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Milestone Brands Gains Fast-Rising Gin Label In Acquisition Of Victoria Distillers

June 21, 2022

Austin, Texas-based Milestone Brands, known for its Dulce Vida Tequila brand, has acquired Canada’s Victoria Distillers for an undisclosed sum, in a deal which will double company volume to above 400,000 cases. In addition to the Victoria, Canada-based distillery and its Vancouver packaging facility, the acquisition includes the fast-growing Empress 1908 gin brand, as well as U.S. importer Azzurre Spirits Corp.

According to Impact Databank, Empress 1908 more than doubled in size to just under 70,000 cases in the U.S. last year, and its global volume reached 200,000 cases. The brand is climbing quickly within gin’s above-$25 super-premium tier. Milestone CEO Eric Dopkins, who served as Deep Eddy vodka CEO before that brand’s acquisition by Heaven Hill in 2015, called Empress 1908 a “differentiated innovation in the super-premium spirits category.”

Empress 1908 joins Dulce Vida Spirits, Campo Bravo Tequila, Naranja Orange Liqueur, and American Born Whiskey in the Milestone range. Dulce Vida Tequila leads the way for the company and is expected to reach 125,000 cases this year, up from 95,000 cases in 2021.

Peter Hunt will continue to lead Victoria Distillers as president, and the company’s entire team, as well as that of Azzurre, will be retained, Milestone said. Concurrent with the acquisition, Milestone Brands has struck a strategic partnership with BDT Capital Partners to fund the acquisitions and the company’s next stage of growth. BDT now owns “a significant minority stake” in Milestone Brands through its affiliated funds.—Daniel Marsteller

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