The Freedom Whiskey Co. Story

On a summer day in Helmand Province, Afghanistan (2011), Freedom Whiskey Co. was born. The Marines of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines engaged enemy forces with a barrage of artillery shells. Marines moved tirelessly to reload cannons as steel rain poured down over the mountain tops. Through the booming of the howitzers, the units Senior Staff NCO shouted, "Marines, enjoy this day! For those who fight to protect it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know!" Freedom Whiskey Co. exists to harness that flavor into each bottle of bourbon, paying homage to those who served, while honoring the individuals who have toiled to make America great.

Now if that story isn't enough to make you go out and Have A Shot of Freedom, then you don't have a pulse! That moment in Afghanistan would soon find itself being told time and time again by Freedom Whiskey Co. military veteran founder Zach Hollingsworth (U.S. Marine Corps) while enjoying his habit for back porch drinking and telling war stories with close friend and co-founder Scott Brown (U.S. Air Force).

Zach Hollingsworth, Owner

After many nights of toasting Freedom the two decided it was time to take the risk to create a bourbon that truly embodied the American Spirit. Following months of research, the pair linked up with an up and coming distillery out of Spring Valley, California to create their signature Small Batch Bourbon then later moved distilling operations to Stanford, KY. With the hard part in the bag, it was time to turn to marketing. Zach had the perfect person in mind, his good friend Giev Fowler.

Giev Fowler, Website and Marketing Guru

Giev Fowler brought the Freedom Whiskey Co. vision to life with his 10+ years of experience in website development, marketing, and maximizing brand exposure. Giev was raised with a great respect for the military, inspired by his grandfather (Eugene Fowler) and Uncle (Pat Fowler), both veterans of the US military.

His marketing experience, entrepreneurial spirit, military family background and dashing good looks made him the perfect fit for Freedom Whiskey Co.

Likewise, the opportunity to help veterans while leveraging his professional skill set was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. From the beginning, Giev has been an irreplaceable member of the Freedom Whiskey Co. family. His hard work and unrelenting dedication is the reason we are here today.

Aside from creating a great whiskey, Zach was a natural entrepreneur and incredible leader. He also had an innate ability to draw people in, whether it was listening to his many comical and animated stories or rallying friends and family together with good meaningful conversation and much laughter. Zach became an avid deer hunter and many days throughout the season, you could find him up in a deer stand waiting for the perfect shot, or riding his ATV with his son, Jax, on his lap, laying corn throughout the trails.

Zach tragically lost his battle with depression and PTSD on October 8th, 2021. Although life certainly hasn’t been easy since Zach’s passing, Freedom Whiskey Company has been running with the help of close friends and family members. Many have been gracious to volunteer their time to help keep Zach’s legacy alive.

About 2 years after Zach’s passing, his previous wife and Jax’s mother, Krista, made a decision to quit her job and work full time and carry on Zach’s legacy as Freedom's owner. Krista has 20+ years of customer service, with 11 of those recent years being in Property Management. Krista has a passion to help serve others along with developing strong relationships with those she meets. Krista enjoys being active, going to a good country concert, and spending time with the ones she loves most, especially the “Little Man” who is her entire world, Zach and Krista’s son Jaxton (Jax). He definitely keeps her busy with his goofy charm and high energy. Jax may not have inherited Zach’s big stature, but he sure did get his big personality and huge heart.

Krista has been a part of the Veteran community and family since she and Zach met in 2009. She knows first hand the struggles Veterans and their families encounter and she strives to live out Freedom's mission.

Freedom Whiskey Co. strives to provide the highest quality bourbon in America while building a family of passionate whiskey drinkers. The company is dedicated to creating whiskey that honors the heritage of our country while providing employment opportunities to veterans who have served or are currently serving, their family members, and those who seek to make a difference in general. We also proudly assist in raising money for a multitude of Veteran charities and events throughout every year and host an annual Freedom Whiskey Veterans Day Event of our own every November where we raised huge sums of money to donate to a Veteran charity decided on by the many men and women involved in coordinating the event.

Additional Freedom Whiskey Co. Family Members

Matt Albers, Director of Distribution

Matt Albers grew up in Florida and married his High School sweetheart, Cara. He graduated from UCF with a bachelor's degree in Finance and later completed his MBA in Project Management. He is currently on active duty, and the USAF has led the A-Team (nickname for Team Albers) in adventures racing around the globe. The most important pit stop was Ohio where they added two children to the team. Ohio is also where Zach and Matt sparked their relationship in the Program Offices at Wright-Patterson and could routinely be found in the woods deer hunting together. Matt’s core values and strategic vision are perfect matches for taking Freedom to new heights. We’re honored to have the A-Team in the Freedom Whiskey family.