Constellation Brands acquires minority stake in US distillery Black Button

USA – The American beer, wine and spirits company, Constellation Brands has acquired a minority stake in craft spirits maker Black Button Distilling for an undisclosed sum.

The investment was made through Constellation Ventures which supports emerging brands and technologies in the alcoholic beverages industry.

When the transaction will close, New York based Rochester Craft Distiller Black Button Distilling will continue with normal operations including producing, marketing, selling and managing its brands.

Founded in 2012 by Jason Barrett, the acquired firm has a wide range of portfolio include Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Citrus Forward Gin, seasonal Lilac Gin and Bespoke Bourbon Cream.

It boasts of an expanded tasting room and bottle shop in Buffalo offering spirits tastings, distillery tours and craft cocktails to the public.

“For us to continue the growth rate we believe we are capable of; it was time to find an equity partner.

But we didn’t want just any equity partner. We wanted someone who understood our business, our culture and our goals,” said Barrett.

“We found that partner right in our back yard.

Constellation shares our love of Western NY and they are also committed to the agricultural roots that are so important to Black Button.

This partnership is great for our employees, our ownership, our farmers and our consumers because we will be able to bring more great Black Button products to our community.”

Its spirits brands are distributed throughout New York State, New Jersey, Maryland and DC.

Constellation is looking to boost sales with an expanded portfolio helped by investments in both small and large beer brands.

Speaking on the acquisition, Constellation’s President and Chief Operating Officer, and incoming Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands said the two companies will strive to work together for an expanded spirits portfolio.

“As a company headquartered in the Greater Rochester region, we’re especially proud to make this investment in this local favorite.

“Black Button has a proven track record of producing premium craft spirits that resonate with consumers and they have a variety of products that are aligned to consumer trends and fill white space within Constellation’s spirits portfolio,” said Bill Newlands.

In the third quarter results, Constellation brands recorded a 9.5% rise in net sales, 0.4% rise in net sales for its wine and spirits segment, while the beer division grew 16%.

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