LGBTQIA+ Owned Brands to Have on Your Radar
As consumers seek beer, wine, and spirits led by LGBTQIA+ community members, here’s how to meet demand and support these brands
June is LGBTQIA + Pride Month, a time to celebrate and show support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer community at large. With consumers increasingly pushing for diversity and representation for historically marginalized groups across industries, long-overdue attention is now being given to LGBTQIA+ drinks brands — not just during Pride Month, but all year long.
“I feel like there is more awareness now that diverse beer brands exist,” says Bryan Van Den Oever, the co-owner of Red Bear Brewing Company in Washington, D.C. “People are searching out impactful ways that they can help the LGBTQ community, and purchasing products is one way that they do that.”
Though overall share on Drizly is small, interest in the LGBTQIA+ category has grown since the category tag was added in 2021. Today, LGBTQIA+ brands skew heavily toward liquor, holding 79 percent of share, while wine and beer account for 15 and five percent of share, respectively. Year-over-year, the top 10 most popular LGBTQIA+ products have remained relatively stable, suggesting consumers seeking out these products are loyal to their favorite brands.
LGBTQIA+-owned products follow overall popularity trends on Drizly in general, with whiskey holding the highest subcategory share and specific whiskey styles — like bourbon, rye, and single malt — ranking high as well.
Brad Bear, the owner of Mercury Wine in Geyserville, California, advises retailers to call attention to the LGBTQIA+-owned products they carry. “I think that if a customer were walking through your retail establishment and saw a rainbow flag next to a bottle,” he says, “it would let them know that there are gay winemakers out there, and that you’re supporting the gay community.”
Kara Larson, the cofounder of Rhode Island Spirits in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, suggests retailers seek out smaller, lesser-known drinks brands that go beyond supporting LGBTQIA+ causes to make a real impact. “It used to be that massive international brands would slap rainbows on their products for Pride Month, and that was pretty much all you saw throughout the year,” she says. “Now, LGBTQ+-owned businesses are getting a much more prominent kind of attention than they’ve had before. It’s more authentic and less marketing-driven.”
When seeking out new products, Larson recommends inquiring with local LGBTQIA+ organizations such as chambers of commerce and travel agencies to find producers. Similarly, retailers can ask their distributor representatives if they carry LGBTQIA+-owned products.
As the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, demand for products made by LGBTQIA+ community members will grow. “It comes down to increasing sales if retailers can find ways to effectively message their support for diverse crafters,” says Van Den Oever.
The list below highlights some of the best-selling LGBTQIA+-owned drinks brands on Drizly.
Kings County Distillery
The first distillery to be founded in New York City since Prohibition, Kings County Distillery is a Brooklyn-based producer of premium whiskeys. Cofounded in 2010 by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell, Kings County produces a wide range of award-winning whiskeys and is best-known for their bourbon, rye, and single-malt bottlings.
Dominio de Punctum
Dominio de Punctum is a family-owned winery based in central Spain, where siblings Jésus, Ruth, and Cristina Férnandez practice organic and biodynamic viticulture. Their land has been prized for winemaking since the Roman era, and together the Férnandez family is leading the estate to carbon neutrality while producing premium Spanish wines.
Tolago Hard Seltzer
Tolago prides itself on being a “better for you” seltzer brand, relying on premium ingredients for its innovative line of hard seltzers. Founded and led by Nick Greeninger, Tolago is unique in that it calls upon the talents of 34 member-owners to make the best possible hard seltzers. All of Tolago’s products – with flavors ranging from cherry rose to ginger pear – are made with premium, ethically sourced ingredients and come in sustainable packaging.
Flying Panda Specialty Beverage Co.
Launched in 2019 by Michelle Porter, Flying Panda produces a range of ready-to-drink cocktails using vodka and natural flavors. A former bartender, Porter combined her interests in beverage mixology, formulation science, and environmentalism into the core values of Flying Panda. Each Flying Panda flavor benefits a different species on the vulnerable or endangered species list.
California-based Sincere Cider crafts premium ciders with a range of culinary apple varieties and French wine yeasts. Created by Bex Pezzullo, Sincere Cider is part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, donating at least one percent of its sales to local environmental nonprofits.
This women-owned brand offers an array of handcrafted cocktail ingredients, including shrubs, syrups, bitters, tonics, and ginger beer. Among 18.21’s far-from-standard varieties are Apple Cardamom Shrub, Japanese Chili and Lime Bitters, and Rosemary Sage Simple Syrup. Dedicated to giving back, the company donates part of its proceeds to pro-diversity charities.
Eco Terreno Wines & Vineyards
Founded in 2012 by Sebastiani Vineyards veteran winemaker Mark Lyon, Eco Terreno offers an impressive lineup of estate-grown wines, including Pink Pride rosé. Lyon’s Alexander Valley vineyard is certified biodynamic, reflecting Lyon’s passion for environmental causes. He’s also a big supporter of organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
The home page for this iconic Russian River Valley winery’s website includes icons for the Out Alliance the Human Rights Campaign — designed to let the LGBTQ+ community know they’re safe at Gary Farrell. The winery’s welcoming philosophy comes courtesy of LGBTQ+ winemaker Theresa Heredia, who has crafted the winery’s elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines since 2012.
Jon Moore and Jason Pazmino launched Brooklyn-based Gay Beer in 2018 to make great craft beer that speaks to and supports the LGBTQ+ community. A portion of proceeds from sales of the duo’s citrus-kissed golden lager support LBGTQ advocacy groups, including The Center and Project Renewal.
Gentleman Farmer Wines
Vintners Jeff Durham and Joe Wolosz made wine together in a garage for many years before launching Gentleman Farmer in 2005. Since then, they’ve become known as pillars of Napa Valley’s LGBTQ+ community. The winery makes less than 1,000 cases per year of sought-after Bordeaux-style reds, plus a Chardonnay and a rosé, from vineyards in Napa’s Oak Knoll district.
Republic Restoratives Distillery
This women-owned, crowd-funded distillery in Washington, D.C. is out to buck convention and break glass ceilings. Case in point: Republic Restoratives’ latest creation, Madam, a blend of 7-year-old bourbon and 5-year-old rye, complete with a portrait of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Rhodium/Rhode Island Spirits
Spouses Cathy Plourde and Kara Larson founded Rhode Island Spirits (RIS), with its flagship Rhodium brand, in 2019. RIS partners with small local farms to produce distinctive products like Forager’s Gin, made with wild ingredients found along Rhode Island’s coasts and valleys. As New England’s only LGBTQ+-owned spirits brand, Rhodium supports community nonprofits and political candidates.
Tom of Finland Vodka
This organic Finnish vodka pays joyful tribute to artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland). Created by the duo behind Ron de Jeremy rum, Tom of Finland has a crisp, clean profile. For each bottle sold, the company donates a percentage of proceeds to the Tom of Finland Foundation, a nonprofit promoting tolerance and the preservation of erotic art.
Urban Growler Brewing
Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak opened Minnesota’s first woman-owned microbrewery in 2014, trading successful corporate careers to chase their passion for brewing. With a mission to bring people together through beer, Urban Growler is known for traditional brews like its CowBell Cream Ale, as well as its Plow to Pint series highlighting local ingredients and the farmers who grow them.