Distill Ventures buys stake in Denmark distilleryBy Amy Hopkins
Diageo is set to invest more than £10 million in a Danish whisky distillery through its investment and mentoring business, Distill Ventures.
The UK drinks giant has acquired a minority stake in the Stauning Whisky distillery, which will use the funds to build a new distillery and increase capacity 50 times more than it is currently capable of.
The original nine founders of the distillery will continue to control the independent business.
Distill Ventures first launched in 2013, offering spirits startups funding and mentoring for quick expansion.
Entrepreneurs can apply to take part in either the “Seed” or “Growth” initiative depending on how well established their brands are. Diageo typically acquires a 20% stake in the companies that receive funding, with the view of full acquiring the brand at a later date.
“It is only 10 years ago that we started doing the first experiments with quality Danish whisky at Stauning,” said Alex Højrup Munch, one of Stauning’s founders.
“And now we suddenly get the opportunity to tell our story worldwide and let more people taste our unique whisky. We are obviously incredibly proud of the confidence that this investment shows in us and our whisky.”
Stauning currently has capacity to create 15,000 litres of whisky each year and conducts many stages of production on-site, including malting and bottling.
The distillery also uses Danish ingredients such as locally grown barley, rye and peat. In addition to its single malt, Stauning produces a malted rye in small fired pot stills.
“We are proud to announce that after looking at many new distilleries around the world, Distill Ventures was impressed with our whisky, brand and story,” added Munch. “Actually so impressed that they have made an investment in Stauning Whisky.
“We the founders are still the main shareholders, so we are still very much in charge of Stauning Whisky and can keep our focus on making handmade Danish whisky of the highest possible quality.
“We are just going to make more of it, and the investment will allow us to expand our production significantly. We will keep every process in-house using the same local Danish ingredients.”
Work on building Stauning’s new distillery will start in the summer of 2016. Once complete the distillery will start producing liquid in 2018, but until then, Stauning Whisky will continue production at its current premises.
Distill Ventures revealed to The Spirits Business that it planned to launch in North America for the first time.