Kyle Sullivan, a global managing director for Oak Solutions Group (OSG), knows the reasons for his company’s success.
“A big part of it has to do with the consultants who work at OSG,” says Sullivan, who works with the Napa, Calif.-based brand evOak and also has a tannins company, tru/tan. “They focus on product recommendations and steering the customer in the right direction. That means the best product selection with the correct timing and the correct dose rates.”
evOak offers a large portfolio of oak products, as well as custom blends, with different toast and extraction levels to fit the particular wine, beer, or spirit. Product offerings include everything from chips to staves to cubes to fans, and all have been developed with consideration for the specific approach used by the specific producer.
In this, says Sullivan, innovation is key. “It’s a big part of what we do,” he says. “It’s not enough to offer products. We have to create products that are needed by the industry, and we have to have the technology and the resources to do that.”
That approach has become increasingly important as flavor profiles have changed and expanded in beer, wine, and spirits. It’s not enough any more for one size to fit all, says Sullivan. “That’s why flexibility is important on our part. It’s about the relationship we want to have with the customer. Can we help them find the style they want, using research and our technology? It’s not about telling the customer what we would rather they do, but finding out what they need. What are their standards? What’s the toast level? What’s the vanilla they want?”