Originally posted on First Beverage Group
Los Angeles, CA – May 24, 2017 – First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, is pleased to announce its investment in GEM&BOLT as the lead investor in an equity raise completed by the company.
Distilled in Oaxaca, GEM&BOLT is an artisanal mezcal made with 100% espadin and the Mexican herb damiana, known for its mythological healing properties.
Mezcal is one of the fastest growing spirit categories, tapping into consumer interest in agave-based spirits as well as craft spirits that incorporate local ingredients and production methods. GEM&BOLT’s founders developed their unique brand with a local artisanal mezcal-producing family in Oaxaca and created a product that is both smooth enough to drink on its own and well balanced to mix perfectly in a fresh cocktail.
The company will use the proceeds from this raise to increase retail availability by expanding its sales and marketing efforts with key distributor partners in the United States.
“GEM&BOLT is a truly unique and standout brand in a high-growth category,” said Bill Anderson, founder and CEO of First Beverage. “But most importantly it’s a brand led by four women who bring a rare combination of vision, purpose, style and execution. We couldn’t be more grateful to have the opportunity to join them in their journey.”
“There’s a great deal of market interest today in mezcal as a result of the category’s significant growth,” noted Kristen Bareuther, a managing director at First Beverage. “GEM&BOLT’s highly differentiated product – in taste profile, positioning and packaging – coupled with its core consumer following and dedicated, deeply experienced founder team make it an exciting proposition for First Beverage.”
Created by artist-alchemist duo AdrinAdrina and Elliott Coon, GEM&BOLT is the culmination of a journey which started with a shared bohemian childhood and an interest in apothecary and the homeopathic benefits of herbs and led to a love of mezcal and its role in Mexican culture. “We are on the front end of defining what this category can become with a brand that was born out of a love and respect for art and nature,” said AdrinAdrina. “The sense of place that comes from what we are doing here in Oaxaca is so powerful,” added Elliott Coon. “There is a natural harmony between the agave and damiana that each thrive here, and we have taken our time to craft a mezcal spirit that is truly experiential and celebrates a bond between art + plants.”
AdrinAdrina and Elliott Coon partnered with seasoned beverage veterans, Jody Levy, co-founder and creative director at WTRMLN WTR, Lisa Derman, former COO of Stoli Group USA, and Vicente Reyes, an agave beverage expert based in Oaxaca, Mexico who is actively involved in the cultivation and preservation of agave, and correspondingly, mezcal, to create an artisanal product that brings together art + plants in a manner that honors its cultural traditions.
“We love the work we are doing and the culture that grounds us and guides us at GEM&BOLT,” said Lisa Derman. “There is a satisfaction to making something that is pure and authentic, paying homage to great traditions and bottling an experience that can be shared in new circles and in new ways. Our partnership with First Beverage is the next step in our journey, and one that we are very excited for.”
The Giannuzzi Group acted as legal counsel to GEM&BOLT.