Part of the Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. distillery ethos is to rock to their own beat. It’s not just a slogan, it’s a way of life that they live and breathe every day – literally. Walk into their basement where their barrels of brandy are aging and you’ll get an earful of Rock ‘n’ Roll as they are sonic aging their distillate. The music blasts sound waves into the barrels that gently rock their spirits.
A Mutual Love of Rock & Roll
With all that in mind, they’ve just added a new band member to the Copper & Kings group with a minority stake equity investment from Constellation Brands. Joe Heron, Founder and CEO of Copper & Kings sums it up best with, “There’s great personal chemistry, excellent complementary product portfolios. And a mutual love of rock & roll.”
Joe Heron, Founder and CEO of Copper & Kings standing next to a sub-woofer used for aging brandy.
This is Copper & Kings first strategic equity partner. Heron said, “In all honesty there could not be a better fit between a small craft distiller and a leader in the beverage alcohol industry like Constellation Brand. There are not only significant synergies in supply chain, but also a shared culture of entrepreneurship, and most importantly an overlapping culture of innovation and social responsibility.”
The new capital infusion will allow Copper & Kings to expand production capacity, expand warehouse space and enhance their visitor experience at the distillery. And like all craft spirits maker’s distribution of their product is critical. Constellation is expected to help with the national account arena in terms of grocery chains, restaurant and hotel chains, and similar.
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“We are operating in an increasingly dynamic and changing business environment; distributor consolidation, retailers are embracing smaller, innovative craft spirits and consumers are becoming more adventurous and discerning drinkers. We’ve done a lot of hard yards to get to where we are, and we are proud of that, but we now feel the need for some assistance with the heavy lifting required to build a legacy market leader brand and investigate global expansion.”
“We are going to need additional gas in the tank to keep up with the growth we are now encountering as a brand, and for the brandy category in general. Brown spirits have a very long-term planning horizon; 10 years or more out. Constellation’s investment will help us move forward with appropriate capital.”
Adding Fuel to the Burning Fire
“Copper & Kings has a fiercely independent streak,” says Constellation Brands’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Newlands. “Their entrepreneurship and focus on premium high-end craft spirits aligns closely with our strategy of delivering what the consumer wants. Copper & Kings is scalable not only in equity, but also the inventory of aged and aging spirits on hand. We see our role as adding fuel to their fire. And we think it’s going to burn very bright.”
Copper & Kings not only ages spirits to their own beat but they distill a slightly different brown spirits in a state that is known for its bourbon. Copper & Kings uses small batch copper pot-distillation to forge untraditional, non-derivative, pure pot-distilled American apple and grape brandies, absinthe, gin and Destillaré liqueurs. Their products are currently available in 31 markets across the U.S.
Constellation Brands, founded in 1945 and a Fortune 500 Company, has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio; about 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries; and approximately 10,000 employees. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.
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