Tequila boosts Eastside Distilling revenueBy Owen Bellwood
Portland-based Eastside Distilling saw sales rise 21.2% in 2020, bolstered by triple-digit Tequila growth and demand for its canning services.
Eastside Distilling, which owns Portland Potato Vodka, posted sales of US$14.8 million in the year ending 31 December.
The group’s spirits sales were boosted by demand for Azuñia Tequila, which Eastside Distilling purchased in September 2019. The brand accounted for a US$1.7m increase over the last year.
Eastside Distilling reported sales of 11,800 nine-litre cases of Azuñia Tequila in 2020, a 136% increase on the previous year.
The group’s Hue-Hue Coffee Rum and Burnside Bourbon brands posted sales increases during the period, rising 33% and 2% respectively.
Eastside Distilling also reported a US$200,000 increase in sales of Portland Potato Vodka. The brand saw sales rise 12% to 19,500 nine-litre cases.
Canning and bottling revenue increased year over year, which the company said was due to a shift in consumer preferences to consume alcohol at home, rather than at on-trade locations.
Paul Block, Eastside’s CEO, said: “The results for the fourth quarter reflect the continued path to improve the operating performance of the company, building a sustainable growth strategy that capitalises on the fast-growing craft spirits and canning businesses.
“Despite the Covid pandemic, we navigated a very challenging year. As we continue to bring leadership, strategy, and strong tactical execution to Eastside, we believe we can capture a disproportionate share of market and continue to accelerate topline growth.”
Gross profit for Eastside Distilling increased 12.2% in 2020 to reach US$4.6m.
Total operating expenses in 2020 declined 9.1% to US$12.7m, due to lower compensation and benefits, reduced legal and professional fees, and lower rent and insurance expense.