Entrepreneurs Brian and Sue Hoffmann didn’t have to ponder too long about a name for their start-up company’s vodka. As strong supporters of the Lewiston, Idaho, rodeo, they heard it ring out as a slogan of the rodeo every time they attended the Lewiston Roundup, now in its 82nd year: “She’s wild!”
“They’ll say it about the bucking horses. I think that’s where it comes from,” Hoffmann told the Ravalli Republic.
Lewiston fans use it specifically about their rodeo.
“No one quite remembers when or why the ‘She’s Wild’ logo was adopted, but it is well known among rodeo fans,” Hoffmann said in an email exchange. “I really respect the values and work ethic exhibited by the contestants and all those who work behind the scenes to bring a rodeo to life. This is not just a game to them. They grew up doing this. It is what they do every day on ranches around the country and they love it. When you go to a rodeo, it has a genuine feel to it. It is not a huge amount of hype about a few overpaid athletes. The spirit of integrity, pride, independence and sportsmanship endures in the rodeo culture and She’s Wild Vodka was born of that same spirit.”
This year the Hoffmanns’ vodka, which got its start in Idaho, comes out of the chute in Montana for the first time. Any liquor store in Montana will know how to order it through its distribution channels, Hoffmann said. It’s also available in Wyoming.
And what the customer will get, the Hoffmanns promise, is one smooth ride – just as the logo of the barrel racer on the label suggests.
“She’s Wild Vodka celebrates the tradition of the Lewiston Roundup as well as supports the Montana chapter of the National Barrel Horse Association. We will be sponsoring many of the barrel races in Montana this summer including the Glacier Barrel Bash in Kalispell and the State Finals,” Hoffmann said.
Supporting a western sport such as rodeo is appropriate, Hoffmann added, because She’s Wild Vodka is produced with western products – Idaho-grown wheat and water from the Snake River aquifer, processed by a master distiller in Idaho using a four-column still.
There’s even a chance that those with a keen sense of taste may even savor a bit of the West when they drink it.
“Classically, vodka is supposed to be odorless, tasteless and colorless,” Hoffmann said, but he added that those who have attended vodka tastings might dispute that. With vodkas now being made not only from potatoes but also from products as wide-ranging as wheat and grapes, many people believe they can taste subtle differences.
“Ours is, if anything, sweeter. That’s why we say it’s one smooth ride.”
There’s a good purpose behind the company, the Hoffmanns say. Brian Hoffmann is a physician and Sue Hoffmann is a nurse anaesthetist. While they are not retired yet, their goal someday is to be involved in medical missions work – and their hope is that their company will help support that work.
“My wife and I started She’s Wild Vodka to raise money for various causes. Our main inspiration was to provide better lives for international orphans, but we also wanted to help local organizations. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of She’s Wild Vodka will be returned to the Lewiston Roundup Association to help maintain and improve the annual Roundup. We also support the state chapters of the National Barrel Horse Association in each of the states where She’s Wild Vodka is available,” Hoffmann said.