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Distill Ventures, the business incubation unit with an exclusive arrangement with Diageo, is intensifying its efforts in the US with the appointment in the country of a former E&J Gallo Winery executive.

Distill Ventures operates as Diageos exclusive start-up identifier

Distill Ventures operates as Diageo's exclusive start-up identifier

Gregorio Santiago Braga is joining the company as brand search & accelerator executive, Distill Ventures said late yesterday. Based out of New York, Braga will be charged with discovering "the brightest, most innovative drinks entrepreneurs in the North American market".

As well as sourcing investment opportunities, Braga will also work with DV's existing portfolio of drinks companies to help scale their brands.

Prior to his most recent role as finance consultant to Mexico-based spirits company Buen Viaje Mezcal, Braga worked for E&J Gallo as a creative project manager. He also owns a non-alcoholic beverage brand of his own, Botanical Proof, which targets the on-premise channel.

"We are confident that Gregorio's combination of business strategy, finance consulting, and beverage product marketing experience will bring great value to our existing brands," said DV's North America founder & MD, Gonzalo De La Pezuela. "His role will be integral to fostering relationships with new companies as we continue to expand in North America and beyond."

Among the brands that Braga will liaise with is Oregon's Westward, the American single malt whiskey that received an unspecified investment from DV a year ago.

"There's been a big consumer shift in drinks" - just-drinks speaks to Distill Ventures CEO Frank Lampen


Sectors: HR – personnel, Spirits

Companies: Diageo

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