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Heritage Distilling Co buys Thinking Tree Spirits

Oregon-based producer Thinking Tree Spirits has been acquired by Heritage Distilling Company (HDC) for an undisclosed sum.

Thinking Tree Spirits' portfolio
Thinking Tree Spirits’ portfolio includes vodka, gin and rum

The deal will see HDC own 100% of the Thinking Tree assets and brands, which includes Gifted Gin, Main Stage Vodka, Whiteaker Rum and Butterfly Lavender Pea Vodka.

The acquisition will see Thinking Tree merge with HDC, resulting in a combined entity of two spirits production facilities (one in Washington and one in Oregon), five retail tasting rooms, a joint online direct-to-consumer presence and distribution across the Pacific Northwest and in new states in the Midwest.

HDC CEO and co-founder Justin Stiefel said the company was approached by Thinking Tree last year to discuss a potential acquisition.

He continued: “After careful consideration and a review of the synergies we could achieve together, it became apparent the combination of these two Eugene companies – Heritage Distilling and Thinking Tree – could continue to tell the story of Thinking Tree’s amazing products and brand that have been purposefully developed over the last decade in a bigger and more efficient way moving forward.

“Consumers in the Oregon market who have come to love Thinking Tree’s spirits, tasting room experience and energetic vibe will continue to experience that moving forward as we intend to honour the passion that has been poured into the making of the brand while we work to grow it.”

Thinking Tree Spirits was founded in Eugene, Oregon, in 2014 by Emily Jensen, Bryan Jensen and Kaylon McAlister.

‘Ultimate potential’ 

“It became apparent to us and our shareholders that if we wanted Thinking Tree to grow to its ultimate potential, we needed to add authentic craft scale in a way that has not yet been done in the craft spirits space,” Emily Jensen explained.

“This meant finding a partner as focused on quality and purposeful spirits, and driving culture and connection amongst their communities as we have been; a partner who understood how Thinking Tree’s products should fit in a world of the growing craft spirits’ landscape.

“The exploding craft distilling movement has never been in a more exciting moment, and we know Heritage Distilling is the best partner to help enable our continued growth.”

Heritage plans to move its tasting room activities, samplings, drinks service and its Cask Club programme at 110 Madison in Eugene’s Whiteaker District to the existing Thinking Tree building nearby. This would result in a much larger co-branded retail tasting room and event space.

Thinking Tree’s production will be moved and combined with Heritage’s production at the 110 Madison location, which would enable the Thinking Tree brands to grow more efficiently, HDC said.

HDC will continue to produce and distribute its current brands.

Both the facility move and tasting room expansion are expected to be completed by the weekend of Memorial Day (27 May) 2024. Several Thinking Tree workers will be employed by Heritage following the deal.

In August last year, HDC teamed up with Tonto Apache Tribe to create a distillery and tasting room next to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino in Arizona, US.

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