Blog Archives

Diageo acquires Belsazar aperitif

A bit of news out of Diageo and the drinks brand incubator, Distill Ventures. German entrepreneurs Maximillian Wagner and Sebastian Brack are likely toasting with more than a few glasses of their aperitif from the Black Forest. 

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Diageo this week announced the acquisition of Belsazar GmbH, a premium aperitif from Germany’s Black Forest. Belsazar was launched by entrepreneurs Maximillian Wagner and Sebastian Brack on the Berlin food and drinks scene in 2013. Belsazar is the first company to be acquired by Diageo through Distill Ventures. Read the rest of this entry

Nicole Austin tapped as GM and distiller at Cascade Hollow, home of George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey

When Nicole Austin was hand selected by distilling icon Dave Pickerell to be the firstDiageo Nicole Austin employee for his spirits consulting firm in 2012, the spirits industry took note of her fresh thinking and strategic vision. When The New York Times dubbed her “Bourbon’s Master of the Craft” in 2014, the industry applauded her distilling expertise. When the rye whiskey she helped create won Double Gold at the 2015 San Francisco Spirits Competition, they celebrated her creativity and innovation. And, this week, when she was named General Manager and Distiller for the newly formed Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., Austin knew she’d found a home in Tennessee.

What was formerly known as the George Dickel Distillery will now be called Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.—the home of George Dickel Tennessee Whisky and future innovation spirits. George Dickel’s “Handmade the Hard Way” approach to making whisky will remain the same and Austin will be charged with overseeing the brand’s 148-year legacy of making Tennessee’s smoothest, award winning craft whisky. As General Manager of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., she will establish the vision of what this new company can be and ignite commercial and innovation strategies for the flagship George Dickel brand, future innovation spirits and the distillery.  Read the rest of this entry

Two Decades of Diageo

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It almost seems like Diageo plc has been around forever, given the fact that it owns so many classic, venerable brands, including Johnnie Walker scotch, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and Guinness stout. But as a company, it’s still a year away from legal drinking age—in the U.S., at least, not in its U.K. home—as Diageo just turned 20 on Sunday.

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Diageo to build Guinness brewery in Maryland

Diageo announced that it’s planning to open a U.S. version of Dublin’s Guinness Open Gate Brewery near Baltimore. Here are some details from the company’s press release:

As currently planned, the company would build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s existing Relay, Maryland site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million.

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Image of the Day: Cardhu Distillery, Archiestown, Scotland

cardhu stills

Photo: Jeff Cioletti

Today’s image takes us to Scotland and inside the Scotch whisky distillery, Cardhu. The Diageo-owned operation shows off its majestic array of pot stills as they crank out Cardhu’s fine malts. Cardhu’s distilling activities date back to 1824 when former whisky smuggler John Cumming went legit and launched the business. Cardhu produces some of the single malts that go into the Johnnie Walker blend. Cardhu offers visitors the official Johnnie Walker Experience.