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Jan 18, 2022

Carlton Fowler is back for another round.

The co-founder and managing partner of Goat Rodeo Capital, a venture capital firm that holds stakes in several fast-growing beverage alcohol, non-alcoholic drink and premium snack brands first joined us for an interview in October 2020. Fowler’s return to Taste Radio this week follows the recent launch of Goat Rodeo’s second fund, from which the firm has made investments in hop-centric beverage company HopLark and premium canister snack brand The Good Crisp. Those companies joined a portfolio that includes ready-to drink cocktail brand DRNXSMYTH, canned wine company Archer Roose and Lemon Perfect, a brand of cold-pressed lemon water drinks.

As part of our discussion, Fowler reflected upon the data and business criteria that influenced Goat Rodeo’s initial investments and how that information is being utilized to make new funding decisions. He also spoke about how the firm evaluates non-portfolio DTC brands and their potential for omnichannel success, weighed in the continued blurring of lines within the non-alcoholic beverage and beverage alcohol industries and explained why Goat Rodeo’s second fund will not include investments in cannabis beverages, despite Carlton being bullish about the future of the space.

Show notes:

0:44: Carlton Fowler, Managing Partner, Goat Rodeo Capital – Fowler and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif riffed on the investor’s role as a judge for BevNET’s Cocktail Showdown 2 competition and a tweet about two of his two passions appearing in a limited-edition product. Fowler also spoke about how Goat Rodeo has and continues to deploy capital for its second fund, his perspective on brands that attempt to create a new category versus seeking an addressable market for their products and how he evaluates brand success on Amazon. Later, he explained why he celebrates greater crossover among non-alcoholic, spirit and beer brands, the reason he sees a big runway for zero-proof drinks and why cannabis drinks are on his mind, even if not part of Goat Rodeo’s second fund.

Brands in this episode: Golden Rule Spirits, Social Hour Cocktails, Arby’s, Lay’s, Guinness, HopLark, The Good Crisp, Lemon Perfect, Liquid Death, Tito’s, Mountain Dew, Twisted Tea, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Monster Energy, Topo Chico, Seedlip, Heineken, Budweiser, CANN, Levia