Former Cowboys QB Aikman brewing up new career
The city of San Antonio has been a supporter of the three-time Super Bowl champion's health-conscious beer.
Troy Aikman led the Dallas Cowboys in three NFL Super Bowl wins, but when he decided to start a career in the beer industry, where brand recognition is important, he wanted to put some distance between his upstart brewery and one of sports' most popular brands.
Aikman has had a number of ventures since he retired from football. He teamed up with investors a little over a year ago to launch Eight, an organic beer that is low in carbs and high in antioxidants. He has found a market in Alamo City which is known for its beer making history.
Aikman said, 'San Antonio is amazing' during a conversation at a local drinking hole. It's been an amazing market for us. In the past year, we've visited markets in various cities in the state. San Antonio is overwhelming. It has been amazing.
Like football teams, beer producers must look at the bottom line. Is the product a hit?
"The sales exceeded our expectations." Aikman added, "We had high expectations."
Aikman played college football for UCLA and sought assistance from another Pac-12 Conference institution before he launched his beer company with his partners. They teamed up with Oregon State University, which Aikman claimed had impressive food and beer science departments.
Aikman explained that they came up with Eight following two years of trial and errors.
Aikman had experience in the beer business before launching his brand. He has also sold chicken wings and cars. In college, he worked as a beer distributor. When he arrived in Dallas, he met a large cerveza seller in Texas.
The number Aikman donned on his Cowboys jersey is the inspiration for Eight. There was some initial hesitation in making this connection.
"I'll admit it, when we first started, I did not want to be tied back to my professional career. He said, 'I was against it.
However, marketers and distributors saw the potential of branding. Ultimately, Aikman did as well.
Aikman stated, 'I've never imagined that I would be making my beer myself.' The company recently raised additional capital through a second round of fundraising. This gives us some more runway.