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Monday, April 3, 2023

Bourbon Brands... Who Owns What? A ColumbusBourbon Deep Dive Series

When I first got into bourbon, I was sold on the illusion that each brand is unique and has a bespoke history based on decades of tradition. As I learned more, it was apparent that there were a handful of global conglomerates that own the majority of the brands and bring in incredible sums of money and the names and stories are mostly marketing gimmicks. This was a huge disappointment. In fact, GQ published the below graphic in 2013 showing which companies owned which brand. If it were made today, there would be even more consolidation in the bourbon industry.

My goal with this series is to provide an updated view of the bourbon industry as well as provide some insight into how big these companies actually are. Over the next few weeks/months (probably months since I do this as a hobby), my goal is to do some write ups on the companies that control the industry as well as which brands they own and any pertinent information about the brands. 

For instance, did you know the company that owns Buffalo Trace also owns the Fireball brand and has estimated revenue in the billions of dollars? That's crazy. I will tell you right up front that I will probably get quite a bit wrong in my explanations … there’s a good chance that you will know more about this stuff than I do. But let’s give it a shot. Hopefully, we'll learn together... and if all goes perfectly... my goal is to produce an updated infographic like the one above!

Some of the companies I'll be profiling are:
  • Sazarac
  • Pernod Ricard
  • MGP
  • Beam Suntory
  • Brown-Forman
And many more. 

What would you like to see in this series? Drop a note in the comments below. 

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