NEWS & PRESS

Bourbon whiskey company American Barrels is growing rapidly throughout the southeastern United States. The brand is now sold in hundreds of locations from New York to Tennessee, including every Total Wine & Spirits in the state of Florida.

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In the beginning, Reed, a native of Fort Myers, spent time learning the finer points of the game while playing for the Jr. Panthers at the Panthers IceDen – then known as Incredible Ice — in Coral Springs, a passion that led him on a journey around North America.

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Earlier that same day, Reed had driven to a buddy’s farm to shoot clays with his grandfather’s 12-gauge with some of his friends. Reed put one of those spent shells in his jeans pocket, and later he held a shot from one kind of barrel in his left hand, and a shot from another kind of barrel in his right.

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Twenty-five year-old CEO and Founder Michael Reed officially launched the company in August 2014, and has seen a steady rise in demand for American Barrels ever since.

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He’s looking to graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University in May, but who knows where Michael Reed will head after that? At 25, his mind is as effusive and ambitious as his entrepreneurial spirit.

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It was a Tuesday around 10 p.m. when Mike Reed got the idea. He sat at a plywood bar in the basement of the ice hockey house at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. He wasn’t drunk, but his friend was pouring shots of whiskey. It was “buzzing time,” as Reed calls it, before he and his teammates went to a local bar for cheap drinks on a weeknight.

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When Florida Gulf Coast University pre-law junior and DII hockey goalie Mike Reed can’t be found on campus or in the crease at Germain Arena, he’s out exploring his most recent venture. In November 2014, the 24-year-old Reed launched his own company, American Barrels Bourbon.

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Mike Reed is venturing beyond pre-law studies and the crease at Germain Arena, where he’s one of Florida Gulf Coast University’s starting goalies. Recently, Reed has launched his own company, American Barrels Bourbon Whiskey.

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If you’ve looked at the latest craft cocktail offerings in almost any bar, you’ve more than likely noticed an increase in the use of whiskey, specifically bourbon. The U.S. is in the midst of a so-called bourbon renaissance.

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