Ole Smoky’s products include a traditional corn whiskey, a six times distilled “White Lightning,” Moonshine Cherries, Apple Pie, peach, blackberry, and seasonal flavors such as blueberry, grape, hunch punch, pink lemonade, strawberry, and lemon drop. The company’s products, originally sold only to visitors of its Tennessee distillery, are available in 49 states and Canada. Earlier this year Ole Smoky quadrupled its bottling capacity to keep up with rising demand with the addition of a nearby 20,000-sq. ft. facility.
Ole Smoky uses a 100-year-old family recipe, which was perfected with the help of Dave Pickerell, who served as the Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark for over 15 years. The ingredients are locally sourced. The company was founded in 2010 by Joe Baker, Cory Cottongim and Tony Breeden and is based in Gatlinburg, TN (www.olesmokymoonshine.com).
“The story of moonshine embodies the American spirit and is a fundamental part of our heritage here in East Tennessee. Rebellious, resourceful and fiercely independent, our families honed the craft of making fine whiskey more than a century ago in the Smoky Mountains,” said Joe Baker, Chairman of Ole Smoky. “Tony, Cory and I are excited about this investment and the opportunity to work with Centerview to introduce even more folks to an authentic, Appalachian spirit that my family has enjoyed for generations.”
Centerview Capital invests in consumer and technology companies. The firm has approximately $500 million in committed capital and has offices in Greenwich, CT and San Francisco, CA (www.centerviewcapital.com).
“Ole Smoky’s products have broad adult appeal and benefit from important long-term spirits trends, such as increased consumer interest in craft distilling and flavored spirits, and also from a strong interest in products with deep American heritage. When you consider this in conjunction with the chance to work closely with the company’s founders and a truly talented management team, the merits of this investment speak for themselves,” said Jim Kilts and David Hooper, Centerview Capital’s co-founders, in a released statement.
Demeter Group, an investment bank specializing in the wine, spirits, craft beer, food, and beauty sectors, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ole Smoky. Demeter Group is headquartered in San Francisco (www.demetergroup.net).
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-6-13