Matt Klette was raised along the Kentucky Bourbon trail. Whiskey was always prevalent in his life, but he found his calling working at bars while attending The University of Kentucky.
After moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor, it became apparent that cocktails and bars were not going anywhere in his life. After cutting his teeth and learning from some of the top mentors in the cocktail world, Matt eventually created his own consulting company. Offering everything from bar design to spirits classes, Matt traveled the country focusing on small companies that didn’t have the funds to pay for the bigger names in the field.
It is Matt’s belief that creating a national cocktail culture is all about starting from the ground up. He is very excited to bring his unique set of skills and passion to the Redemption team.
Having grown up the grandson of Springfield, KY Bootlegger and son of a former bartender; Joe Riggs was raised hearing stories of his Grandfather being “the only bootlegger to drive around Nelson County Courthouse on two wheels without breaking a bottle.”
As well as watching his mother memorize recipes, he was always drawn to work in spirits and hospitality industry. Currently a 16-year veteran of restaurants Joe Riggs has won multiple cocktail contests, bartended and hosted events at such cocktail gatherings as the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, Tales of the Cocktail and The Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
An eleven year bar and spirits career has lead Joe to consult bar programs ranging from Award Winning Breweries, Authentic Taiwanese, to Fine Dining Italian Steakhouses.
Executing events for both suppliers and distributors, as well as being a guest speaker at accredited Culinary Schools on bar trends and execution; Joe has worked for Redemption since 2012 leaving the bar to be a full time ambassador in February 2015.
Eric started in “the industry” about 11 years ago as a part time door man at Delilah’s in Chicago. This quickly grew into what will be a life long love affair with whiskey. Delilah’s is a globally-renowned whiskey house and boasts one of the biggest selections of whiskies in the world from around the world.
He quickly became a senior bartender and his constant thirst and curiosity only deepened his knowledge and respect within the community. As Eric continued to mature not only as a drinker but also as a “lifer” in the industry he began to cultivate a fascination with the world of whiskey beyond the bar. This began hisy process of stepping out from “behind the pine”. He helped open a bar that was supposed to be cocktail forward in River North downtown Chicago and rapidly learned that his thoughts on leaving bartending days was indeed quickly approaching. He wanted something new.
This lead to The Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) and a position as their Tasting and Production Coordinator. Taking on this role at such a prestigious company was truly an honor. The skill set learned here in his short tenure is something that has more value than words can express. It was, however, not the right role for him. Eric needed to be around people, not be cooped up in an office all day. While he learned quite a bit about the other side of “the industry”, he also learned that he needed be in whiskey again.
The opportunity came up to work with Redemption and it seemed to be a great fit. As Eric continued to talk with the Redemption crew and everyone at Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits it became even more apparent that they wanted to grow with whiskey as much as Eric does. Eric has known the brand for quite some time and was happy to see it celebrated by such a good group of people. As his role with this brand comes more into focus his excitement only continues to grow.