Constellation Brands Acquires Minority Stake in Chicago-based Crafthouse Cocktails
Establishes Constellation Ventures as a corporate venture capital function
VICTOR, N.Y., August 18, 2015 – Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, announced today that it has acquired a minority stake in Crafthouse Cocktails, a producer of authentic, ready-to-drink, spirits-based cocktails. Crafthouse Cocktails will continue to operate independently to produce, market and sell their products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The investment is the first project for Constellation Ventures, a newly-created corporate venture capital function within Constellation Brands’ Growth organization, focused on identifying smaller-scale investment opportunities related to innovative concepts and emerging categories within beverage alcohol.
“We are moving forward in a competitive and ever-changing industry by identifying opportunities for innovation, both inside and outside the company, as part of our total growth strategy,” said Bill Newlands, executive vice president and chief growth officer, Constellation Brands. “Constellation Ventures connects us with entrepreneurial brands and technologies, and allows us to support consumer-proven products early in their lifecycle. We are excited to work with the forward-thinking team at Crafthouse as they continue to grow their brand and create new opportunities for consumers to enjoy a premium cocktail experience.”
Established in 2013, Crafthouse Cocktails uses natural, high-quality ingredients to offer consumers the premium experience of a craft cocktail in a single pour from a pre-mixed cocktail. Current product offerings include a bottled Moscow Mule (vodka cocktail), Paloma (tequila cocktail) and Southside (gin cocktail). These fast-growing premium cocktails can be found at retail in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Colorado.
Co-founder of Crafthouse Cocktails, Charles Joly, a world-renowned and award-winning mixologist, personally oversees the quality of every batch of cocktail to ensure it meets his high standards. “What separates Crafthouse from other pre-mixed cocktails is our commitment to using natural, premium ingredients to produce an authentic, high-quality cocktail experience. We use the same ingredients one would utilize in a bar to make a true, bottled cocktail,” said Joly. “We have developed the cocktails in such a way that every sip is just as enjoyable and flavorful as the first, even after sitting in ice for 10 minutes. We are very excited to have this support from Constellation Brands, a strategic organization with dynamic people and a phenomenal portfolio.”
“With our ability to see consumer trends emerge across the beer, wine and spirits categories, we have a unique lens into what consumers are drinking when and why. This knowledge is helping to drive our business strategy,” said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “We know there is exciting innovation happening in smaller, high-growth companies on the leading edge of new consumer trends. We want to support these promising entrepreneurs, like Crafthouse Cocktails, while gaining a deeper knowledge of emerging opportunities and fueling total alcohol beverage category growth.”
About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B) is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. In 2014, Constellation was one of the top performing stocks in the S&P 500 Consumer Staples Index. Constellation is the number three beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands including Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo and Pacifico. Constellation is also the world’s leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Rex Goliath, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and Jackson-Triggs. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.
Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand-building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, sales in approximately 100 countries, about 40 facilities and approximately 7,600 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, visit www.cbrands.com.
About Crafthouse Cocktails:
Launched in 2013, Crafthouse Cocktails is a gluten-free, premium bottled cocktail collection created by 2014 World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Charles Joly, and hospitality veteran, Matt Lindner. The collection has three timeless cocktails including the Moscow Mule, Southside, and Paloma. Each cocktail features the industry’s best spirits and finest, all natural ingredients that can be simply poured over ice and enjoyed. Its mission is to create a ready-to serve cocktail that allows consumers to have the next best thing to going to a great cocktail bar or restaurant. Managing Director, William Skelly, and Chief Mixologist, Charles Joly, along with the management team at Crafthouse Cocktails are passionate about bringing world-class cocktails to consumers in an honest and easily approachable format. For more information, please visit www.crafthousecocktails.com.
Source: Constellation Brands