Eastside Distilling, owner of Portland Potato Vodka and Burnside Bourbon, has bought a majority stake in fellow Oregon craft spirits maker Big Bottom Distilling (BBD). The transaction is structured as an exchange of 84,286 Eastside shares for BBD units. Eastside says BBD will retain its independence as a separate entity under the operational umbrella of Eastside Distilling, per a release.
Ted Pappas, former president of the Oregon Distillers Guild, founded BBD in 2008 as an independent bottling operation, but has since transitioned into distilling his own products [see WSD 05-10-2013]. The BBD portfolio includes several craft spirits such as Barlow Trail American Blended Whiskey, Delta Rye Whiskey, The Ninety One Gin, Calhoun Bros. Aged Rum etc. It is primarily distributed in Oregon, California and Illinois, and revenues for 2016 were around $201,000.
BBD will continue to operate as "a distinct business entity" and produce spirits in collaboration with Eastside's master distiller and evp of operations, Mel Heim. Eastside and BBD will work together to expand the production of a super-premium American single malt whiskey distilled on premises by Ted Pappas, Travis Schoney and now, Eastside's Mel Heim.
"This is the ideal opportunity we have been seeking for Big Bottom Distilling," says Ted Pappas. "This relationship with Eastside will allow us to grow at a faster rate and get our products distributed to a broader market. This will also give us the opportunity to focus on our single malt whiskey production and establish our position in this category."
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