Global beverage giant Diageo, through its Distill Ventures arm, has acquired Westward, a leader in the American single malt whiskey category, for an undisclosed amount.
The investment includes both the current distillery in Portland as well as the whiskey brand and inventory, reportedl allowing the distillery to expand capacity by 40% next year.
Westward whiskey will continue to be made exclusive at its Portland facility, with the business founders and current investors staying in place to run the business independently. The remaining spirits under the House Spirits Distillery umbrell (Krogstad aquavit, Volstead vodka, and Casa Magdalena rum) are not part of the deal but will continue to be produced at the Portland distillery.
Westward American Single Malt is described as being distilled using locally malted Pacific Northwest barley and ale yeast, mingled in small batches, drawing inspiration from Oregon’s deeply-rooted craft brewing culture.
Commenting on the deal, Westward CEO and co-owner Thomas Mooney said: “We are thrilled to bring our Westward American Single Malt whiskey into the Distill Ventures family, an exciting and logical next step as we expand our brand across the United States and into export markets around the world. This strategic partnership with Distill Ventures and Diageo brings deep production expertise, an enhanced route to market, and the capital that we need to realize the full potential of our Westward American Single Malt whiskey program”.