Big Red Liquors can be found in Bloomington and throughout central Indiana. It was founded in 1972 in a small shopfront on North College Avenue by Mark McAlister. Since then, the company has grown to include almost 60 stores.

Big Red Liquors was our first retailer to order our spirits in February 2015. They not only sell our spirits but also help make them. We distilled a custom whiskey with Big Red and it is available exclusively in their stores.

Their flagship store, located in animar downtown Bloomington and a true warehouse of beer, wines, and spirits, is just south of their original location on College Avenue. James Connor, one the store’s main wine managers, holds a C.S.W.

James was kind enough to meet us recently and give us a peek behind the scenes at Big Red. He shared 9 tips on the flagship location as well as the brand as a whole.

Where did the name big red liquors come, anyway?

James claims there are many theories. The one with the most legs is Mark. He has flashes of red hair and that’s it. Big Red stuck.

This is the most big red liquors expensive spirit in the shop. It’s very chic.

James instantly knows when I ask. He mutters, “Samalens 1900 Armagnac,” as if it were business as usual. It’s not, it’s $3.300 per bottle! red shorts mens He laughs and says “It’s been there longer than I have.” “We have all kinds of ridiculous stuff in this store,” he says, laughing. The flagship is his favorite (and the best), so he feels they should have special offerings such as the Samalens.

Is this the most underrated and overlooked spirit of all? It is not what you think.

Surprise! It’s brandy. James explains that everyone is on the Bourbon craze. But brandy is a flavorful and affordable alternative.

You’re invited big red liquors to join their VIP club. (There is Pappy.)

The Big Red Liquors VIP Program is still a secret among locals. This reward program, which was started by Big Red Liquors almost 4 years ago, allows customers to earn points for every dollar spent in the store. You get everything you need, from beer glasses to a bag of ice, to a complimentary bag of ice, and as the points accumulate, they become more attractive: invitations to special events, trips, and even your own beverage concierge. There are also emails sent out weekly about rare and small-batch beer, wine, and spirits. You’ll get about three of these each week, with the possibility to purchase rare Goose Island sour beers or Pappy Van Winkle.