Joe Louis Bourbon - Champion of them all - label first release 1952

Joe Louis Bourbon:
A story of strength, renewal and diversity

The story behind Joe Louis Bourbon is one of strength, renewal and revival. We are living in a time when professional athletes routinely go into business and receive endorsement deals. But that was not the case in the era of Joe Louis.

Joe Louis reigned as world heavyweight champion for over 12 years. Almost everyone who has heard the name revere the Brown Bomber as a true champion of sports. But there is another side of this complex national hero, a story about the struggles of people of color in business.

Joe Louis got into the spirits business at a time when Jim Crow was so pervasive that his Black fans were not allowed to be in the audience at most venues where he fought. When he stepped out of the ring in 1951, he pursued entrepreneurial dreams of going into the beverage business.

In 1952, Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was a launched with Joe Louis as a part- owner of the Joe Louis Distilling Company in Philadelphia, PA. The label was produced in Philly for about a year. The whiskey was bottled in Kentucky, and the last line of the bottle label read, “Joe Louis Bottling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.” By January 1953, the label read, “Joe Louis Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.” Although this was a short-lived venture, Joe Louis’s idea endured. The brand comeback began strong in 2020, although the covid shutdowns prevented a full launch. Today,  the “champ” returns to the ring bolstered by new ownership, as the lead brand in a line of “True American Spirits,” and with the renewed and enthusiastic support of the Joe Louis family.

Joe Louis Bourbon - Champion of them all - label first release 1952

Joe Louis Bourbon:
A story of strength, renewal and diversity

As the longest reigning world heavyweight champion and America’s first African-American national hero is one of strength, heroism, perseverance, sacrifice, patriotism, and inspiration.

These are the ideals from which Joe Louis “Champion of them all” bourbon is created. The comeback of an authentic American spirit. Straight bourbon whiskey to serve and enjoy in honor, respect and admiration while inspiring a new generation of champions.

Your purchase helps to support a new generation of champions. One dollar from each bottle of Joe Louis Bourbon sold will go to USA Boxing programs to support and inspire a new generation of champions, including members of the USA Olympic Boxing team.

Joe Louis Bourbon also supports Golden Gloves championships through local sponsorships.

Discover more…

Joe Louis Distilling logo

Joe Louis Distilling Company

The Joe Louis Distilling Company will move production to its new distillery in Kentucky beginning in 2022. The 2020 comeback product is distilled and bottled just over the border in the Blue Hills of Davis Valley in Virginia, where it is not lost on anyone that the history of slavery and some of the most brutal moments of the Civil War occurred. Recognizing the weight of history in creating a brand to respect and honor the acclaimed “Champion of Them All” and the country’s first African American hero, Joe Louis Distilling committed to a single, driving mission:

“to be authentic in everything we do.

The Joe Louis comeback is a testament to a country and its people.  It shows that inclusiveness, working together, and overcoming our differences can result in the creation of a company that we can all be proud of — it is the true embodiment of the American spirit.

We have created a brand which educates, inspires, and represents the triumph of good over evil, and love over hate – one where all people are judged fairly and honestly – not by the color of their skin.

We aspire to be – as Joe himself said – “Champion of Them All.” We are proud of the core values of the reimagined Joe Louis Bourbon brand, and we like to think that Joe himself is looking down on it all with pride.

Joe Louis Distilling logo

The new Joe Louis Distilling Company​​

Today’s Joe Louis Distilling Company is headquartered outside of Portland, Maine, and distilled and bottled in the Blue Hills of Davis Valley in Virginia, where it is not lost on anyone that the history of slavery and some of the most brutal moments of the Civil War occurred. Recognizing the weight of history in creating a brand to respect and honor the acclaimed “Champion of Them All” and the country’s first African American hero, Joe Louis Distilling committed to a single, driving mission:

“to be authentic in everything we do.”

The Joe Louis comeback is a testament to a country and its people.  It shows that inclusiveness, working together, and overcoming our differences can result in the creation of a company that we can all be proud of — it is the true embodiment of the American spirit.

We have created a brand which educates, inspires, and represents the triumph of good over evil, and love over hate – one where all people are judged fairly and honestly – not by the color of their skin.

