Alumnus is the Toast of the Town

College of Charleston Magazine, Alumni

Musician Tyler Boone ’14 knows how to appeal to a bar crowd, especially now that he has his own bourbon and beer brands.

Tyler Boone ’14 knows how to play to the crowd. It’s what he does. It’s how he’s found success in the music industry – appealing to people through song, playing events and venues big and small, getting his name out there, connecting with fans.  

That’s how you build an audience. It’s also how you build a business. And, when Boone decided to go into the spirits industry, it’s how he built his brand.  

“When I decided to start a spirit with my name on it, the thought was this was just one more way to get my name known,” says Boone, who – after perfecting the mash bill (ingredients) and label for his new venture – launched Boone’s Bourbon in 2018 on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, appealing to his built-in audience: his music fans. 

“I had an EP coming out at the same time, and we just put it out there, ‘Hey, if you put in $100, you’ll get a record and a bottle of Boone’s Bourbon.’” 

Boone’s Bourbon took off from there. It received the Double Gold award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2022), Silver at the Denver International Spirits Competition (2021), Gold at the Las Vegas Global Spirits Competition (2019) and – as reported by Forbes – Double Gold for Local Choice Spirits at the New York International Spirits Competition (2020). 

“It’s an incredible thing to wake up every morning and know that a brand I’ve created is now becoming one of the most awarded independent brands in the U.S.,” says Boone, adding that he turned to crowdsourcing once more in 2022, when he was the first recording artist to use StartEngine to promote a liquor brand, raising nearly $300,000. “The coolest thing right now is how people all across the internet have invested in our brand. It turned out to be an incredible marketing campaign.” 

Still, Boone knew that bourbon doesn’t appeal to everyone: “We needed something for those people, too!” 

And thus Boone’s Beer was born. 

“More people like beer,” he says. “The funny thing is, when people find out about the beer, they’re like, ‘Wow! You’re really killing it!’ But the whiskey is way harder to make.” 

In fact, the beer was the easiest part.  

“I was just doing the same thing I do with my music: promoting it, tuning in to the superfans in the beer world and the bourbon world. There are just people out there that just love that stuff. So you connect with those people and interact with them,” says Boone. “You’ve just got to market yourself like crazy.” 

And Boone puts in the marketing work, for sure – and not just for his own ventures like the music festival he founded in 2022, Homegrown Holy City Festival. He also runs campaigns for other artists and businesses through his music services business, Artist Formula. 

Indeed, Boone has a lot of practice when it comes to promoting artists. He also has a degree in arts management from the College, which, he says, makes all the difference. 

“I loved arts management – I thought it was the coolest degree ever,” he says. “It was the best way to relate to the music world – the connections I made there were invaluable. The entertainment industry is actually a really small world. You’ve got to be nice, be polite. People remember that – and they remember when you’re not. So just be good to people.” 

It’s what he does. 

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