MGP Ingredients makers of distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches has announced the acquisition of New Columbia Distillers in Washington, D.C. The distillery generally goes by their brand name of Green Hat Distilled Gin.
The MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is best known as a provider of aged bulk bourbon and rye spirits to other distilleries. The other distilleries may be Non-Distiller Producers (NDPs) or they may be start ups that are looking to get some aged spirits into the market that they can sell under their own brand while their new spirits are aging.
In recent years the MGP has added a line of direct to consumer products of their own. These brands include Eight & Sand Whiskey, Till American Wheat Vodka, Rossville Union Rye and George Remus Bourbon. The New Columbia Distillers acquisition is a new step into the direct to consumer world.
Green Hat produces and markets gin at its distillery with a retail tasting room, bar and gin garden. The distillery and its retail operations will continue to operate with the current management team and its range of Green Hat Gin styles will be phased into expanded distribution as a new addition to MGP’s portfolio of brands.
“We are thrilled to add New Columbia Distillers and Green Hat Gin to the MGP Brands portfolio,” said MGP president and CEO Gus Griffin. “As the largest producer of distilled gin in the U.S., we have a depth of expertise and commitment to the category that makes this a very exciting complement to our vodka, bourbon and rye whiskey range. We look forward to growing our brand strategy with gin, while also developing a direct-to-consumer experience in the vibrant Washington metropolitan market.”
Michael Lowe, co-founder of New Columbia Distillers, stated, “We are honored to be a part of the MGP team and help them realize the full potential of Green Hat Gin. MGP shares our vision to celebrate authentic, quality-made spirits with the resources to support our existing customers while also expanding our reach to new markets. We look forward to working with them to ensure the success of this next chapter of our brand story.”
As part of the team integration, John Uselton, co-founder of New Columbia Distillers with Lowe, will join MGP Brands as a regional sales director, supporting the continued success of Green Hat Gin in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. markets. He will also focus on the continued growth of the MGP Brands portfolio in the region. The distillery and retail operations will remain in place, and Michael Lowe will serve in an advisory capacity.
New Columbia Distillers was founded in 2011 in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Housed in an historic warehouse, New Columbia Distillers was the first distillery licensed in D.C. after Prohibition. Green Hat Gin is named for local bootlegger, George Cassiday, who was known for his signature green fedora. During Prohibition, Cassiday operated an illicit distribution center out of the House and Senate Office Buildings, where he supplied bootleg spirits to senators, congressmen and their staffs. I think the House and Senate could use his services today.
MGP offers direct to consumer product in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia (DC).
Terms of the sale of New Columbia Distillers to MGP Ingredients were not disclosed.
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