We aspire to be – as Joe himself said – “Champion of Them All.” We are proud of the core values of the reimagined Joe Louis Bourbon brand, and we like to think that Joe himself is looking down on it all with pride.

A diverse team committed to excellence

Samuel A. Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Sam grew up in Kentucky descended from a prominent family whose name remains synonymous with Bourbon and has been in the spirits business for generations.

An enthusiastic seasoned entrepreneur and risk-taker, prior to taking on Joe Louis Bourbon in late 2021, Sam brought a young vodka brand to the United States from New Zealand, and in 3 years, built and led the team that turned Broken Shed Vodka into a fast-growth brand that was acquired by Private Equity investors in 2019.

Sam Brown shares Joe Louis’s respect for others, a willingness to lead by example, and perhaps even the need for adrenaline. Sam began his career as a race car driver, before dipping into the world of advertising at Ogilvy and Mather, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious advertising agencies. He has also crewed with Ted Turner when he won America’s Cup. Sam’s successful experience in growing companies in telecommunications and digital technologies includes M&A, IPO, Private Placement, Sales, Marketing, and Growth Management.

Today, Sam Brown is re-imagining the future of spirits–True American Spirits–that inspire a new generation to achieve greatness in business and in life, led by the re-introduction of Joe Louis spirits, with Joe Louis Champion of Them All Bourbon that will transition to a historic new home in Kentucky.

Joe Louis Bourbon - Michael Shoer - Head of Social Media Advisor/Development Managing Partner Victory Spirits

Michael Shoer
COO/Interim CMO
Managing Partner/Victory Spirits Development

Michael has been instrumental in the “comeback” of Joe Louis Bourbon. He is the founder and principal of Victory Spirits Development, (victoryspirits.com) where since 2017, he and a team of spirits industry veterans with experience in sales, marketing, distribution, analytics and financial management for major brands have served new and emerging brands with development services to brands, distillers, bulk producers, and spirits industry suppliers. It was in this role that Michael was first contacted by the original founders of the new Joe Louis Distilling Company to help create the brand, the launch plan and determine what the juice in the bottle was going to be.

The launch of Joe Louis Champion of the Them All Bourbon at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic only served to accelerate his passion and enthusiasm for the brand, the market, and the unique opportunity. He now serves as Chief Operating Officer and Interim CMO, working closely with Sam Brown, as they build a team, connect with consumers, and lean in on activating and growing the Joe Louis Brand and creating a family of Kentucky-origin True American Spirits.

Michael is the creator and manager of “The Bourbon Bond,”–an ongoing series of opportunities for distillers and investors to finance distillation and aging, and benefit from the appreciation of bourbon and other aged spirits as they mature and appreciate.

In his earlier chapters, Michael earned 25 years of successful entrepreneurial experience in digital marketing, preceded by 15 years in the media industry. He was a news producer and executive producer of prime time news at CNN within its first decade, held executive management and advisory roles for Broadcast and Online media clients, and founded and exited a content syndication company that served media clients across the US.

His path to spirits seems to have begun when he created an online company that developed, licensed, and marketed ice products primarily for sale to the spirits and hospitality industry, where his team developed branded ice products for major brand clients such as Pernod-Ricard (Absolut Vodka); The Edrington Group (The Macallan), Campari (Skyy Vodka) as well as Caesars, Wynn and SLS Hotels.

Samuel A. Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Sam grew up in Kentucky descended from a prominent family whose name remains synonymous with Bourbon and has been in the spirits business for generations.  

An enthusiastic seasoned entrepreneur and risk-taker, prior to taking on Joe Louis Bourbon in late 2021, Sam brought a young vodka brand to the United States from New Zealand, and in 3 years, built and led the team that turned Broken Shed Vodka into a fast-growth brand that was acquired by Private Equity investors in 2019.  

Sam Brown shares Joe Louis’s respect for others, a willingness to lead by example, and perhaps even the need for adrenaline.  Sam began his career as a race car driver, before dipping into the world of advertising at Ogilvy and Mather, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious advertising agencies. He has also crewed with Ted Turner when he won America’s Cup. Sam’s successful experience in growing companies in telecommunications and digital technologies includes M&A, IPO, Private Placement, Sales, Marketing, and Growth Management.

