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Ex-Patrón execs launch spirits brand

John Paul DeJoria, the founder of Patrón Tequila, is part of a new venture called Round 2 Spirits.

John Paul DeJoria Round 2 Spirits
DeJoria (pictured) will be joined by former Patrón colleagues

DeJoria will be joined by Ed Brown, who was CEO of Patrón Spirits for more than 20 years; Lee Applbaum, former CMO at Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka; Brad Vassar, who was COO of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits for 15 years; and Dave Wilson, who was formerly president international and COO at Patrón Spirits.

At Round 2 Spirits, DeJoria will be a partner, Brown will be chairman and CEO, and Applbaum will be president and COO. Vassar will take the role of chief commercial officer, while Wilson will be chief strategy officer.

“We had an amazing run together. Ed Brown built a world-class team at Patrón and led that brand into the history books as one of the most successful spirits in the entire beverage alcohol industry,” said DeJoria.

“Along the way, all of us became very close and trusted friends, and we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work together again, for a round two.”

Antonio Rodriguez, former production director at Patrón Tequila in Mexico, will also join the leadership team.

“In addition to our founding partners, we’ve brought together a team of top industry talent who all share a commitment to building high-quality, world-class artisanal spirits,” said Applbaum.

“Our goal is to leverage our collective experience to identify scalable consumer opportunities for innovative products that aren’t being addressed by today’s brands. We’re looking at trends across the spirits marketplace to develop and build brands that capture consumers’ imagination and create memorable, shared experiences.”

Round 2 Spirits intends to launch its first product later this year. The company recently acquired and upgraded a craft distillery to support its growth.

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