US-based spirits producer Heritage Distilling Company has announced the acquisition of local peer, Thinking Tree Spirits.

The deal will see Heritage take 100% of Oregon-based Thinking Tree Spirits’ assets and brands.

The transaction, for an undisclosed sum, was expected to close last Friday (16 February).

Heritage Distilling Co. and Thinking Tree have two production facilities for spirits between them, one in Tumwater, Washington, and the other in Eugene, Oregon.

Thinking Tree’s production will move into, and be combined with, Heritage’s production at its manufacturing site in Eugene.

The “combined entity” will also have five retail tasting rooms. As part of the move, Heritage intends to move its tasting room activities, samplings, drinks service and its “Cask Club program” to the existing Thinking Tree building “three blocks away” from the company’s original facility.

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“This will create a much larger combined and co-branded retail tasting room and event experience center,” it explained. 

Both the facility move and tasting room expansion are expected to be completed by 25 May – Memorial Day weekend in the US. 

The company added “several” Thinking Tree employees would be moved under the Heritage parent company as part of the transition. Just Drinks has contacted Heritage to ask if the move will lead to any redundancies.

Both companies sell via direct-to-consumer (D2C) shipping and have “growing wholesale distribution across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.

Emily Jensen, co-founder of Thinking Tree, said: “Together with my co-founders, Bryan Jensen and Kaylon McAlister, we built Thinking Tree Spirits from the ground up starting in 2014 […]”.

“While that journey has been rewarding, it became apparent to us and our shareholders that if we wanted Thinking Tree to grow to its ultimate potential, we needed to add authentic craft scale in a way that has not yet been done in the craft spirits space.”

She added: “The exploding craft distilling movement has never been in a more exciting moment, and we know Heritage Distilling is the best partner to help enable our continued growth.”

Heritage Distilling Company’s CEO Justin Stiefel said the Thinking Tree team had approached the drinks business to “discuss” the transaction last year (2023).

He said Thinking Tree customers could expect the company to “continue” producing the original “experience” […] “while [Heritage works] to grow it.”

Heritage Distilling Company, a subsidiary of Heritage Distilling Holding Company was founded in 2011 by Justin and Jennifer Stiefel.

The drinks maker’s portfolio includes whiskeys, vodkas, gins and rums. It owns brands such as Stiefel’s, Floresence and Cocoa Bomb.

Thinking Tree sells whiskey, gin, rum and vodka under the brand names of Thinking Tree and Pomona. It also produces ready-to-drink cocktails.