Today, Sam Brown is re-imagining the future of spirits–True American Spirits–that inspire a new generation to achieve greatness in business and in life, led by the re-introduction of Joe Louis spirits, with Joe Louis Champion of Them All Bourbon that will transition to a historic new home in Kentucky.

Joe Louis Bourbon - Michael Shoer - Head of Social Media Advisor/Development Managing Partner Victory Spirits

Michael Shoer
COO/Interim CMO
Managing Partner/Victory Spirits Development

Michael has been instrumental in the “comeback” of Joe Louis Bourbon. He is the founder and principal of Victory Spirits Development, (victoryspirits.com) where since 2017, he and a team of spirits industry veterans with experience in sales, marketing, distribution, analytics and financial management for major brands have served new and emerging brands with development services to brands, distillers, bulk producers, and spirits industry suppliers. It was in this role that Michael was first contacted by the original founders of the new Joe Louis Distilling Company to help create the brand, the launch plan and determine what the juice in the bottle was going to be.

The launch of Joe Louis Champion of the Them All Bourbon at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic only served to accelerate his passion and enthusiasm for the brand, the market, and the unique opportunity. He now serves as Chief Operating Officer and Interim CMO, working closely with Sam Brown, as they build a team, connect with consumers, and lean in on activating and growing the Joe Louis Brand and creating a family of Kentucky-origin True American Spirits.

Michael is the creator and manager of “The Bourbon Bond,”–an ongoing series of opportunities for distillers and investors to finance distillation and aging, and benefit from the appreciation of bourbon and other aged spirits as they mature and appreciate.

In his earlier chapters, Michael earned 25 years of successful entrepreneurial experience in digital marketing, preceded by 15 years in the media industry. He was a news producer and executive producer of prime time news at CNN within its first decade, held executive management and advisory roles for Broadcast and Online media clients, and founded and exited a content syndication company that served media clients across the US.

His path to spirits seems to have begun when he created an online company that developed, licensed, and marketed ice products primarily for sale to the spirits and hospitality industry, where his team developed branded ice products for major brand clients such as Pernod-Ricard (Absolut Vodka); The Edrington Group (The Macallan), Campari (Skyy Vodka) as well as Caesars, Wynn and SLS Hotels.

Brand Ambassadors

Justin Garrison
Justin Garrison

State Manager/Brand Ambassador
MA/CT/RI
justin@joelouisspirits.com

Justin is an Experienced alcohol beverage sales, brand and marketing professional with eight years in the New England market, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We welcome him to the Joe Louis Distilling team as we open up new markets and expand our presence in the Northeast in the coming months.

Now Hiring!

State Manager/Brand Ambassador
Michigan

Tara Hubbuch
Tara Hubbuch

State Manager/Brand Ambassador Kentucky
tara@joelouisspirits.com

Tara brings 15 years of distributor sales experience in Kentucky and Georgia markets, having worked for both SGWS in Kentucky and Empire in Georgia prior to joining Joe Louis Distilling Company.

Brand Team

Joe Louis with Joe Louis Barrow Jr. II (Jo-Jo) Joe Louis’s youngest son
Joe Louis Barrow Jr II

Joe’s youngest son, representing the Joe Louis Estate and ensuring his father’s legacy endures.

Tonya Cole
Tonya Cole

Brand Community Director/Special Events/Podcasts

Join our team of champions!

Terms and conditions

By entering this contest, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

(a) Entrants must be a real person, at least 21 years old  (proof of address or age may be required)

(b) Prize winners will be notified of the competition result by email

(c) If the winner fails to respond to our notification attempts within 3 business days or fails to meet any of the eligibility requirements, we reserve the right to disqualify that entrant and offer the prize to the next eligible entrant and thereafter until a winner is found.

(d) No cash alternative to the tickets or other prizes will be offered.

(e) This contest is sponsored by Joe Louis Distilling, with tickets provided under agreement with specific event organizers.