OCEAN CITY – A launch party was held at Seacrets Bar and Grill on Sunday night to officially launch the establishment’s own craft beer and line of liquors.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the brand. The brand is not just the bar, restaurant and nite club. The brand is part of the products that we sell, so we wanted to have our own beer as the first step in that direction,” O.C. Seacrets, Inc. Vice President Gary Figgs said.
O.C. Seacrets, Inc. reached out to different craft breweries searching for a brew master that would concoct a special recipe just for Seacrets, and that is when they found Tommy Knorr of Evolution Craft Brewing Company (EVO) located in Salisbury.
“There were plenty of guys that would slap a Seacrets label on their amber ale or whatever, but Tommy Knorr of EVO came out making different batches of beer for us to try to match the flavor of what we were looking for,” Figgs said.
Seacrets Tropicale went on tap at the bar and grill last summer to test the product. It is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale brewed with hibiscus flowers and clover honey. Hibiscus flowers give a slightly pink hue to the refreshing but subtly complex ale.
“It did so well here we wanted to expand it,” Figgs said. “Currently, we have about 250 accounts between Maryland and Delaware for both bottles and draft that launched this past April, so it’s only been a couple months since it’s been out there but it has been well received in the marketplace.”
Once Tropicale was on the streets, O.C. Seacrets Inc. was ready to further the brand into its own line of spirits starting with spiced rum, which fits in with the establishment’s theme.
“We are Jamaica USA. We are a big rum house, and we wanted to find spiced rum with a certain flavor, so we went out to try to find someone that would be creative,” Figgs said. “There are a lot of craft breweries out there but there are very, very few craft distillers … Like the beer, we wanted to find someone that would make a product from scratch. We didn’t want to put our label on somebody else’s product.”
O.C. Seacrets Inc. reached out to Zack King of Delaware Distilling Company in Rehoboth who crafted not only an unique spiced rum but also a gin, vodka and white rum.
Seacrets Spiced Rum is a blend of spiced and barrel aged rums as the base with a taste for hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger. Fresh Madagascar vanilla beans greatly contribute to the finish while natural sweeteners like agave nectar and blackstrap molasses are added for color and flavor.
Seacrets White Rum is full flavored handcrafted and small batch distilled Caribbean pure sugar cane rum.
Seacrets Handcrafted Vodka is seven times distilled with a wheat base that is smooth with a slight sweetness on the back end.
Seacrets Handcrafted gin is also seven times distilled with a wheat base that is smooth with a hint of juniper berry, coriander, and fresh tropical fruit like mango, lime and papaya. This gin is a citrus style, not a London dry, but the juniper berry will not overwhelm the palette or take over the other flavors.
“At Seacrets we have always had a premium rail, such as Bacardi or Smirnoff or Jose Cuervo, so we will be adding Seacrets Spirits to the premium rail for more of a variety to be offered along with the craft beer,” Figgs said. “It has been very well received at Seacrets as we are pouring it here as well as selling it at bars and restaurants and package stores in Maryland.”
As of May, Seacrets Spirits hit the bar and grill as well as is being distributed to about 25 accounts throughout Maryland. According to Figgs, the plan is to expand into a different state each month.
“We want to see growth not just in additional accounts but also in additional states,” he said.
The launch party was a hit as Seacrets Tropicale and spirits flowed throughout the night and was attended a diverse mix of community members as well as press.
“The party was to build product awareness and marketing, and of course show everyone a nice time. It was a lot of fun with a great band,” Figgs said.
Seacrets owner Leighton Moore designed Seacrets Spirits label artwork as he has done with all of Seacrets’ logos in the past.
“He is very hands on. He wanted to go with a ‘Taste Worth Fighting For’, so it obviously has a pirate ship on the label for the liquor,” Figgs said.
At last weekend’s launch, Moore presented Figgs with the original framed artwork of the spirits liquor at the launch party as a token of appreciation for all the hard work he had put into the product.
Besides the Tropicale and spirits, Seacrets also sells its own brand of Honey Mustard and Jerk Marinade in about 500 grocery stores across Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Virginia.