Spirits veteran Peter Ibrahim partnered up with iconic artist Hebru Brantley to create a one-of-a-kind spirit product, The Old G and we’ve got exclusive deets on the gin.
Made with the underrepresented minority community in mind, the London dry gin is dedicated to the old “G’s” that are pillars of those neighborhoods across the globe. The Old G was crafted in traditional methods without any artificial flavors or coloring and distilled using only fine botanicals. The brand is so sure of the product that it recommends sipping it neat or on the rocks, and only in cocktails as a last resort.
Peter and Hebru have created something special and even the bottle reflects how different the product is in the market. It stands out with its dark, sleek, and sexy design which was personally created by Hebru.
“The design of the bottle comes from the minimalistic idea of stripping the unnecessary and intentionally focusing on simplicity. The minimalism is also a way of having the product stand on its own – where the bottle, logo, and overall design does not take away from the spirit itself,” said Hebru Brantley, Head of Creative for The Old G.
After hearing about the company’s mission, seeing the unique bottle, and getting details about The Old G, we had to chat with Peter and Hebru.
See our discussion with them below. -Noah Williams
With racism in spirits and celebrity partnerships being a hot topic right now, what have been some challenges of bringing this product to the market?
Peter: With over 14 years of alcoholic beverage experience in the US, I have seen a distinct lack of diversity in the industry.
In an industry structured with certain barriers, achieving representation of diverse backgrounds across all aspects, including distilling, distribution, marketing, and sales, can be quite a challenge. Introducing people to the vision and conveying the profound narrative behind the Old G has proven to be a unique hurdle, as not everyone has had the opportunity to encounter the invaluable presence of neighborhood legends or individuals deeply rooted in street culture. Our aim is to bridge these gaps and create a broader understanding, drawing from diverse perspectives that extend beyond more privileged upbringings. However, we have made a sincere commitment to fostering a workforce that embraces diversity and cultural richness, recognizing it as a vital ingredient for success.
Additionally, we face a particular hurdle in the US when it comes to Gin, our chosen spirit. Many individuals carry preconceived notions about gin, stemming from negative past encounters with its taste or consumption, which have unfortunately left a lasting impact on their perception. The mere mention of gin causes some to instinctively turn away. However, we are dedicated to an important mission of enlightening people about the true nature of gin. Embracing the belief that gin is inherently a more intricate and flavor-rich rendition of vodka, we draw inspiration from its prominence as the number one spirit in numerous European countries. Just as vodka holds the top position in popularity, we see no reason why gin shouldn’t be up there. By showcasing the diverse range of botanical flavors and the captivating possibilities gin offers, we strive to bring its deserved recognition and appreciation to this region too. It doesn’t have to possess an overpowering juniper flavor, nor does it require a harsh burn or excessive strength. Through education and exploration, we aim to redefine the way people understand and appreciate gin.
With the messaging being reflective of OGs, if you could sit with five people (OGS) and share this drink who would it be?
Hebru Brantley: There are more than 5 to pick from, but I would say:
Mary J Blige
How did you guys decide on the name?
Peter Ibrahim: We aimed to create a brand that could embody a person, someone whom most individuals have encountered in their lives. Whether it was an Aunt or Uncle, a mentor from school or work, or someone from their neighborhood who served as their Old G, guiding and supporting them. Both Hebru and I were fortunate to have such influential figures, and we would often engage in meaningful conversations with them over a drink. We wanted our brand to encapsulate that entire experience, serving as the catalyst for those connections.
That’s why we dedicated extensive time and effort to perfecting the liquid itself. We wanted it to stand on its own, requiring nothing more than a bottle and a glass. Our goal was for the liquid to deliver an exceptional experience without the need for any additional embellishments. By focusing on the quality and craftsmanship of the spirit, we aimed to enable those moments of connection and reflection, evoking the spirit of conversations shared with our Old G’s.
What was the best and worst feedback you’ve received about the gin?
Peter: We’ve been incredibly fortunate to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback throughout our journey. It’s uplifting to witness individuals who initially claim to dislike gin, try our product, only to be pleasantly surprised and declare it the smoothest and best gin they’ve ever tasted. As we embarked on this journey, our primary goal was for people to genuinely enjoy our product, and these reactions validate our efforts.
Some negative feedback stems from the misconception or apprehension associated with the category of Gin itself. People often express their surprise and inquire why we didn’t create a tequila or cognac instead. This is the exact reason that we produced a Gin as this is a brand that the community can own and call for, in a category where minority/black-owned gins are scarce. We aim to break barriers, create a brand that resonates with diverse audiences, and provide a gin experience that surpasses expectations.
What was the “ah-ha” moment when you knew this would work?
Peter: It hasn’t worked yet! The incredible feedback we’ve received on our liquid and bottle/branding is a testament to the exceptional product we’ve crafted. However, to truly succeed, we rely on the support of the community and beyond. With our outstanding product and packaging in place, our next step is to spread the word and connect with individuals who resonate with our brand story and feel a deep connection to what it represents. Together, we can make a lasting impact and create a movement that embraces and celebrates the essence of The Old G.
Saying you want a gin that stands on its own without mixers is BOLD, how long did it take to find the perfect taste?
Peter: Old G’s are bold! The meticulous process spanned three years, involving collaborations with multiple distillers and experts. Countless iterations of botanical blends and alcohol content were tested to achieve the ultimate goal: a smooth, inviting, and effortlessly enjoyable gin. The hardest part was ensuring that even when tasted warm, it would captivate the palates of those accustomed to chilled drinks. A dedicated panel of taste testers played a crucial role in refining the product, ensuring that every sip of Old G Gin delivers an unparalleled experience.
What can we expect from the brand in the future, will there be any activations, or events centered around The Old G?
Peter: In the coming months, we are thrilled to embark on cultural partnerships that will celebrate the essence of The Old G. These exciting collaborations will be unveiled through our social media channels and by signing up for our email subscription on our website. Join us as we forge meaningful connections and share the spirit of The Old G with the world.
The Old G retails for $34.99 for a 750ML serving. You can grab The Old G in Florida, Georgia, California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, with additional states soon. For a map of available locations to purchase The Old G click here. Additionally, you can have the gin delivered to you in 32 states.