Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard say launching a whiskey reminded them of working in the studio. (photo by John Shearer)

[Editor’s Note: To honor their award, we’re republishing this story, which first appeared last August]

In 2016 the men of Florida Georgia Line could have easily sat back and basked in country music stardom. Not only had they already shattered records via their multi-platinum breakout single “Cruise,” the country duo was plenty busy racking up number one hits such as “Dirt,” “This Is How We Roll” and “Stay.”

But, much like any great success story, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard wanted more.

Thus was born Old Camp Whiskey, a 70 proof peach pecan infused bottling that soon found an audience among their fans and beyond. Now the pair has teamed up with fellow country music star Jason Aldean on the creation of a more classic spirit, Wolf Moon Bourbon.

We heard a rumor that you guys didn’t start drinking till you were actually of legal drinking age. Are you serious?

TYLER HUBBARD   I mean, yeah, I think I was a sophomore in college. (Laughs.) The first thing I ever drank was beer and I’m pretty sure the second thing I drank was whiskey. It was probably some cheap Canadian Mist or something like that. I’m sure it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

You debuted Old Camp Whiskey back in 2016. Why did you want to expand your brand in that way?

BRIAN KELLEY   At our core, we are entrepreneurs and we are makers and we are always looking for ways to get creative. We saw an opportunity in the market and wanted to craft something that represented where we both come from. Plus, we were bringing something to the market that didn’t exist. Going through the whole process of tasting it and developing it and all the branding that went into it was just as enjoyable as writing a song and going into the studio to record it.

You recently partnered with Jason Aldean on Wolf Moon Bourbon. What was it about him that made you want to go into business together?

HUBBARD   We love Jason. We have a lot of history together and we thought it was a really organic, natural fit. Plus, we have drunk a lot of whiskey together. (Laughs.) But seriously, we felt like we were stronger with Jason than without Jason.

The tagline for Old Camp Whiskey mentions the idea of enjoying the good life moments. What do those ‘good life moments’ look like these days for you?

HUBBARD   This year has been a curveball and tough to navigate sometimes but there are a lot of good life moments still happening. My wife and I are about to have three kids under three, so yeah, I might be needing a drink.

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard meet two adorable young fans at a radio industry event for Westwood One at the Paramount Theater, Oct 7, 2014. (Photo by Ken Kurson for Wine and Whiskey Globe)