Constellation Brands Buys Into Another Craft Whiskey Maker - The Whiskey Wash

Constellation Brands Buys Into Another Craft Whiskey Maker

By Nino Marchetti / February 18, 2019

Of all the major spirits/wine companies making plays into the craft whiskey world, Constellation Brands has certainly been one of the busiest in the last several years. In recent times this company has completely acquired High West and also made significant minority investments in Bardstown Bourbon Company and Catoctin Creek Distilling. Now word has come down of them dipping into these waters yet again with another minority investment, this time betting on New York-based Black Button Distilling.

The minority investment into Black Button, according to those behind it, was done for an undisclosed amount. It is said this is not an outright buyout, but rather a partnership, which will allow for Black Button to continue to operate as an independent brand, while providing additional capital for things like “equipment/infrastructure investments and further investment in marketing.”

Black Button Distilling bourbon (image via Black Button)

“For us to continue the growth rate we believe we are capable of, it was time to find an equity partner,” said Black Button founder Jason Barrett in a prepared statement. “But we didn’t want just any equity partner. We wanted someone who understood our business, our culture and our goals We found that partner right in our back yard. Constellation shares our love of Western NY and they are also committed to the agricultural roots that are so important to Black Button. This partnership is great for our employees, our ownership, our farmers and our consumers because we will be able to bring more great Black Button products to our community.”

Black Button, for those unfamiliar with it, was founded in Rochester, New York, back in 2012 by Barrett. Less than two years later, it opened a tasting room and retail store to the public, offering spirits tastings, distillery tours and craft cocktails. Every batch of their whiskey is said to be distilled from New York State grains, and then aged, bottled and labeled on site. Sales have more than tripled since 2014, and in 2017 Black Button expanded and opened a tasting room and bottle shop in Buffalo.