Hoist drink helps Cincinnati manage the morning after

"Live for the Night. Plan for the Morning." This slogan encapsulates the balance between work and play that inspired Hoist, a "hydration recovery drink" aimed to combat the dehydration that can make you miserable after an evening of heavy alcohol use.

Four Cincinnati natives - Brett Heekin, Kelly Heekin, Ben Schmidt, and Jim Price, got the idea for Hoist ten years ago. Their inspiration: a friend in pro football rehydrated with an electrolyte drink, and used the same drink to speed hangover recovery.

Hoist contains twice the electrolytes found in sports drinks, and can be used before, during, or after the party. The Heekins are brothers, and friends of Schmidt and Price since their school days at Summit Country Day. Cincinnati's eclectic mix of college students, young professionals, and hip baby Boomers made this hometown an ideal test market for an after-party product, the creators said.

Although the Hoist founders joke about their extensive partying research on the Hoist site, all four came into this beverage venture with experience in marketing and sales. Their business plan was aggressive and clear: test market in Cincinnati, then branch out into the region.

Traditional ads, event appearances, product samples and social-media tools are all part of their publicity strategy. They launched Hoist in October with a party and sales in local bars. Local UDF stores began carrying Hoist in February. Today, Hoist has branched out into Columbus UDF stores; a May 28 appearance at the Columbus BeerFest will increase Hoist's regional brand recognition.

The Hoist team needed a vehicle for their brand - and found it in The 'Mino. It's a classic El Camino, painted eye-popping blue and silver, and equipped with a giant can of Hoist and built-in coolers. The Streamers, a co-ed group of Hoist enthusiasts, accompany the 'Mino, chatting it up and handing out samples around town. Fans can follow the 'Mino on Twitter or the Hoist website.

Currently, five employees work out of Hoist's Oakley office. Amber Milano, Account Manager, enjoys working for Hoist. "No day is really ever the same. I'm new out of school, and I'm learning so much about the bar industry, and the inner workings of launching a new product."

Written by: Elena Stevenson
Source: www.drinkhoist.com; Amber Milano, Account Manager, Hoist
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