Exciting News For Gamecock Bourbon As We Make a Big-Time Transition!

I write to share exciting news to a group that has offered me much more than I ever expected.

As many know, Gamecock Bourbon started as a simple idea while I was writing a course syllabus for an upcoming English class at the back of a small coffee shop. We were staying in Colorado for an extended period of time, and I was working remotely, preparing for an eventual move to Columbia from our home-base of Charlotte, NC.

The move was one that I looked forward to. Going back to my home state, and getting the chance to live in Gamecock Country for the first time was appealing. Before I even thought about housing, or jobs, or anything of that nature, I was already day dreaming about tailgates at Williams-Brice, and afternoon games at Founder’s park. Being in and around all things Gamecock was enough to remove any hesitation I had about uprooting from Charlotte, a city that housed my career, my home, and most importantly, my friends.

I was a member of various bourbon groups in Charlotte— both formally and informally, and I knew that leaving those connections behind would be difficult. So, as I sat, writing out assignment descriptions for the literature class to come, I decided to make a bourbon club for Gamecock fans with the modest hopes of making a few new friends in Columbia.

Everything that happened after that moment has been surreal. GBS genuinely exploded to a place that I never expected (thanks to great early team members like Garrett, Paul, Jeremy, and Jon). The amount of support and passion we’ve received over the last 2 years shows me two things: 1. This was an idea that I can’t believe someone else didn’t think of before (I am very rarely a forward-thinking person lol) 2. The success was NEVER about me; it was about the community.

I look at the community with pride, knowing that I helped establish the platform that made it possible, but even then, I humbly understand that once it began, the community itself took the driver’s seat and I just had to provide the road for the car to travel on. It is a big reason that I’ve never pushed myself into the foreground of the club or made myself the focal point in any way. I’ve even had people unsure who owned and operated it; being genuinely surprised when they met me for the first time. That was a sign that my plan of making it about the people and not me, was a success. Essentially, this has always been OUR bourbon club, not mine. And that makes me incredibly happy.

Through this community I have made some of the best friends I will ever have. People who cared for me when times were difficult; when I was overwhelmed; when I was in over my head and struggling from personal tragedy or sickness. These men and women have been sources of joy to me when I needed it most, and they’ve offered strength when I felt like my tank was empty.

Simply put, I show immense gratitude for your friendship and support and I thank God daily for each of you and feel excited about the years of continued community to come!

A Little Background and Some Exciting News

I share that because my news, although personally exciting, has a bittersweet element to it. Although I love being a part of the community of GBS, many of you know that my first passion and purpose in life is education and being a teacher. That is my personal calling in life, and one that I can never ignore. I started college as a 23-year-old 9th grade dropout with mediocre GED scores, no SAT or ACT exams, and forced under about every academic probation you could imagine. I was told by many (even family members) that I’d likely quit school “like everything else”, so I should rethink “wasting my money like that”.

10 years later and I am the first in my family to graduate college (with honors), first to hold a master’s degree, and first to teach at a university. I made a decision then to pursue what felt like my reason for being, and I have not looked back since.

Recently, I made the decision to combine my love for bourbon and education formally by pursuing my PhD in History, with my dissertation proposal being on bourbon history. This to me, offers the biggest sense of fulfillment and life direction that I’ve ever experienced. Being able to teach, study, and research all things history (which I love) while specializing in my second passion— bourbon, is the perfect career path for me, and those who know me best in this group know how true this is.

As a result of that decision to fully focus on teaching and pursuing my personal academic life, I realize that I cannot handle the pressures of running GBS at the same time. If I’m completely honest with myself, as the workload of teaching and grading this semester has increased, so has my stress because I have struggled to give my students my full attention, while also giving GBS the attention it deserves. Even the simplest attempt of trying to handle both, multi-tasking as best as I could, led to missed communications and other things that are just not up to my personal standard for a group that I care about so much.

So, I see excitement in my new life pursuit, and also excitement for the future of GBS— both of which make me incredibly happy.

I have been working on a transition plan and Paul Miles, our former Director of Development, has officially acquired GBS and will be, from this point forward, Owner and Operator.

