Meet 50 Bleu, a new four-times-distilled vodka launched in Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego over Labor Day weekend. Creators Michael Monrreal and Justin D’Angelo named the spirit after the water used to make it, which comes from a Polish artesian well that remains 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Las Vegas nightlife-industry veterans Jason Craig [a.k.a. JROC] and Ryan Labbe signed on with the brand to bring it to life on the West Coast.
When first approached by D’Angelo and Monrreal, Craig and Labbe were unsure about delving into the spirits world because, while they enjoy drinking as a pastime, they knew very little about the liquor business at the time.
“At first we were taken aback, as we get a lot of different ideas and concepts thrown our way, and this one seemed a bit out of our reach,” Labbe says. But the idea of getting in on the ground level of something appealed to the entrepreneurs. “It is especially exciting to be involved with marketing, distribution and everything in between,” Craig says.
And the duo isn’t particularly concerned that the new vodka won’t be able to compete with other classic brands. “Based on several taste tests we’ve done, we are already noticing that a very high percentage of people prefer it to competitors,” Craig says.
Currently Craig and Labbe operate a nightlife marketing company. Their most recent project, Studio B at Light Nightclub, is a monthly house-party concept featuring trap and hip-hop music, integrating DJs with live performance. And the 50 Bleu flows freely. With Baauer as the headlining talent—attracting such guest stars as A$AP Ferg and Travis Scott—Craig and Labbe have created a buzz that keeps the place packed with revelers and their whistles wet.
Being avid vodka drinkers themselves, Craig and Labbe feel the new product raises the bar on the world’s favorite spirit. “We always go with vodka and soda or vodka and water with two limes—mostly because of health reasons and also because it’s gentle on the palate,” Craig says. Labbe agrees wholeheartedly: “We’ve done a lot of drinking to arrive at that conclusion—I mean, a lot—but it was well worth it.” 50bleu.com