Industry veterans Charlie Andrews and Tom Jensen announce the formation of Millstone Spirits Group
Based at the New Liberty Distillery in Philadelphia, Millstone is a multi-faceted craft spirit platform with the capabilities to create and support this new generation of distilled spirits. Millstone has attracted interest and backing from several respected spirits industry professionals including Tony Foglio, co-owner of Anchor Brewers and Distillers, whom will be investing in Millstone and acting as valued advisors to the business.
The primary focus of the company is to create a portfolio of premium craft whiskey brands and a national route to market for both proprietary and select agency brands. Taking advantage of significant demand and long lead time for craft distilling equipment and systems, Millstone has partnered with Specific Mechanical Systems Ltd. (SMS), a leading manufacturer of turnkey craft brewing systems for over 20 years, to design and represent a full range of craft distilling equipment.
Leveraging the team's significant and complementary experience within the spirits industry, Millstone is currently underway with active engagements providing a full range of consulting and mentoring services to the Craft Spirits Sector including distillery set-up and build out, product formulation, branding and marketing, establishment of an effective route-to-market, financial planning and assistance with back-of-the-house requirements.
Tom Jensen, former President & CEO of Rémy Cointreau U.S.A., is a highly accomplished spirits industry veteran with 30 years of results and relationships at the supplier level.
Charlie Andrews, formerly President of NDC, Young's Market Company and Sunbelt Beverage has a thorough understanding of the US Three Tier System and the ability to drive both wholesaler and retailer activation and engagement.
Charlie Andrews will serve as the President/CEO of the business leading the company's route to market and agency activities, while Tom Jensen will serve as the Chairman and take the lead on product, consulting and supplier related matters. Andrews and Jensen will lead an outstanding team including Robert Cassell, Master Distiller, Charles Ho, Marketing Director and Frank Maher, CFO.
Robert Cassell, an award-winning pioneer in craft distilling, has received over 14 International Gold medals in four different spirit categories over the past ten years. The distilling system designed by Robert and manufactured by Specific Mechanical Systems in Canada is currently being marketed and sold globally. In addition to creating great proprietary brands, Robert is available for product and distillery construction consulting with new and emerging craft spirit producers.
Charles Ho, a respected industry expert in premium spirits marketing and innovation, has a track record of leading high growth brands in all major spirits categories. Charles has developed or launched over 20 new brands in the U.S. for Rémy Cointreau, José Cuervo, Bacardí and Schieffelin & Somerset. Charles will lead Millstone's marketing and brand building activities and will also offer marketing consulting support services from basic label design to full marketing/strategy development.
Frank Maher, a senior investment banker formerly of Wasserstein Perella, Lehman Brothers and Chase with significant experience advising leading consumer and spirits companies on both strategic matters and growth initiatives, will lead all financial and back-of-the house activities and support the consulting practice.
As a team, the partners have the track record, experience and relationships in the spirits industry to take advantage of exciting opportunities as the craft spirit market continues to develop and evolve.
Tom Jensen comments, "The purpose of the Millstone Spirits Group is to create unique and compelling premium branded whiskies while also providing consulting services and equipment to support fellow distillers in the burgeoning craft spirits space." Charlie Andrews adds, "With Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation and steeped in American history and the fabric of our culture, as our base we aim to be the facilitators, innovators & makers of the next generation of Distilled Spirits."
The New Liberty Distillery, housed in a historic building in Philadelphia minutes from Old City and just a quick walk from Northern Liberties, is scheduled to open in September 2014. The Company's showcase Tasting Room and Craft Spirits Center of Excellence at the New Liberty Distillery is also slated to be completed in fall of 2014.