the westminster review logo

Keeping It Simple

Chad Linville and Chris Weed

Alums form a cocktail business aimed toward simplicity

by Liz Dobbins (’21)

Photograph by Adam Finkle

Chad Linville (MBA ’13) and Chris Weed (’11, MBATC ’14) managed to meet despite attending different undergraduate colleges and being in the Westminster MBA program in different years. The magic happened during a chance encounter in Paris. Six years later, Chris and Chad have their canned cocktails in Utah liquor stores, 150 bottles of gin, and the beginnings of a thriving business, Simplicity Cocktails.

The First Encounter

Chad: “I met Chris in one of my last classes during the international tour in France.”

Chris and Chad: “We will always have Paris.”

Chris: “Our first night there we had a late-night session and ended up on a barge with some other people, drinking and having conversation. A few months later we started to identify ideas for going into business and put them in this folder. We’ve been working on these ideas for the last six years.”

Simplicity Drinkers Are…

Chris: “People who like being outdoors—the packaging lends itself to that environment.”

Chad: “My family goes camping, and camping’s about simplicity: you take what you put in your car. I bring a couple of different types of gin. We always have our food cooler and Dad’s gin cooler. If you saw my car filled up and knew I was going camping, you’d be like, ‘yeah, that’s not simplicity,’ but I’m always driving towards that less-is-more kind of thing.”

Chris: “Together we have about 150 different types of gin, so that becomes quite the cooler. Our branding is straightforward, simple.”

Chad: “You have fresh ingredients in a can, and there you go. There’s nothing fancy about it.”

Networking Along the Way

Chad: “This all happened from networking. We were on this trip; we met each other. We became a part of each other’s network.”

Chris: “Westminster is our network in general still. We both hold Westminster very dear to our hearts. It’s been a resource for us to access.”

What's Next?

Chad: “It was a huge milestone for us to go to market. That shouldn’t be understated at all. I mean it’s been the most exciting day I’ve had since my kids were born.”

Chris: “Good job. Throw that in.”

Chad: “But really, we are at the very beginning. We have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be.”

Chris: “This is the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got an empire out there to work on.”

Why Cocktails?

Chad: “In college I was a home brewer. I volunteered at the Great American Beer Fest and really got to know the industry. It is a community of people inspired by each other—and there’s competition too.”

Chris: “I got into home brewing years ago. We both gravitated back towards the alcohol industry for various reasons. We saw some more opportunities in craft brewing growing. So, we went from there.”



About the Westminster Review

The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.