‘Wild’ Concepts Create Loyal Consumers. This Is Why It Works.

+ Brad Whiting & Seth O'Malley, Wilderton


How do breakout brands, particularly those that operate in trendy categories, build sustainable businesses? They cultivate authentic relationships with consumers by delivering on attributes they’re seeking. It’s how Wilderton, a maker of small-batch, non-alcoholic spirits crafted from raw botanicals, is paving its path.

Founded by Oregon craft spirits veterans Brad Whiting and Seth O’Malley, Wilderton launched in December 2020. The company markets three signature expressions that are distilled using globally sourced wild plants. The products boast the complexity and experience of a traditional spirit yet without alcohol. 

As sober curious lifestyles take hold in parts of the U.S., Wilderton has emphasized its distinctive ingredients and innovative distillation methods, an approach that is consistently winning over both teetotallers and spirit consumers seeking a high quality alcohol alternative.

In this episode, Whiting and O’Malley spoke about their interest in non-alcoholic spirits, how they view Wilderton as differentiated from similarly positioned brands, why taste is key when communicating product attributes and how to support, if not champion, other companies within the emerging category.

In this Episode

0:43: Interview: Brad Whiting & Seth O’Malley, Co-Founders, Wilderton – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif met with Whiting and O’Malley at the 2023 Tales of the Cocktail convention where they spoke about Wilderton’s new distillery and tasting room in Hood River, Oregon, their respective backgrounds in the spirits industry and why distilling non-alcoholic beverages isn’t as complicated as it might sound. They also explained why they developed Wilderton to be an option for a variety of consumers, why they don’t  create analogs of traditional spirits and how they educate the trade about how to use and promote the products. Later, they spoke about growing competition within the emerging segment of non-alcoholic spirits and shared their perspective on partnerships with strategic firms and legacy beverage alcohol companies.

Also Mentioned

Wilderton, Pendleton Whisky, Clear Creek, Big Gin, Hood River Distillers, Seedlip, Athletic Brewing Co.