Big Stick Spirits Donates to Military Families and Wins Gold Medal

With contributions from George Slaughter, Head of News

Bourbon Distillery in Katy Donates to Organizations Assisting Members of Armed Forces and Their Families

“Semper Fidelis” is the motto of the United States Marine Corps, and it literally translates to “always faithful.” In order to live up to the promise made in its motto, a bourbon distillery in Katy donates a portion of its profits to organizations that assist members of the armed forces and their families.

Even though Big Stick Spirits is based in Katy, most of its bourbon is made in Kentucky, which is where the vast majority of other bourbon is also made.

The mash that goes into the bourbon is made using a top-secret recipe, and the proof level is brought up to 95. At the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, it was awarded first place, and at the 2016 Denver International Spirits Competition, it was awarded second place.

According to Mike Ryan, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, “I believe all of the craft brands got their start at the same three or four distilleries in Kentucky.” After investigating the supply chain, I discovered that everyone makes their purchases from the same location.

You simply place an order for a barrel with one of the three or four major corporations.

After the bourbon is distilled, it is sent to Liberty Hill, Texas, a suburb of Austin, where it is bottled, labeled, and made ready to sell.

It gives the impression that members of the family run Big Stick Spirits, even though this is not the case. Ryan and Joe Baker have a strong friendship and collaborate professionally together. They worked together on a military project when Baker was in the Marines and later when they were both working for the Department of Defense.

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According to Ryan, his wife Shawn and Baker’s wife Melissa have been friends ever since they attended the same elementary school in Houston back when they were both in their early childhoods.

The University of Texas at Austin was attended by Shawn Ryan, Melissa Baker, and Joe Baker, all of whom are bakers.

The engineer, Ryan, is originally from the center of the United States. Even though he worked as a civilian for the military, he never had to wear a uniform.

Ryan described himself as being similar to a “military contractor,” if you prefer to refer to him in that manner. To give just one illustration, one could say, “I got to work with everyone in the Armed Forces, including a lot of pilots, a lot of people who design weapons, etc.”

Around the middle of the 1980s, Ryan made the move to Texas. When he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, he read the book What Color Is Your Parachute? and then took the accompanying test. Both of these things were done many years ago.

As a consequence of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Ryan wants to relocate to a warmer climate, specifically the South, in the hopes that there won’t be any more snow.

After that, I arrived in Houston, Texas, as “Ryan has informed us.” Something worth your attention: “Easter was the first year I moved to Houston, and there was snow on the ground when I arrived. That was 30 years ago. You are aware that God has a sense of humor, aren’t you? It is difficult to do so without having fun with it.

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After traveling there on the weekend, I found that there was snow on the ground when I woke up the following day.

The Ryans Launch Their Own Company in Katy

When Ryan and his family moved to Katy approximately fifteen years ago, he started giving serious consideration to the idea of launching his own company. According to him, one of the primary reasons the family decided to move to the Katy area was because of the area’s superior educational opportunities.

The woman who was selling them the house wanted to do something prior to the transaction being finalized because she was going through a process of downsizing. The woman’s late husband had a collection of approximately one hundred bottles of alcoholic beverages.

What consequences would result from my forgetting to bring the bottles with me? The Ryans responded with an unequivocal “yes” to our question.

Ryan immediately began cleaning out all of the bottles, including the ones that he had discovered throughout his travels. Following that, he satisfied his curiosity by purchasing a chemistry set on the internet.

“I took out a notebook and began experimenting with a wide variety of approaches. “I made a list of a wide variety of other brands and tried to determine what ingredients they contained, how they were produced, and what their mash bills were like,” Ryan said. After that, Ryan was able to figure out how to make the bourbon using this information.

Next, Ryan made an appointment with an attorney by the name of Baker.

By “I have this idea for a business,” Ryan meant the statement that he made to Joe. He mentioned that he was interested in producing some bourbon. He said, “Include me in the count.”

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Baker’s ability to make snap judgments was very unusual.

Ryan made the observation that it does not appear as though he is the type to form hasty opinions. He said, “Count me in,” despite the fact that it isn’t in his blood to do so. I responded by saying, “But you haven’t heard how much money this will cost or what we need to do.” He stated, “I don’t care, add me to the list” in response to their question. After that, I was confident that it was okay to proceed.

Even up to this day, I still tell everyone that having a business partnership with my best friend was terrifying for me. Because Texas’s laws are more complicated and strict than those in many other states, our skills as an attorney and an engineer worked well together in a business partnership.

The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, the Marine Corps Coordinating Council, the Semper Fi III Memorial Honor Guard Detail, the Warrior Surf Foundation, and the We Defy Foundation are some of the organizations that have received assistance from the company.


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