Start-up Life

Damn-Fine Canned Wine, Nationwide

We're announcing our nationwide launch! Shout it from the rooftops — Maker is now shipping premium canned wine from coast-to-coast.

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By Sarah Hoffman

November 15, 2021

Maker cans traveling across the United States!

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Watch our company announcement below and read on for more on our mission and what this means for wine lovers all over the U.S.

Co-founders Sarah Hoffman and Kendra Kawala announce Maker's national shipping launch!

Look Out World, We’re Going Nationwide

The day is finally here! We can ship premium canned wine from coast-to-coast, from sea to shining sea. In starting Maker, our mission was to support craft producers and make wine more inclusive and accessible on both sides of the glass. To celebrate the independent creators over the mass producers. To serve up the good stuff — but in a convenient, eco-friendly package, sans pomp and circumstance.

For the past two years we’ve brought small-batch wines to our amazing customers in California. For the first six months of the journey, we were a mighty team of two. I fulfilled every order out of my living room and Kendra personally delivered wines to our first retail partners across the state. My hands cramped constantly from all the hand-written notes, and I deftly deflected cease and desist letters from my neighbors, who were not so thrilled with the packages lining the halls. 

Launching during the pandemic, we pivoted quickly to bring thousands of teams and friend crews together with our virtual tastings and wine-from-home gifts. We built the Can Club, a renegade crew of rule breakers and wine lovers that believe in our mission to support the movers and shakers of the wine world. We got excited when growth exceeded our projections, then had panic attacks when we sold out of wine months before our next production. 

Above all, we’ve brought on ten “makers” together with wines and stories that we believe in. Now, with blood, sweat, tears, and cabernet — we’re excited to bring damn-fine canned wine, nationwide.

Three generations of Dusi.
Chris Christensen pouring Maker + Bodkin Sparkling Rose Wine.

Janell Dusi and her family and Chris Christensen, two of our fabulous winemaker partners.

“YES, it is finally time! No longer are we hoarding these delicious wines by small-batch producers on the West Coast, we’re spreading the Maker movement from coast-to-coast, baby! I’m proud to be a part of the project that’s bringing recognition back to the little guys and changing the industry for the better.”  - Chris Christensen, Bodkin Wines

Why This Matters

Wait, what’s the big deal? Don’t most companies ship across the US? 

Turns out it is TOUGH to sell wine in the U.S. One of the reasons we started Maker is that back in 2019 after visiting and getting to know dozens of winemakers, we learned how hard it is for them to get distribution.

Why? Archaic, prohibition-era laws dictate that wine producers must sell through third party distributors to reach retail locations. Wineries can’t sell directly to stores in most states, they must sell through a middleman taking 30-50% profits, even if a store is begging to buy from them. Only mega-wineries have the economies of scale to thrive in this system. The end result is that the very best wines made by the little guys don’t make it to the vast majority of wine drinkers.

There is a loophole created by a supreme court decision (seriously) that allows wineries to sell directly-to-consumer to most states. But even if you want to take advantage of that loophole, it’s not exactly a cake walk. You need to apply for up to 45 different state licenses. It’s like applying to college, but with no common app. Each state has their own rules, fees, and reporting requirements. 

And once you get all the licenses, oh baby, the hard work begins. It’s a full time job to pay all the fees, follow all the rules, validate orders with clunky software. Most wineries don’t have the time, resources, or desire to navigate that. And that’s where we come in. 

The Maker team celebrating outside of the Maker HQ!

The Maker Gals - Sarah, Kendra, Zoe, Cicely, Warner, Olivia, Andee, Logan, and Katrice.

Our Vision

We are a small-but-mighty team of ladies shaking up the wine world and lifting up the little guys. We are curators, storytellers, and experience-makers. We want to fix a broken system that adversely impacts small producers and ensure premium wine is accessible to everyone. We’re a mission driven company - we want to support these independent wine producers, particularly women and minority-led producers that haven’t always had the same access to distribution. 

In talking to hundreds of our customers, we heard that they felt the wine world wasn’t for them. That purchasing wine was confusing, that bottles were inconvenient, that they wanted transparency into the products they were putting into their bodies. We envision Maker being a curated selection and trusted voice for modern wine drinkers around the country. And this milestone is the first step to realizing that vision. 

This is a big day for the Maker team and the winemakers whose products we are proud to share with their world.

Our “Can Coach” and winemaker partner Chris Christensen, said it best:

“YES, it is finally time! No longer are we hoarding these delicious wines by small-batch producers on the West Coast, we’re spreading the Maker movement from coast-to-coast, baby!”

People are finally ready for premium wine in cans. I’m honored to put my wine in Maker cans and be part of sharing the hard work of these small batch producers. I’m proud to be a part of the project that’s bringing recognition back to the little guys and changing the industry for the better.”  - Chris

To damn-fine canned wine, nationwide!

A selection of premium canned wines by Maker and a hand opening them.

Crack a can with us!

Cheers! - use the link below to get 15% off your first purchase or 25-35% off your first Can Club box to celebrate our launch!

It's Launch Time

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