Diageo’s David Gates joins BrewDog DistillingBy Nicola Carruthers
Scottish brewer BrewDog has hired Diageo Future’s David Gates as managing director of BrewDog Distilling to help the firm “redefine the spirits industry”.
Gates, the former managing director of Diageo Futures, brings 27 years of experience to the BrewDog team.
During his time at Diageo, Gates was instrumental in driving growth of the firm’s premium core spirits portfolio.
As Diageo’s global whisky category director, he helped to establish “steady and sustained growth” for the company’s Scotch portfolio.
Gates also helped to turn Johnnie Walker into the most profitable international spirits brand in the world.
The appointment of Gates is “instrumental” to BrewDog’s mission to challenge “the notion of what spirits can be by putting craftsmanship back into spirits”.
BrewDog’s distilling arm, Lone Wolf, launched its inaugural spirits line last year and is now planning to expand it with a new whisky and rum. The expansion is “at the forefront of Lone Wolf’s agenda”.
Lone Wolf will spend the next six months developing the new rum and whisky offerings.
BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “David is as obsessed with quality and flavour as we are. His proven success in building an established spirits division makes him a force to be reckoned with in the industry; I’m thrilled to have him on board.
“I can’t wait to see where David takes LoneWolf – he shares our vision in standing as a marker and custodian of purist, truthful distillation methods, and his fresh, challenging thinking will not only take LoneWolf to new levels, but the entire category.”
Gates added: “The opportunity to shake up the spirits category with the industry’s biggest disruptor was just too good to pass up.
“What BrewDog has done for the beer industry is nothing short of awe-inspiring, you can’t help but be impressed with the energy, vibrancy and unapologetic attitude they’ve injected into the category. It’s that same creative flair & obsession for quality that I hope to bring to the spirits portfolio.
“I can’t wait to kick this mission up a gear, bringing that innovative and courageous attitude to the spirits world, especially with the introduction of whisky.
“Whilst huge strides have been made in whisky, the industry still lacks real innovation. We’re here to change that and inject more excitement, playfulness and creativity into spirits.”
Last month, Lone Wolf gave its gin and vodka brands a colourful redesign while simultaneously unveiling plans to launch a new tonic water next year.