Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has come a long way since the winter of 2014. Doesn’t it seem as if the distillery has been here far longer than six years?

Copper & Kings brandy distillery to open in Butchertown this spring

Monday’s news about the acquisition of Copper & Kings (1121 E Washington St. in Butchertown) by “big spirits industry player” Constellation Brands did not come as a surprise. Constellation took a minority stake in Copper & Kings two and a half years ago, enough time to preclude any thoughts of a whirlwind romance.

“We are going to need additional gas in the tank to keep up with the growth we are now encountering as a brand, and for the brandy category in general,” Copper & Kings founder and CEO Joe Heron explained in 2018.

“Brown spirits have a very long-term planning horizon; 10 years or more out. Constellation’s investment will help us move forward with appropriate capital. We are also incredibly excited to be part of a family of brands that includes High West, Casa Noble, Robert Mondavi, Meiomi, The Prisoner, Kung Fu Girl, Kim Crawford, Corona, Modelo, Ballast Point – well I could go on and on… We feel immense pride to be even mentioned within that pantheon.”

At Louisville Business First, Sarah Shadburne charts the consummation of this relationship in 2020.

Heron said the beverage alcohol company sees tremendous value in the distillery not just for production, but for the consumer experience embodied in the distillery – between the tours offered and its proximity to Lynn Family Stadium – hospitality will become a key part of the brand over time.

Shadburne closes with Heron’s parting thoughts, sure to resonate with anyone who ever became involved with a “craft” beverage startup:

“If you’re looking to start a good business, start a business where you can own the space in some way – and define it, defend it – and someone may buy it because you’re the opportunity in the space. We created a lot of opportunity for American Brandy. We never did the same kind of products as everybody else. We always created products that were intrinsically different. There’s always that good personality behind it.”