When The Wheeled Brew first entered the mobile bar business, we had an aggressive task to undertake: grow a social media community focusing on unique brands, activations, wedding and event planners, and Canadian alcohol related businesses. As we slowly worked our way through the occasional Toronto based brewery, nationally published planner, and unique clothing brands, we stumbled upon something truly unique: Ripshot™
Having support local/ support Canadian drilled deep into the Roots of our brand, we had to find out more. When we got in touch with Kieran Hooey, co-founder of the company, it was a no brainer to sit down and learn more.
What sparked/inspired the idea for Ripshot?
The origin story of Ripshot™ is uniquely Canadian. On a warm Canadian summer night, four friends were enjoying a few backyard drinks when one returned with half spilled shot glasses. Conversation quickly turned to frustration as stories were shared about drinks being spilled or tampered with. That night, an embryonic idea for what would become Ripshot was hatched. We have taken what was an honest and compassionate idea to reduce spills and contamination
to create the first fully tamperproof shot glass in Canada. As of January 2017, Ripshot™ is Internationally Patent Pending.
How much time has gone into developing the final product, and have the drinkers and users of Ripshot taught you anything?
Our idea began in January of 2016 and we first hit shelves in spring of 2018. We built our entire line of machinery from scratch which was the biggest endeavour of them all. The Ripshot™ journey has evolved into something much more as we continue to uncover dangers and shortcomings in the liquor industry both independently and from user feedback. Considering the uniqueness of our product, we felt it was our duty to attempt to mitigate as many of these issues as possible. Today, drink tampering is increasingly prevalent in bars, events, and social gatherings. We have created a shot glass with a hermetically sealed lid to protect against all types of tampering. Crowds are everywhere which makes transporting open drinks back to your friends without spilling near impossible. You can hold Ripshots™ upside down, throw them, or stack them; they’ll go wherever you go.
Tell us a little bit about the culture of the team at Ripshot- is It a fun loving squad?
We are a little bit like a mullet – business in the front, party in the back. We are all very serious, career-driven individuals but we know exactly how to have a good time and like to keep the product and the office as playful as we can.
What is the most unique way you've seen the product used?
The most unique way would be our custom lids. Having your own face or business logo on the lid is just about as unique as it gets. We also love when our customers challenge the child inside of them and put an adult spin on and old favourite – we’ve seen everything from stocking stuffers to adults-only Easter Ripshot™ hunts.
Have you seen any other innovative businesses in the alcohol industry?
The alcohol industry has been operating in the same way for decades. Every so often, a mover and shaker will turn things up. One of our favourite brands to really capitalize on the RTD market is Iconic Beverages. From their original innovation on Dragon’s Den, they since entered the canned RTD beverage world and without a doubt have THE best canned beverages that you can get your hands on in Ontario. The flavours are well thought out, low in sugar but high in flavour. We’re always looking forward to what new and innovative cocktails they’ll bring to the market.
Where do you want to see Ripshot next?
Next, we hope to see Ripshot™ on an airline. The current 50mL offering is quite antiquated and doesn’t align with a drink serving in Canada. Here in Canada, a perfect shot glass measures 42.6mL (1.5oz). Since we’re suckers for perfection, we made every Ripshot™ measure 42.6mL perfectly and pour smoothly as you drink. Enjoy as a shot or make a perfect mixed drink. One Ripshot™ is equivalent in alcohol content to a beer or glass of wine. Count your drinks and know exactly what you’re having 100% of the time.
Editor: One thing is for certain: the innovation that Ripshot™ brings to the table will allow mobile bar businesses, party-goers and bars in Toronto and beyond the opportunity to increase efficiency, save costs, but also create delicious drinks that are exactly as they should be and taste.
Oh, and if it wasn't cool enough, Kieran and team made a mock-up of our soon-to-be "The Wheeled Brew" Ripshot™