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Summer 2018 Wofford Today
Ryan Langley

Here's the proof

Langley preparing for national distribution of alcohol ice cream

With flavors such as peach whiskey, vanilla bourbon, mocha chocolate moonshine and coconut rum, Ryan Langley ’02 doesn’t have much trouble selling JB’s Pr%f alcohol ice cream. The tough part has been wading through federal and state regulations so the ice cream is available to more adoring customers. 

Good thing Langley, a partner in the Hodge Langley Law firm in Spartanburg, has a decade of experience litigating cases in state and federal courts.

“We are in the process of resolving a two-year negotiation with the federal government over whether JB’s Pr%f ice cream is a ‘food product’ or an ‘alcoholic beverage,’” says Langley. “Recently they agreed that the post-prohibition common law can be interpreted to allow a designation as a ‘beverage’ for federal purposes, without pre-empting the rights of states to make a designation as a food product. Within their borders and consistent with the law, states have complete control of the distribution and sale of alcohol. Basically, it means for the first time we will be able to cross state lines.” 

Langley says JB’s Pr%f is an old family recipe, now patent pending. Langley’s dad, Joe Brett Langley, was famous for treating family and friends to the original vanilla bourbon that he made using a cedar-sided churn in the family’s basement. He didn’t start perfecting the formula until 2008, during the recession and a slump in the residential construction market in which he worked.

“Two years ago our team started to commercialize in South Carolina,” says Langley. “At first we sold in just a few stores, but thanks to the hard work of our sales team, now we have a presence in a few hundred, including Green’s, New York Butcher Shop, Oasis and Total Wine.”

Langley says he’s frequently asked whether someone can get drunk from eating the alcohol ice cream. He usually laughs. “Between the amount of whole milk, cream and the sugar quantity, they’d probably get a tummy ache before they get a buzz.”

By Jo Ann Mitchell Brasington ’89