Is anyone aware of a precedent here: Some well-funded folks I know who produce a very successful, high-profile, privately owned non-alcoholic product are looking to branch into spirits production and are seeking to partner with a large, established spirits player. They'd like to join forces with others who come complete with production and and distribution expertise and contacts.
I actually can't think of any examples of major spirits players linking up with unproven craft distillers during the concept phase. Buying out existing producers once underway? Yes (Tuthilltown, Death's Door). But maybe that's changing. I'd love to know if anyone else has heard of a craft startup joining forces before the ground is broken.
Diageo are trying to get involved http://www.distillventures.com/