MILWAUKEE – A new force is emerging from one of the alcohol industry’s most storied cities. Founded by the teams behind Milwaukee (MKE) Brewing Company and Sup! Organic Hard Seltzer, Drink Design Collective (DDC) is a new alcoholic beverage company focused on innovation across the alcoholic beverage space. MKE Brewing Company’s David Hock will be President and Chief Executive Officer of DDC and Sup! Organic’s Chase Brooks will serve as Founder and Chief Innovation Officer.
DDC Headquarters to Drive Innovation, Distribution
Drink Design Collective represents an evolution in the alcoholic beverage industry and in Milwaukee, which still earns its moniker “brew town.” A mainstay in the Wisconsin market for more than 22 years, MKE Brewing Company is a Wisconsin pioneer of the craft brewing industry. The brewery recently expanded its operations into a new, state-of-the-art facility in a former Pabst Brewing Company warehouse overlooking Milwaukee. The new facility was intentionally built to allow MKE Brewing Company to innovate outside of the craft beer space and will allow for over 150,000bbl of annual capacity.
Drink Design Collective is headquartered in this modern facility, allowing for in-house production of Sup! Organic Hard Seltzer, Tierra Buena Hard Seltzer, and MKE Brewing Company’s expansive line of craft beers.
“Rapid innovation is central to our vision, and this facility provides the perfect environment to quickly dial in future product lines,” said Chase Brooks, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Drink Design Collective. DDC is in the process of retaining distilling and winemaking licenses in addition to its current brewing license, enabling the firm to develop products across the alcoholic beverage industry.
DDC’s founding will be marked by several milestone product rollouts, made possible through the shared brewing space and distribution channels, including the 20-state expansion of Sup! Organic Hard Seltzer. Sup! emerged in 2019 via pilot markets in Boston, New York City and Austin. The brand has since secured massive chain-grocer support, which will result in a spring rollout across 20 additional states in the eastern and central regions of the country. The brand will be carried by Publix, Kroger, HEB Grocers, Whole Foods, Jewel Osco, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Hannaford and more.
DDC’s next brand launch, Tierra Buena Hard Seltzer, will hit pilot markets in spring 2020. Tierra Buena is the industry’s first-ever climate neutral certified product and will offset 100% of its environmental impact via reforestation projects in Latin America. The product boasts the inclusion of antioxidants in four Latin American-inspired flavors: Spiced Mango, Mixed Berry, Agave Lime and Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade. Tierra Buena will be piloted in Boston, New York City, Chicago and Wisconsin before a widespread rollout later this year.
DDC Team Leverages Decades of Experience
Hock – who brings 30 years of vast brewing and distribution experience, formerly as Vice President of Beechwood Sales and Service with Sheehan Family Companies and currently as President and CEO of Milwaukee Brewing Company – and Brooks have assembled a team with a great depth of traditional experience and a shared innovative mindset. DDC tapped Josh Allard, previously of Constellation Brands, as VP of Sales; Kevin Barefoot as VP of National Accounts; and Greg Deuhs, previously of Pabst, as VP of Operations.
“Chase and I share an exciting vision for the future of alcohol innovation at DDC,” says David Hock, President and Chief Executive Officer of Drink Design Collective. “We’re building a team that follows the path of strong beer distribution businesses and aim to lead the industry when it comes to bringing new brands to market.”
About Drink Design Collective (DDC)
Drink Design Collective (DDC) is an alcohol innovation company formed by Milwaukee Brewing Company and Sup! Organic’s agreement in principle to partner beginning in 2020. The company produces Milwaukee Brewing Company’s line of craft beers; Sup!, the first organic hard seltzer; and Tierra Buena Hard Seltzer, the industry’s first-ever climate neutral certified product. The company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, visit Drink.Design and follow DDC on Twitter and Instagram at @DrinkDesignCo.