Jonathan Drew — founder of his eponymous Drew Estate cigar company, which was sold to Swisher International in 2014 — announced that he’s going into the booze business with a venture called John Drew Brands.
“My life’s journey has been hard, and sometimes painful,” said Jonathan in a press release. “Permanently moving to war-torn Nicaragua in 1998 without speaking a word of Spanish was emblematic of the risks I embraced to have access to the raw materials we required for our cigars. While I’m proud of the successful brands & culture we’ve birthed at DE, my greatest pride and joy was living inside the factory for 14 years, only steps away from the daily production, packaging, and leaf processing. On a daily basis, I was working on the factory floor before breakfast. The dedication and hard work from the DE team in the USA allowed me to remain laser focused on brand ideation from an organic perspective on the factory floor, not from a whack corporate office.”
The announcement included a statement from Michael Cellucci, president of Drew Estate, asserting that there are no plans for Jonathan to “disengage” from the cigar company.
John Drew Brands is getting its start with three products: Dove Tale Rum, John Drew Collection Rye Whiskey, and Brixton Mash Destroyer.
In addition, the company’s online branding suggests that it’ll be moving into other drinks, like coffee, hard tea, white whiskies, and vodka.