Stranahans, Oh Stranahans…Let Down Your Hair

There’s something going on at Stranahans Whiskey, and they are keeping it to themselves.  Much like Goose Island, they are selling out.  Cashing in on the hard work and investment and the name they built for themselves by selling the place.  They are selling to Proximo Spirits, probably best known for their Soprano wiseguy endorsed 1800 Tequila, that much is certain.  This probably isn’t as bad as the Goose Island sale, just because there has never been the contentiousness in the whiskey and spirit world like there is in the Beer world.  There is far less of a history of big distilleries trying to crush the competition at all cost.  Just not in their DNA.

No, what’s funny here is that there has been utter silence from the distillery and from Proximo for almost 5 months now.  There doesn’t seem to be much movement, and nobody is talking.  I found out about this over on Chuck Cowdery’s blog in an article he wrote a couple weeks ago.

What’s stranger is there is now a shortage of the Whiskey.  Markets that were being faithfully served cannot get the whiskey currently.  Washington State, Chicago, Idaho, and other markets are being under served or not served at all.  So what’s going on?  All I know is that Chuck Cowdery is about as inside the Whiskey industry as one can get, and he smells a rat.  Chances are that if Chuck smells a rat, there is a rat around.

I don’t really know where all this goes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some major changes to Stranahans in the near future.

-Don

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11 Comments on “Stranahans, Oh Stranahans…Let Down Your Hair”

  1. June 1, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Well if I see a bottle around here, or on my trip to CO this month, I’ll have to pick up a bottle. I’m in need of a full whiskey/bourbon bottle actually.

    • Don
      June 1, 2011 at 10:23 am #

      This is a good one to get, Chad. I don’t think we are running out real fast here in Idaho though. Spendier whiskeys tend to have a long shelf life in this state.

  2. June 1, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    I’ve been holding off on getting a bottle for myself because it is ever-present here in Denver; think I’ll grab a bottle now just to have some pre-buyout stuff. Hopefully this won’t affect the Rackhouse Pub at Stranahan’s, they always have some of the best, rare brews on tap.

    • Don
      June 1, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Well Will, if you believe the press release, “nothing” will change. However it seems as if things have already changed and Stranahan’s for whatever reason isn’t putting out as much product as they used to. Strange happenings.

  3. June 1, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Let the hoarding commence! Yeesh, I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for them. At least there are still (pun intended) lots of artisan distilleries popping up all over Colorado.

    • Don
      June 1, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      I don’t think it is the end, but there is obviously something happening internally that they are being very tight lipped about. At this point they are only distributing in Colorado. A far cry from the 14 states they were in previously.

  4. June 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    From what I could gather from their tour guide during a visit, the distribution shrinkage is much akin to what happened in the beer world back in April; a lot of craft brewers got overzealous with their distribution, found they couldn’t keep up with demand in their more profitable markets, and pulled back the reigns to make sure they were serving their most demanding clientele, in Stranahan’s case, Colorado. They got all the angry and confused phonecalls & emails Avery probably got. So until Stranahans expands and increases production, it’s likely not making it past CO borders in the near future

    • Don
      June 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      Apparently they are running short in CO too. Their Facebook page is awash with people wondering where to get their whiskey, and several right in Denver!

  5. June 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    We took part in a craft whiskey roundtable discussion at WhiskyFest Chicago in April, and this was a hot topic. Will we see more consolidation? Companies like Proximo buying up small distilleries at will? With only a couple exceptions, the room was vehemently against “selling out.” Who knows what the future holds, but most of us will stubbornly hold onto what we’re currently building.

    None of this is meant as a slight to Stranahan’s. They’re good people, and they make wonderful whiskey. I wish them nothing but the best.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. More Bad News at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - September 8, 2011

    […] and I’m afraid we may be witnessing the evisceration of a micro distillery pioneer.  As I discussed before Stranahan’s had been acquired by Proximo Beverage, a huge multinational conglomerate that was […]

  2. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey: Great Whiskey Is Still The Priority | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - January 31, 2012

    […] distillery?  Were we headed down a bad path?  I put my fears out there in a couple of posts.  First I talked about their take over here.  Then I talked in much darker terms about the take over here, after […]

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