Get All Access for $5/mo

How Country Superstar Eric Church and Entrepreneur Raj Alva Distilled Whiskey Success On this episode of 'Get a Real Job,' how an unlikely pairing resulted in the award-winning Whiskey JYPSI.

By Dan Bova

Whiskey JYPSI

How does a guy who, in his own words, "doesn't know shit about country music" wind up partnering with 10-time Grammy-nominee superstar Eric Church to launch an award-winning whiskey company?

Subscribe to Get a Real Job on Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Entrepreneur

If you'd like to know the answer, then pour yourself a glass of the good stuff, put up your feet and open your ears because that's exactly what this episode of Get a Real Job is all about. I spoke with Eric Church's business partner Raj Alva to get the behind-the-barrels scoop on their award-winning Whiskey JYPSI. As Raj explains, from the get-go, the two have taken a hands-on approach to every aspect of their whiskey business, overseeing everything from making it to packaging it to, of course, taste-testing it.

"It's been a long, windy road, but it's been a fun one," Raj explains. "Eric and I met on a golf trip and, I wasn't gonna talk about this, but I literally didn't know anything about him or country music! I think that probably helped because I just didn't give a shit as we played together. We were just having a great time. I picked him up every morning to go to the course and he always had a beer waiting for me. So I was like, all right, this guy's okay."

The two kept in contact and on another golf trip, Eric asked Raj about some of his successful businesses and Raj asked Eric about his "Jack Daniels" song. "We were drinking whiskey at the time and I just threw the idea out there for Eric to start his own thing," explains Raj. Eric was very interested and they started bouncing around ideas and concepts. "We talked a bunch about it, went back to our families and maybe a week or two later, he called and asked, 'Were you serious?'"

Raj was, and they began to map out a business plan and strategy. But first, they set down some ground rules. "The first rule was it had to be fun," says Raj. "If it wasn't fun, we weren't gonna do it. The other important parts were that we wanted to build the best thing we could and money was not an object. We also agreed that we would be equal partners and do everything together. And we soon started collaborating with whiskey-maker Ari Sussman and it's just all come together."

If you want guidance and inspiration to start your own spirits company, Raj offers a crash course on getting the good stuff in bottles, on store shelves, and into people's tumblers. Cheers!

Credit: Whiskey JYPSI

About Get a Real Job

Dan Bova, VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com, has high-energy chats with entrepreneurs who are pursuing careers that their parents, teachers and any sane person in their life can't wait for them to quit and "get a real job." Everyone from comedians to treasure hunters to craft brewers will explain the ups and downs of doing something that is decidedly not normal, that doesn't have a guaranteed future, but damn is it fun in the meantime.

Theme music by Rich Bova

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Jack Dorsey Says It Will Soon Be 'Impossible to Tell' if Deepfakes Are Real: 'Like You're in a Simulation'

Dorsey said we will "not know what is real and what is fake" in the next five to 10 years.

Business News

Controversial Clothing Company Shein Quietly Files IPO in London

Shein is headquartered in Singapore, where it's been since 2021, though most of its operations, including factories, are in China.

Science & Technology

How Generative AI Is Revolutionizing the Travel Industry

GenAI won't displace travel agents; instead, it will enhance their efficiency, enabling them to focus on crafting tailored experiences that resonate with travelers on a deeper level.

Growing a Business

India is the Perfect Location for International Expansion. Here are 5 Things to Consider When Expanding to India

Entering the Indian market brought several discoveries about the business landscape there — some of them unexpected.

Business News

Mark Cuban's Google Account Was Hacked By 'Sophisticated' Bad Actors

The "Shark Tank" star said someone "called and said I had an intruder and spoofed [Google's] recovery methods."

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.