First, I offer a public congrats to him on this new role! I know, from our close friendship and many many in-depth conversations, that his heart is in the right place as GBS’ new owner, and I assure you that he plans to pour into this community and preserve the nature of what made it special— the people. I would have never let GBS go in a direction that I felt would not uphold the appreciation of the community, So, with that being said, I can affirm that GBS is in capable and caring hands.

I would speak to Paul’s character and authenticity further, but I’m sure he will do his own formal introduction, and above all else, I encourage you to get to know him, grab a drink with him, and you’ll see what I see in him.

While I’m honored to be forever remembered as the founder of this great group, I must admit, I am more excited than I can express about the opportunity to now be known simply as a bourbon researcher, an educator, and most importantly, a friend to each of you.

My personal pursuit of self purpose is one that will certainly overlap with GBS in many ways. It’s hard to study bourbon without being an active participant in the coolest bourbon group in the Carolinas. So, expect to see me around, as my schedule allows, and also expect me to bring all sorts of fun historical information your way as I continue to collaborate with Paul and the GBS team.

Speaking of which, as you transition to this new exciting phase of GBS, I want to mention a new personal passion project I’m working on. While I’m researching bourbon history, working on writing a couple books, and teaching English, I thought it would be fun to keep writing consistently and share some of the findings I come across as I work and study. So, I thought a simple blog to host and share my discoveries and things I find interesting in the world of whiskey would be a good place to do it. Be warned though, I have no clear idea how often I’ll update it or make new posts— it could be once a day, or one a month, and there will be no fancy bells and whistles, and certainly nothing flashy at all— just me sharing what I find along this educational path.

So, if that is something that interests you, subscribe to my blog “Words & Whiskey” here:

Of course, if you find any interesting historical discoveries on your own, email them over to me! I’d love to constantly add new things to research!


Lastly, I want to offer specific thanks to the people who have made a special impact on me along the way (this is not all inclusive, because I just don’t have the space to mention every single person of the hundreds who mean so much to me, but I promise to show me appreciation to each of them directly in some way as I move forward):

First, thank you to Garrett for so much. It’s hard to even lay out my feelings and gratitude in just one paragraph, and I’m sure I’ll add more at a later time in my own blog, but for this, I’ll try to express it all as succinctly as possible! Thanks to him for his friendship, and support. He saw potential in this crazy idea of mine before many believed, and before it really even took off at all. He had no vested interest, and no clear indication that it would ever succeed. He simply saw something special and believed. For that, I owe a debt of gratitude. And for his help through so many fun and challenging things, I say thank you. He helped build a platform where great friends could gather and just enjoy each other’s company, something that brought us both immense joy. As I reflect on his passion for the community and love for the people of GBS and Gamecock Nation as a whole, I admit that his early compassion for the individual made an impact on me, and while bourbon was never his favorite part, his focus on people was always there in abundance. We had some great times together and I’m sure we will have many more— especially now that my stress has been alleviated and I can focus on friendships. This means that I expect many more great conversations about Gamecock sports, music, and finding life’s purpose. Which reminds me, of all the things we did, I think I enjoyed those long nights of recording podcasts and chatting through our shared passion of Gamecock Sports the most. Yes, podcasting logistics and editing was a headache for me, and became something I just couldn’t keep up with as my schedule got busier, but the chemistry and joy we had doing it cannot be forgotten. It was truly a great experience and who knows what the future holds. Maybe someday, we will get back in front of a mic again for old time’s sake (I honestly think he should to start up his own podcast, because he is truly talented at it)!

Lastly, I will say, having Garrett express excitement and support for my next journey means a ton to me and shows that this community is never about the individual, and only about supporting people in following their heart. As a result of all of this, we obviously will remain close friends as I switch my focus to academics, and as I just said, I do think there is potential that we will eventually collaborate on some fun projects in the future, which brings me a nice sense of joy as I look forward to the what comes next. So to him, for his hard work, love for the community, and all the laughs along the way, I say thank you.

