The third-party distillers launching their own labels
Craft and artisanal spirits remain the apple of many consumers’ eyes, with drinkers often seeking out products with provenance, history and a handmade approach to distillation. However, the backbone of many start‐up brands touting these credentials has long been third‐party distillers. Producers such as MGP Ingredients have aided the launch of countless Bourbon brands, while London’s Thames Distillers has helped create myriad gins.
“Third‐party producers can be critically important to a fledgling brand,” says Dave Colo, president and CEO of MGP Ingredients. “These newer brands often need aged supply to sell to generate cash while their own product ages.”The capital required to open a distillery or fund a well‐stocked cask programme can be a barrier to entry for those looking to launch products in the spirits sector. As such, third‐party production can offer an alternative route into the industry. However, the knowledge and experience gained while contract‐distilling puts third‐party producers in a unique position if they decide to try their hand at brand creation. Kentucky’s Green River Spirits Company has been producing third‐party spirits since 2016. But the distillery, which can trace its origins back to 1885, will this year expand its offering with a new whiskey of its own.
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