Ryan Bingham and Lone River Ranch Water brought a little bit of West Texas to Las Vegas during the 2021 NFR.
Yellowstone star and musician Ryan Bingham and hard seltzer brand Lone River Ranch Water hosted a party at Kemo Sabe to kick off the “Super Bowl of Rodeo.” Among the guests sipping cool seltzers in the luxury Western store were country musicians Ian Munsick, Cleto Cordero, Randall King, and Jenna Paulette; rodeo stars Jorden Halvorsen, Lindsay Branquinho, Trevor Brazile, and Wes Silcox; Donnie Daytona from Netflix’s How To Be A Cowboy; and a not-so-famous but very lucky Texan — myself!
I chatted with West Texans Ryan Bingham and Lone River founder Katie Beal Brown about their roots, upcoming plans, and of course — what’s happening in the drama-filled world of Yellowstone.
Katie Beal Brown
Cowboys & Indians: How did your roots inspire you to launch your business?
Katie Beal Brown: I grew up in West Texas, and my family has a ranch out in far West Texas, which is pretty remote, but my family has been out there for over 100 years. They still all live out there. It’s very much a part of me and the culture is so unique – it has really driven a lot of my values and life decisions. So, when I got married, I moved to New York with my husband, and it was obviously a dramatic shift. I was working in advertising there at the time and that’s where I started to learn about marketing and all of the tools I would need to get into this business eventually...and that’s where Ranch Water came into play.
I started introducing our friends to ranch water, the cocktail, and everybody was always super interested...and from there I just realized this is something that could be a lot bigger, and maybe it was a way to tell more of the story of where I come from. That’s when we got the idea to put it in a package, and I guess the rest is kind of history.
C&I: Any exciting plans or new flavors on the horizon?
Brown: We kind of started this agave seltzer category. It got a lot bigger than we ever anticipated at this point...We were such a small brand — we had five people and we’re competing against Anheuser-Busch and these huge, huge brands and actually winning against them. So, for me looking forward, that’s what I want to keep doing — disrupting the industry and evolving this agave-style beverage. So, our next product will come to market next spring and will be a Ranch Rita. It’s basically our twist on a margarita. I’m excited to bring that out because I think it’s something that hasn’t been offered in a quality way. It’ll really tell the story of where the margarita came from. It was invented in far West Texas too, which not everyone knows.
C&I: Back in our July 2011 issue, we shared about your music career. Could you tell us a bit about your journey since then?
Ryan Bingham: A whole lot has happened with the show Yellowstone...but with the music stuff and getting able to work with Taylor Sheridan on Yellowstone and write some songs for the show and perform them on the show — that’s just been a really great experience and very inspiring. Other than that, I’m just writing songs and continuing doing the same thing. I have a new album probably going to come out at the end of next year and working on Yellowstone still.
C&I: Whenever you’re not filming Yellowstone, where are you living? Still in West Texas?
Bingham: In between Montana and California at the moment — well, kinda all three: Montana, California, and Texas. I bounce around quite a bit between the three.
C&I: How did you connect with Katie Beal Brown? Was it through the mutual West Texas roots?
Bingham: Yeah, through some friends. You know, they told me about her company and that her family was from West Texas. And I was familiar with the old tequila cocktail from being on those ranches down there. She was making a brand out of it and was also a fan of my music — that was kind of part of the inspiration for the brand. It was a very natural kind of progression. I was inspired by them starting their own company, too, and I’m happy to support that.
I’ve been pretty careful about what I attach my name to as far as brands and things like that, and I felt like this wasn't far of a stretch. You know, ’cause I was from the same place and it really kind of felt like home and takes me back to my roots. I can be myself, I don’t have to pretend to be something for some brand — I can just be myself and be me and they can be them and we can do this together. It just naturally fits. It was a no-brainer.
C&I: Can you tell us anything about upcoming Yellowstone plans?
Bingham: You know what? I actually just don’t even know. I know when they film it and everything, but when they edit it together, nobody has a clue.
C&I: So no more feuding with Lloyd?
Bingham: I don’t know about no more of it! But, I can say that we are trying to work it out. That’s the best that we can do.
C&I: One last thing — can you share your favorite country song with us? The first thing that comes to your mind.
Bingham: “Amarillo by Morning.”
And for this lucky Texan—someone born and raised in Amarillo, Texas—the answer to the last question might just make up for all those nail-biting Season 4 scenes with Lloyd and Walker.
Photography: (All images) courtesy Michael Simon