To Jeff, I say thanks for being the first legitimate “figure” to give me a shot. Jeff, as owner of CB90, offered to collaborate back when we were only around 500 followers strong on social media. Many don’t know this, but I actually reached out to a few other notable accounts and asked for help and even offered to sponsor giveaways if they’d collaborate with us. Not only was I shot down by these folks, but several of them did so in a pretty harsh way. Oddly enough, a year later, once we made a mark and were fully established, they same people were asking for a chance to collaborate. Jeff, however, saw the chance to support a fellow Gamecock and did so with little guarantee that I could ever creat any real value for him. He did so out of a sense of generosity and simply because he has one of the biggest hearts in the Gamecock community. His initial support not only started a continued partnership that has lasted for 2 years, but it “legitimized” GBS as something reputable. So, Jeff, we truly wouldn’t be here without you.

To Jeremy Smith, I cannot express my appreciation adequately. Like Jeff, you stepped in early and offered unwavering support. You advised me back when I had no clue what I ws doing, and you gave us countless opportunities to make big time moves. I’m proud of your role at Garnet Trust, and I’m always proud to say, “Yeah, that guy is one my closest friends.” Thanks, man!

To Paul, a person who already knows well how much I appreciate him, I say thank you for your generosity and willingness to work hard and help problem-solve when I was overwhelmed many times. You helped me in various ways and through situations that many people will never know about, but to me, my gratitude is immense because it made huge differences in me finding my purpose in life and prioritizing my mental health. You’ve got a great heart, a generous spirit, and for anyone who wonders if GBS is in good hands, all I can do is echo my previous statement and say, just take the time to get to know Paul. He genuinely cares about people and wants nothing more than to create experience that makes the community happy. I admit, since this transition took place, I don’t know many of his ideas or plans moving forward (he wanted me to stay involved in planning, but honestly, I wanted the ability to truly focus on my teaching and allow him full freedom to follow his own heart without my opinions) but I do know that he’s indicated his plan to express passion for the community and offer a spirit of giving back. With small things, like the fact that GBS is not allowed to ever profit a single dollar off barrel picks, yet Paul has remained committed to continue offering them just as a way to get cool whiskey in the hands of our members says a lot about what his priorities are. Many would shut down a private barrel program when they found out that there is zero money to be made, but not Paul. He understands that the biggest goal for GBS is to give our community things to be proud of. With that being said, having stated each of the upcoming barrels, I promise that every person who reads this email will be more than proud to have these special GBS bottles on their shelves. I’ll also admit, from experience of doing this for the last few months, that the barrel picking process and logistics that it involves are extremely difficult and challenging. To commit to doing this solely for GBS members is a strong statement of compassion for our people. Simply put, you are going to really enjoy this new phase with him.

Thank you to the barrel team (Chip, Stavi, Kyle, Eddie, Andy, Chuck, and Tiffany) for being great friends first, and great tasters second. Each of them hold a special place in my heart, not simply because of their knowledge or experience with whiskey, but because they care about me as a person and a friend first, and support this move in my life wholeheartedly— which means so much. I could take the time to give a personal thank you to each of them, and I may do that in my own blog someday, but I know they are fully aware of how much they mean to me and to GBS as a whole. Getting to continue doing barrel picks with them is one of the things I’m most excited about moving forward!

Thank you to the our various other partners and sponsors for believing in this crazy idea. And a special thank you to the individuals who rallied in to support us no matter what we planned or decided to do! Each of you make my life a more full and complete.

From here, you will see less of me, but I’ll still be working behind the scenes for a bit to help the transition process. I expect to see many of you at events and other fun gatherings as I am able, but please know that, I will continue to be the biggest GBS fan there is, and someone who is excited to get to enjoy simply drinking some whiskey with you all as a fellow members and friend! Yes, I’ll always be the founder of GBS; a title that I am proud of! But most importantly, I will always be your brother in bourbon.

GC Ramey

Founder, Gamecock Bourbon Society


Event Side Note

I also wanted to mention that because of a few complications from the transition and getting things moved over, we are postponing the Columbia golf tournament and will be rescheduling it. Teams have been notified, but this is an opportunity for other golfers who were unable to attend due to the date/ day of the tournament to get excited for a change of date! I’m not sure when the new tournament will be, it could be moved to spring, but expect Paul Miles to provide more information as he has it.

Thanks again!

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