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On the July 21 episode of Southern Charm, Austen Kroll told Craig Conover and Shep Rose that he had a “big meeting with Harris Teeter.” As he explained in an interview, a deal with the supermarket chain would be “a huge next move” for his beer business. Ultimately, Austen ended up selling “a s--t ton of beer” to the company, and now Trop Hop is growing in ways that even he couldn’t have predicted.
In a recent interview with BravoTV.com, Austen opened up about why that meeting was so important to him. “Charlotte was always a big, big deal to me to be able to sell my product in,” he shared. “I was in Charleston for two years with Trop Hop. The growth was not happening like I wanted it to. Then, when I finally broke into the Charlotte market, everything since then has been like… I just launched in Florida, I’m about to launch in Alabama. We’re gonna move up to Tennessee. It’s moving faster than I ever could have hoped for.”
“I got so many DMs of people asking me to bring my beer to Charlotte,” he added. “So going and getting the deal at a grocery store chain in Charlotte, I could finally be like, ‘Hey, guys! Guess what? Beer available in Charlotte.’ It was a big deal. It was really cool.”
Although Austen is busier than ever with Trop Hop, he is considering expanding the business to include beverages other than beer. “The new company that I partnered with — I guess you can say the umbrella company over mine — is like, ‘Would you want to do Trop Hop RTDs [ready to drink]? And if so, what flavors?’ Immediately, I’m like, ‘A ranch water,’ so tequila, soda, [and] lime, and then from there, hell, you can do whatever you want. But that subject has been talked about.”
Should he decide to venture into the canned cocktail business, Loverboy founder Kyle Cooke would likely be among the first to know. “I’d probably call Kyle and tell him,” he said. “I don’t think that anyone wants to see that news pop up without their friend telling them. I would tell them, ‘Hey, this is happening. So when you see some sort of headline or whatever, you already know.’ That’s what I would do. It is [a] different [product] though.”
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