BrewDog has hired David Gates, the former managing director of Diageo Futures, as the new managing director of BrewDog Distilling.
The appointment comes as the Scottish brewer’s distilling arm, LoneWolf, reveals it plans to expand its spirit range beyond vodka and gin to encompass whisky and rum.
Gates was at Diageo for 27 years, holding positions such as global whisky category director and Johnnie Walker global brand director.
BrewDog said he “will be instrumental in driving forward LoneWolf’s belief in challenging the notion of what spirits can be by putting craftsmanship back into spirits”.
Last month, LoneWolf unveiled a brand refresh to improve differentiation between its core spirits range in anticipation for expansion. The
rebranding also aims to allow LoneWolf to increase shelf visibility, align the spirits more closely with the wider portfolio and add new products seamlessly.
BrewDog cofounder James Watt said: “David is as obsessed with quality and flavour as we are. His proven success in building an established spirits division makes him a force to be reckoned with in the industry. I’m thrilled to have him on board.
“I can’t wait to see where David takes LoneWolf. He shares our vision in standing as a marker and custodian of purist, truthful distillation methods, and his fresh, challenging thinking will not only take LoneWolf to new levels, but the entire category.”
David Gates added: “The opportunity to shake up the spirits category with the industry’s biggest disruptor was just too good to pass up. What BrewDog has done for the beer industry is nothing short of awe-inspiring, you can’t help but be impressed with the energy, vibrancy and unapologetic attitude they’ve injected into the category. It’s that same creative flair and obsession for quality that I hope to bring to the spirits portfolio.
“Steven (Kersley, head distiller) and the team have done an incredible job in putting LoneWolf on the map. I can’t wait to kick this mission up a gear, bringing that innovative and courageous attitude to the spirits world, especially with the introduction of whisky.
“Whilst huge strides have been made in whisky, the industry still lacks real innovation. We’re here to change that and inject more excitement, playfulness and creativity into spirits.”
Last month, BrewDog closed its latest fundraising round, Equity for Punks V, having secured £26.2 million in 12 months.
The company now aims to expand its breweries in both Ellon, Scotland, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as accelerate the construction of its new site in Brisbane, Australia, and build a brewery in China.