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Empirical to move distillery to New York

Danish distiller Empirical will open its first distillery in North America this summer, while simultaneously closing its Copenhagen production site.

Empirical North America
Empirical will move its production from Copenhagen to New York

The North American distillery will be located in North Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, and will serve as Empirical’s new headquarters.

Spanning 5,000 square feet, the distillery will also house bottling and canning lines, a research-and-development (R&D) centre and a tasting room.

The expansion in the US is part of the company’s strategy to prioritise the US market and decentralise production.

Lars Williams, chef/distiller, co-founder and CEO, Empirical, said: “We are doubling down on the US market, which is a key driver of our success that holds exceptional potential for the future.

“At the same time, safeguarding the environment has always been a core value at Empirical.

“Now that we have trusted relationships and track records with partner distilleries around the world, we can transition to a new decentralised model where production is closer to local sources and markets.

“It is the fulfilment of a plan that was set in motion two years ago, with capacity in Northern California, Wisconsin and now, New York.

“Our goal, ultimately, is to capture local terroir and create unique products in each market.”

Closing the Copenhagen site

The Copenhagen distillery will wind down operations at the end of June 2023. The R&D facility and tasting room, however, will move to a new location.

Between now and then, production at the site will be increased to ensure there is enough stock to cater to Empirical’s global markets.

Williams originally hails from New York City and will return to the States after 14 years in Copenhagen. He will also assume the role of CEO.

Co-founder Mark Emil Hermansen, who will remain in Copenhagen, will focus on investor relations.

Williams added: “It was a truly amazing experience working with a very talented group of individuals here in Copenhagen to create flavour and change how people engage with flavour.

“I’m looking forward to the dynamic cultural diversity of New York City and the access to so many creative people, flavours and tradition. The city offers a limitless number of connection points for building a robust network and community for Empirical.”

Last year, Empirical moved into the culinary space with the launch of a collection of sauces and cooking ingredients.

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