PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eastside Distilling, Inc. (NASDAQ: EAST), makers of award-winning craft spirits, announced the appointment of David G.A. Holmes to its Board of Directors. David Holmes brings a history of spirits-industry innovation and success to Eastside Distilling. It is anticipated that Mr. Holmes will provide advice and leadership to EAST’s spirit RTD and CBD initiatives.
Holmes was co-founder of Boathouse Beverage, developer of the Spiked Seltzer Brand, which was sold to ABInbev (“ABI”) in 2016. While at Boathouse, Mr. Holmes built the ground-breaking Spiked Seltzer Brand from concept, to product, to sale of the brand. In the process he created what is now a $400 million segment in the alcohol beverage market. At Boathouse Beverage, Mr. Holmes developed and directed all branding/marketing and the execution thereof. He also held sole responsibility for finance, logistics, and field sales management. After the Spiked Seltzer Brand was acquired by international beverage leader ABInbev in 2016 for an undisclosed sum, “hard seltzer” has emerged as a $400 million beverage category. Following the acquisition of the Spiked Seltzer Brand, Mr. Holmes served as a Vice President at ABInbev where his primary focus was on managing the transition of the brand identity to ABI and assisting ABI with wholesaler relationships.
Mr. Holmes left ABI in 2017 to found Third Floor, LLC, which serves as a platform for development or acquisition of brands characterized as “evolved beverages” and/or “cannabis derived.” Mr Holmes is the CEO of Plant, a company engaged in developing and marketing a beverage based upon hemp derived CBD, a compound that is found in both cannabis and hemp, but that is non-psychoactive. CBD is now believed to have a very positive wellness effect and is the basis of a recently approved drug for the treatment of epilepsy. Due to its association with cannabis, from which in addition to hemp it can also be derived, CBD was previously designated as a Class 1 controlled substance. It has already been substantially deregulated in several states, such as Oregon and may soon be federally deregulated if the new Farm Bill, currently pending in the US Congress, is passed in its current form.
Grover Wickersham, Chairman and CEO of Eastside Distilling, commented, “Very few people can correctly claim that they originated a new product category, let alone one that is $400 million and rapidly growing. David has an amazing ability to be early to identify, and then capitalize on, new trends in beverage innovation. We are really excited that he has joined the board and he is already sharing his insights with the board and management.”
Mr. Wickersham continued, “Oregon was the first state, in 1973, to liberalize (or decriminalize) cannabis and pioneered deregulating CBD. For almost a year, EAST has been evaluating competitive opportunities in the CBD beverage market, such as requests for co-packing, and looking for ways to leverage the significant investments made in our canning and beverage capabilities. We see new opportunities emerging if the Farm Bill ultimately passes in its current form and CBD is deregulated on a federal basis, whereby we will explore developing and/or owning our own branded CBD beverage products and CBD supply-chain. We intend to lean heavily on David’s expertise in advising us.”
Prior to co-founding Boathouse Beverage, Holmes was a director and portfolio manager at Citi Capital Advisors from 2007 through 2012 where he managed the $600 million distressed debt opportunity fund. Prior to that, Holmes was also an analyst at Marathon Asset Management, an alternative asset management firm with $10 billion in assets under management investing in global credit and fixed income markets. Holmes has an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Connecticut College.
About Eastside Distilling
Eastside Distilling, Inc. (NASDAQ: EAST) has been producing high-quality, award-winning craft spirits in Portland, Oregon since 2008. The company is distinguished by its highly decorated product lineup that includes Burnside Bourbon, West End American Whiskey, Goose Hollow Reserve, Below Deck Rums, Portland Potato Vodka, Hue-Hue Coffee Rum and a distinctive line of fruit infused spirits. Eastside Distilling is majority owner of Big Bottom Distilling (makers of The Ninety One Gin, Navy Strength Gin and Delta Rye whiskey) and the Redneck Riviera Whiskey Co. All Eastside, Big Bottom and Redneck Riviera spirits are crafted from natural ingredients for quality and taste. Eastside’s MotherLode Bottling subsidiary is one of the Northwest’s leading independent spirit bottlers and ready-to-drink canners. For more information visit: www.eastsidedistilling.com or follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.
Important Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain matters discussed in this press release may be forward-looking statements. Such matters involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the following: changes in economic conditions; general competitive factors; acceptance of the Company's products in the market; the Company's success in obtaining new customers; the Company's success in product development; the Company's ability to execute its business model and strategic plans; the Company's success in integrating acquired entities and assets, and all the risks and related information described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the financial statements and related information contained in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and interim Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Examples of forward-looking statements in this release may include statements related to our strategic focus, product verticals, anticipated revenue, and profitability. The Company assumes no obligation to update the cautionary information in this release.