Millennials are a special group of people. They are daring, progressive and they know how to have fun. But, no liquor brands have been able to match this spunk. The decent-tasting alcohol is too expensive for the typical college student and the cheap stuff is just a little too nasty to drink.
Patrick Shorb and Matthew Glaser, Penn State Class of 2008 graduates, saw this problem first hand. Instead of searching for a product that leveled up to their fire, they decided to create their own brand and in 2013, HOLLA Vodka was born. Valley spoke with Shorb about his inspiration for the brand and why it should be your new drink of choice.
“We were essentially bored with the status quo and tired of tasteless gimmicks of pretentious products,” says Shorb. Both him and Glaser were “inspired by the fact that very few liquor brands resonated with our demographic.”
Growing up together in York, Pennsylvania, Shorb and Glaser have been friends since childhood. After attending Penn State together, they now run HOLLA in York.
Once their vision was developed it was time to come up with a name. “The term itself is uniting and instills a sense of comradery. It’s something light-hearted that everyone can relate to and cheers for,” says Shorb. “It’s almost always used as a term of excitement, jest, or jubilation in an exclamatory fashion.”
And, the name isn’t the only fun part. The “HOLLA” text on their bottle is actually UV-reactive, with Shorb saying this is a “natural fit for the style” of the brand. Working with a marketing firm in Oregon, it took about a year to finalize the design.
But Shorb and Glaser wanted to do more than create an exciting brand and a high-quality product. They wanted to give back. HOLLA donates a portion of their products to four charities: Fabry Support and Information Group, National Organization for Rare Disorders, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and THON. According to Shorb, these causes were “chosen because [they] associate with them well and THON is obviously an extremely righteous cause at PSU.”
Since they are a start-up, they are restricted on the amount they can contribute, but, as the business grows, they expect their charitable donations to expand as well.
Shorb says, “We rarely see other brands promoting charitable causes and believe it differentiates us with genuine reasons.”
Priced at $19.29 for a 750ml bottle, HOLLA is currently available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. At the moment, Rumor’s Lounge in the Atherton Hotel is the only State College establishment that carries HOLLA. In a few months, Shorb hopes to see it on the shelves of Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores in State College.
So, why should you give HOLLA a shot? HOLLA was designed for you, millenials. It was inspired by you, created for you and identifies with you.
“It’s a new generation that is tired of what our parents drank and want something they can genuinely associate with. We believe HOLLA accomplishes this,” says Shorb.
In the coming years, HOLLA hopes to have “a solid presence in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.” They also hope to have a line of products, including the original straight vodka, flavored vodkas and possibly other spirits. In ten years, Shorb hopes that HOLLA is nationally recognized.
So, Penn State, are you ready to holler for HOLLA?
To learn more about HOLLA Vodka, click here.
Valley does not support underage drinking. Please remember to always drink responsibly.