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Pronghorn invests in whiskey and Tequila

Diageo-backed incubator Pronghorn has invested in three Black-owned American whiskey and Tequila brands.

Pronghorn backs Los Hermanos
Los Hermanos Tequila 1978 offers a blanco and reposado

Pronghorn has invested in three brands in what it calls ‘high-growth’ categories: Abisola Whiskey, Los Hermanos Tequila 1978, and Alexander James Whiskey.

More than half of Pronghorn’s portfolio, which includes 20 brands to date, comprises American whiskey and Tequila.

Pronghorn cited data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, which predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) increase of 2% for whiskey and 9% for Tequila by 2027, outpacing the rate of total spirits, which is expected to rise by 1.6%.

The new investments bring the company closer to its ambition of supporting 57 Black-owned spirits brands in the next 10 years.

Jomaree Pinkard, CEO of Pronghorn, said: “In just one year, we’ve invested in 20 Black-owned spirits brands, changing these founders’ lives forever, all while steadily increasing the percentage of Black executives and employees in the overall spirits labour force.

“We will continue to work towards this mission until the industry reflects the consumers that it serves.”

In addition, the company has raised US$200 million to help it reach its goal of ‘uplifting’ Black spirits industry entrepreneurs.

Launched in 2021 by Abisola Abidemi, Abisola Whiskey aims to ‘celebrate the modern-day whiskey drinker’.

The brand is a blend of Bourbon and malt whiskey, with a caramel and spiced blended base.

Los Hermanos Tequila 1978 was founded in 2020 by brothers Donta and William Henson

The range consists of Los Hermanos Tequila Blanco, with hints of banana peel, eucalyptus, white pepper, and tutti frutti on the palate, and Los Hermanos Tequila Reposado, described as floral on the nose with flavours of rosemary, thyme, vanilla bean, and white flowers.

Jesse Steward Jr founded Alexander James Whiskey in 2021, which was inspired by his two grandfathers, who were also best friends.

The Bourbon brand was named after Steward Jr’s son to continue the family tradition of ‘sharing history through storytelling over a glass of whiskey’.

Accelerated growth

“In a short period of time, Pronghorn has continued to rapidly increase its portfolio of Black-owned spirits companies, accelerating our growth trajectory faster than we anticipated,” said Steve Brown, vice-president of finance for Pronghorn.

“The latest additions only further propel us to our goal of enhancing the next generation of Black entrepreneurs in the industry, while showcasing our continued commitment to investing in high-growth categories.”

Pronghorn has also invested in: Greenwood Whiskey, Red Hazel Whiskey, TCapri Tequila, IslandJon Vodka, Ten To One Rum (co-owned by singer Ciara), Ego Tequila (the first Black woman-owned Tequila in Texas), Den of ThievesHella Cocktail Co, Tequila With Friends, Common Ground Spirits, Delta Dirt Distillery, Anteel Tequila, and Old Hillside Bourbon Company.

Diageo North America is the anchor investor in Pronghorn.

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