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Mar 15, 2022

He’s a football legend who won three Super Bowls while playing for one of the world’s most storied sports franchises and is currently one of the NFL’s most recognized broadcasters. Yet Troy Aikman believes his fame won’t be the decisive factor if his new beer brand is to succeed.

Aikman is the co-founder of Eight Beer, a new low-calorie beer brand designed for active consumers.  Brewed with organic grains, Eight is formulated with no adjuncts or sugars and contains 90 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz. can. The brand launched in February and is currently distributed at bars and restaurants in Texas.

Although Eight enters a light beer segment dominated by conglomerates and established brands, Aikman is nevertheless optimistic about its potential, and not because of his celebrity appeal. Instead, Aikman pointed to growing consumer demand for high quality products and Eight’s leadership team, which includes several longtime beer industry veterans and brand executives, as the keys to the company’s business strategy.

In an interview featured in this episode, Aikman spoke about his interest in the light beer category, how he’s incorporated learnings from past business ventures into the company, how he prepared himself to become a beer entrepreneur and why he says that he’s not concerned with failure.

This episode also includes the second installment of “The Maxi Minutes,” a series of short conversations with Maxine Kozler Koven, the co-managing director of Los Angeles-based investment firm LDR Ventures. The series offers an investor’s perspective on news, trends and issues shaping the food and beverage industry. 

Show notes:

0:56: Troy Aikman, Co-Founder, Eight Beer – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif ribbed Aikman on his first two Super Bowl wins before discussing how the football icon assesses business and investment opportunities and why he decided to launch a beer brand instead of aligning with an existing one. He also explained how he and his co-founders assembled a team of experienced beer professionals, why communicating the better-for-you attributes of Eight is critical to its success and why he would be comfortable limiting distribution of the brand to Texas for as long as possible.

25:24: The Maxi Minutes with Maxine Kozler Koven – Koven spoke with Latif about how investors consider rates of return when evaluating funding opportunities and shared her thoughts on the wild world of NFTs, particularly their impact as a marketing and revenue driver for consumer brands.

Brands in this episode: Eight Beer, Shaka Tea, King’s Hawaiian