We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Hexter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of the Evergood Elixirs brand is that it’s the right product at the right time. We make craft wine from lemons, not grapes. Our wines are 10% ABV, gluten-free, vegan, low in carbs, low in sulfites and most of all, delicious. Right timing #1, Industry data shows that younger drinkers are moving away from beer, into wine and spirits. We make adventurous citrus wines. Right timing #2, People care about what they put into their bodies; our wines are just 4-5 simple ingredients and suit most dietary needs. Right timing #3, Millenials and Gen Z’ers value shared experience above accumulating stuff. Our outdoor adventure wines (Skier Pee, Snow Bunny, Switch Stance and Citrus Stomp) are built for après. Right timing #4, Canned seltzers and now canned wines are all the rage. Place our single-serve cans or collapsible flasks into your backpack or cooler, then carry them home empty for recycling. Right timing #5, Due to COVID restrictions, 2020 taught us we can all be home bartenders. Our citrus wines make an incredible number of cocktails by just adding 1-2 ingredients. And right timing #6, Drinking wine shouldn’t require a PhD. With quirky Colorado-inspired names and whimsical labels for our extremely drinkable “adult lemonades,” we believe wine should be fun!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Every detail in my past adds up to where our winery is today. From drummer in a traveling band to audio engineer, coffee roaster to founder of a brew club, IT trainer to nonprofit COO, all my experiences contribute to leading our winery. It’s a very fluid industry (pun intended) so my variety of backgrounds helps me think outside-the-box. We’ve had to constantly reinvent ourselves thanks to COVID. In the end, I”m also running a very people-oriented business. We interact with suppliers, liquor store staffs, restaurant managers, end customers and event directors on almost a daily basis. Treating people the way I want to be treated is always a top priority. In fact, Evergood Elixirs’ primary Core Value is “You, Not Me.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My wife is my best friend and we love to take our family exploring. We moved out west six years ago so we could see parts of the U.S. west of the Mississippi. Our ideal destination is Lake Tahoe, where I worked on a dinner cruise boat for a summer during college: mountains AND the lake! We consider our home in Colorado Springs our base camp for travels. Since we miss the lakes we grew up with in the Midwest, we often seek out water here. For instance, we enjoyed two trips to Grand Lake, CO last summer, kind of a mini-Lake Tahoe spot. We recently purchased two kayaks and a roof rack so we could get out onto the Palmer Lake Reservoir, just two blocks from the winery, whenever we’ve got batches fermenting.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my family! My wife and kids are on this crazy Skier Pee journey with me. My wife of 30 years runs our social media and directs events like Winery Tours; she is also my sounding board for new ideas and created the recipe for Heart Warmer, our winter release mulled cranberry lemon wine that sold out this past winter. All my sons have helped bottle, cap and label almost every bottle that’s left the Palmer Lake winery. My oldest son was a southern Colorado sales rep and has helped at many a wine festival and tasting. One of my daughters designed our first labels and — what? — wine stickers. Best of all, one of my boys used his wit to name Skier Pee over 12 years ago. He nailed our wine’s vibe.
Other: https://www.groupon.com/deals/evergood-elixirs-1. Note: we don’t keep retail hours. Our emphasis is on manufacturing and distributing our citus wines so typically, customers don’t come to the winery. This is our Winery Tour & Tasting deal on Groupon, the only time we let customers into our mountain location.