The Diageo backed spirits incubator Pronghorn has selected the US whiskey producer New England Barrel Co. as its next receiver of “seed investment” and backing.
Founded in 2020, New England Barrel Co. is a Boston-based whiskey brand that focuses on Bourbon and rye whiskies. The producers’ portfolio includes New England Barrel Company 12 Year Canadian Rye and 6 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
The company sources its liquid from distilleries “large and small” across the US. Its main product is two core batched Bourbons.
“New England Barrel Company, at its foundation, is about building community through a shared interest in great whiskey. Our mission each day is to craft and distribute outstanding batched and single barrel releases that are affordable and offer them to the public at reasonable prices,” New England Barrel Co. founder James Saunders said.
Pronghorn was co-founded in 2021 by Dia Simms, Erin Harris and Dan Sanborn. The firm aims to generate US$2.4bn for Black-owned businesses by 2032 through capital investments and incubation. It plans to invest in 57 businesses over a ten-year period.
Over half of Pronghorn’s portfolio comprises Tequila and whiskey brands, with the most recent additions of Greenwood Whiskey, Red Hazel Whiskey, TCapri Tequila coming in March, as well as IslandJonVodka.
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“Pronghorn’s unwavering dedication to advancing the entrepreneurial and economic livelihood of Black founders in the space enables us to get closer to reaching our goal of investing in 57 Black-owned brands and producing $2.4bn for the community,” Pronghorn CEO Jomaree Pinkard said.
“In just one year, we’ve invested in 20 Black-owned spirits brands, changing these founders’ lives forever, all while steadily increasing the percentage of Black executives and employees in the overall spirits labour force. We will continue to work towards this mission until the industry reflects the consumers that it serves.”
Pinkard was appointed as CEO and managing director of Pronghorn in January, after the incubator invested in Hella Cocktail Co., which Pinkard himself co-founded.