F&B Magazine holds down the throttle with Michael Ballard

F&B Magazine holds down the throttle with Michael BallardMichael grew up and went to school in the little town of Trimble, TN. It was a great place to raise kids–so his mom says. Michael was…well let’s just say…full of life. The chief of police and Trimble judge called Michael: little Al Capone. At the age of 12 Michael was sneaking into the back of the Silver Dollar Cafe. This is where his interest for liquor started. The owner of the bar, Lewis Drummond, sometimes would want to throw Michael out because he was so young but Michael’s uncle, Ralph Alford, was the bars number one customer and would tell Lewis to, “leave that boy alone.”

Everybody within four counties used to come to Trimble to visit the Silver Dollar and that’s where Michael’s fascination with alcohol started. He would hang out and watch older people come into the bar, (I should hope so he was only 12) sit down with friends, and start drinking.

It was amazing what drinking did to them from Michael’s point of view. They would go from being normal to getting real happy then loud to dancing. Michael still remembers family members going from drinking together to fighting each other back to drinking together. “It’s all in a good time,” is what Ralph would tell Michael. So from that point Michael wanted to be in the liquor business.

His first step, which was a huge one, was building the world’s largest biker bar the Full Throttle Saloon. Now the Full Throttle Saloon is a house hold name (as seen on TruTV) and he plans to do the same with his Full Throttle S’loonshine (an authentic Tennessee Moonshine).

Michael, like a lot of people, had to leave Trimble to make his living but it’s great that he is returning back to his hometown to build his moonshine distillery. It’s also great how all the people of Trimble have welcomed him back. This will bring lots of tourists to Trimble and put some of the small town people to work. The distillery is set to open for business in the Fall of 2013 but the moonshine will hit the stores this June (2012). If you do not see it in your liquor stores or bars, ask for it!

What does your typical day look like?

  • My day is NEVER typical. It changes by the minute. We are juggling the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis and the distillery in Trimble, TN. There is nothing typical or normal.

F&B Magazine holds down the throttle with Michael BallardWhat techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

  • 90% of my work is done via cell phone. It’s harder to get into the office and sit down at a desk with everything we have going on right now

Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?

  • Jesse Dupree, for sure. He has pushed me to take it to the next level. I really don’t know anyone else that I have met who works harder than he does.

What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?

  • They would say I was ‘boring’ when it comes to having fun… when it comes to business, I think they would use ‘successful’.

What are the qualities of a good leader? A bad leader?

  • Qualities for a good leader would be the ability to multi-task, finding the best in employees and bringing out the best in your employees. Really understanding and knowing where to best put people based on their talents and abilities.
  • For a bad leader, I would have to say someone who doesn’t really care about the business or company they are working for. Someone with no passion for what they are doing.

Who is your role model and why?

  • My dad. He taught me at a very young age that nobody was going to give me anything. I was going to have to work for anything that I wanted. He also taught me that your word and your handshake is as good as any contract. If you’re not man enough to back up your word, you are not a real man.

What do you love most about your job?

  • Building brands. I love being able to take the brands I have built to a national/worldwide level.

What things do you not like to do?

  • Paperwork. I hate it.

What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

  • I just became a daddy on March 30th to Emille Grace Lynn Ballard! She is by far #1 above anything else.

Where do you think the most significant growth will occur in the Food & Beverage Industry in the next few years?

  • The alcohol side will double if not triple with the push/demand on American Whiskey (from other countries and right here in the US). The liquor business is doing what craft beer did 10 years ago. The younger generation of drinkers are drinking liquor and not beer. So between the demand from other countries who have taken to American Whiskey and the younger generation, there will be a shortage.
F&B Magazine holds down the throttle with Michael Ballard
Michael ballard full throttle wine barrel

Who is your biggest supporter?

  • My wife Angie, and my mom, Ruby Ballard. They are both incredible.

What would you want to have as your last meal?

  • This is a tough one… but I think I would want Euro from Sushi Roku to fix me a private dinner.

Are there any foods you just don’t like?

  • I do not like sour cream.

If you had just one wish, what would it be?

  • To go through one full day, and have everyone I run into have just a little bit of common sense.

Are you working on any big projects now?

  • Building my home town of Trimble, TN back up from nothing. The town had pretty much hit the bottom. Small farm town that was struggling. I came back to Trimble and bought the whole downtown area, which is where my distillery and storage facilities/offices are now standing. Jesse broke ground on his Jesse James American Outlaw Distillery on the final day of our Grand Opening weekend earlier this month. My goal is to turn this town back around and save Trimble.

If you were to give someone just one piece of advice, what would it be?

  • I am going to go back to the advice that my dad gave me. Nobody is going to give you nothing. If you want it, put in the work for it.

Michael and Angie Ballard Networth?

  • Michael Ballard is the owner of the biggest biker bar in the United States, Full Throttle Saloon. In 1999, he purchased a 30-acre property in South Dakota and established the saloon, which operates for only 10 days each year during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Despite its limited annual operating period, the saloon attracts a massive crowd of 300,000 visitors, overseen by Michael Ballard, his wife Angie Carlson, who serves as Marketing Director, Jesse James Dupree, and Gregg Cook, who functions as chef and DJ. Within the saloon, Angie has her own corner called Angieland, where visitors can take photos with her famous backside, believed to be the most photographed butt in the world.
  • Angie Carlson, an American business owner and reality television personality, is well-known for her marriage to Michael Ballard, the star of the reality TV show series Full Throttle Saloon. Born in 1976, Angie Carlson serves as the marketing director for Full Throttle Saloon, in addition to her roles as a YouTuber, a member of the Full Throttle Rock Stars band, and a mother to her only child, Emily Grace Lynn.

Are Michael and Angie Ballard From Full Throttle Saloon Still Together?

  • Chronicling the operational overload of Full Throttle Saloon bar in Sturgis South Dakota, the eponymous reality TV show features the activities of the world’s largest biker bar owner. A 30 acres landmark since 1999, the bar includes a tattoo parlor, zip lines, a wrestling ring, restaurants, cabins, and much more. Showcasing the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that brings about 20,000 guests each night, ‘Full Throttle Saloon’ offers a peak into the lifestyle of bikers to the audiences.Aside from the wondrous spectacle of engine and throttle that sees half a million bikers within a week are the two people who enamored viewers — Michael Ballard and Angie Ballard. The couple, who operates the popular bar, has continued to be fan favorites. Naturally, fans must still be wondering whether or not reality TV series stars are still going strong. Luckily, we’ve got the answers for you!

Learn more about Michael Ballard at Fullthrottlesaloon.com, or stop by the distillery in Trimble for a visit. We’ll help you Get Your Shine On!