually forgotten about myself. Then they reached out to me on Twitter after seeing last week's Sneaky Slamberts article, and I'm so glad that they did. Even though they minted a while ago, things are really getting started now.
DraughtKingApe, Chief Executive Ape-icer Fav DASC liquor: Potatoes... I mean Vodka! DK is the owner and operator of numerous real estate investments ranging from apartment buildings to commercial plazas, restaurant spaces, bars, and everything in between. His family has owned nightclubs and he has been a part of the industry since he was 13 years old working coat-check at the club. He has also had experience working with various restaurants and their operations during his years in real estate sales and investment. With over 20 years of real-world experience, his countless connections and relationships in the bar & restaurant industry are invaluable. When he’s not working on his next real estate deal, you’ll find him buying and investing in colorful JPEGs!
JamesKong- Evan Mintz, Head Ape + Bartender Fav DASC liquor: Whiskey James owns and operates three successful businesses, all in different industries. With his strong business acumen and a lifetime of experience, he has taken his businesses from simple ideas to internationally recognized brands. James grew up in the restaurant space starting as a bus boy then waiter, then bartender, then manager and eventually GM. He loves the industry and has lived and breathed every level of it since a young age. James' passion for this industry seeped into his entrepreneurial focused mind and as such has been spending the better part of the last year in development of his own unique brand of alcohol. The brand has already caught the attention of many boutique bars and restaurants throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
KokoKong, Social Club Manager Fav DASC liquor: “Banana Spiced Rum, but we really need our own vineyard” The heart & soul of DASC and the first point of contact for most community members, Koko is a mom of two young children, and has a penchant for helping others. She possesses a degree in psychology and has a wealth of business experience in both marketing & sales. Whether online or in the real world, Koko is an asset to all who have the pleasure of meeting her! Having worked in the restaurant and bar industry for nearly a decade, she is deeply in tune with the inner workings of the food and beverage space. Koko is acutely aware of how to make a space inviting and ensure its sustained success.
Note: All questions in this interview were answered by DraughtKingApe unless otherwise noted
Original Mint Details
Date: March 17th, 2022 Mint Price: 0.88 SOL for WL / 1.18 SOL for Public Supply: 2,888 Current Floor Price: 9.32 SOL All-time High: 19.91 SOL
1. What was the original plan/roadmap for the mint?
We actually have the graphic here for you! As far as benefits for holders we had 1-of-1 airdrops, 50% profit share from alcohol sales, Metaverse bar, and DAO with community wallet getting 15% of the royalty share.
2. Can you walk me through the alcohol milestones from mint up until now?
We built completely organically and ended up minting out all 2,888 Drunken Apes! We took to applying for both Canadian and US licenses to LEGALLY sell alcohol in both countries straight away. Little did we know the bureaucratic backlog due to COVID was far beyond our wildest imaginations... What we thought would take a month or two at most took like seven months... So we didn't have much in the way of utility otherwise. We came out with a utility token called $GLUG and continued to try and add value to our community in the meantime. At the same time, we dug deep within our leadership team and worked on every possible partnership we could. We wanted to build a network around us. This worked out really well as we carved a niche in the space. We saw it as "Real Investors" that have stuck with us through the thick and thin due to their belief in our team and long-term vision! So we built and built and built as much as we could with the branding and packaging and logistics and everything in between as we waited for our license approval. Finally the miracle happened and we got approved... We immediately filed for the TTB label approvals, got together with the printer and distiller and set the plan in motion! About a month or so later our bottles were ready, shipped to the distiller, filled, and then sent to the distributor! They are now for sale through our distributor across 39 states in the USA!
3. I'm guessing they're only available for purchase online at the moment. Are there any plans to try and get in stores?
At the moment they are only available for sale online. It is a product born from a SOL NFT that lives online in the blockchain, so it's really our most important demographic as we really get things started sales-wise. We didn't think a retail avenue made sense until we had a proper brand built around it. We imagine other than a few bottles spread out to some retailers getting sold, no one would understand the brand in a retail setting. Our intention is of course to get large enough to have the brand recognition that would enable us to sell in retailers across the country and eventually the world.
4. Obviously things took longer than expected for reasons out of your control. What was your community like during that stretch? How did they respond?
Pretty understanding overall which was an incredible response to us. It's when we truly learned what we had. Of course, some were not as patient but it really created an opportunity for us to find out who was really committed to what we were building. At the same time we, as experienced entrepreneurs, understood we couldn't just rely on waiting for the license to be approved. We had to pivot and introduce new utilities to keep our community engaged and constantly feeling rewarded.
5. And what has it been like since you've started actually producing the spirits? How noticeable was the change?
Oh, it's been crazy! We broke the one-day sales record at our distributors for launch! The community has been unbelievably supportive and helping us in every way to get the word out about what Drunken Ape is doing! Our growth has been large on both Discord and Twitter as well
6. If you're comfortable sharing, what have sales been so far?
We haven't shared with the community yet as we'd like to let a whole month of sales come through before we share so I won't give you a number just yet, but we are very impressed with where things are given it's been 3 days since we launched!
7. You actually have your next mint coming up soon - the Whinos! What made you decide at this point to expand into wine instead of continuing to solely focus on liquor?
Wine is one of the most consumed products around the world. We have an amazing connection through our IRL businesses with a producer. The opportunity for growth in that world is Huge. We already have the license and have spent the money on lawyers, accountants, and everyone in between. The barrier to entry into that industry is simply just capital to purchase the bottles.
When we minted, we wanted a small intimate community to help us be that tight-knit group that really got behind everything and everyone. It was the thing to do and where we saw the most opportunity to be the best. Given the current state of affairs though we learned that we need to find a way to grow our current community. We have one of the best “smaller” communities out there but to take us to that next level we need to onboard new members. Our OG apes are now at 10 SOL, which is a barrier for entry for most so we decided to go with a large supply and a low entry mint price to bring us a larger community to help grow the brands!
8. Since you're just waiting to purchase the bottles, what would be the timeline for distribution after mint?
Oh, that’s the thing - there is no wait - we’re going to release the bottles for sale next week PRIOR to the mint! We’ve used our own funds to fund the first run to get the sales started!
9. Clearly it's been a long journey from mint until now, but it's arguably the most exciting time yet for you. What do the next few months look like?
Everything we have for the next few months is going to go into marketing - into growing the brand and its awareness in and outside of web3 and boots-on-the-ground style marketing at hacker houses, conferences, and everywhere we will have a platform and an audience that will listen!!
10. Awesome! Any final thoughts you would like to share about the Drunken Ape journey?
KokoKong: We are so thankful for our community and what they have given us the opportunity to do thus far! We can’t wait to keep providing value to them and see where we can take DASC!
JamesKong: The next few months will be hectic with initiating both traditional and nontraditional marketing. We are sending bottles out to Web3 and classic influencers, reviewers, etc. Going to Web3 events and standard wine and spirit shows. Working on the sales to get into restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. We have been restricted to Web3, but the shackles are off and now we can start to do the real brand building we have wanted to do this whole time
You can keep up with all things Drunken Ape or purchase their spirits that are on sale now using the links below!