DC’s Green Hat Gin maker acquired by national spirits supplier

New Columbia Distillers’ flagship product is Green Hat Gin. (Courtesy New Columbia Distillers)

New Columbia Distillers, the first distiller to open in the District since Prohibition, has been acquired by MGP Ingredients, an Atchison, Kansas-based company that produces ingredients used by distillers and is the largest producer of distilled gin in the U.S.

New Columbia Distillers’ flagship product is Green Hat Gin. The company opened its distillery and tasting room in Northeast D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood in 2011.

The distillery and its retail operations, at 1832 Fenwick St. Northeast, will continue to operate with the current management team, and its Green Hat Gin styles will be phased into an expanded distribution as part of MGP’s brands.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

“We are honored to be a part of the MGP team and help them realize the full potential of Green Hat Gin. MGP shares our vision to celebrate authentic, quality-made spirits with the resources to support our existing customers while also expanding our reach to new markets,” said New Columbia Heights co-founder Michael Lowe.

Lowe will serve as an MGP adviser. Co-founder John Uselton will serve as regional sales director for MGP.

New Columbia’s Green Hat Gin is a nod to George Cassiday, a D.C. bootlegger who was known for his green fedora and who operated an illicit Prohibition-era distribution center to Capitol Hill lawmakers and their staffs.

MGP, with $370 million in annual revenue, is a leading supplier of distilled spirits and also sells ingredients used in the distilling industry, such as wheat starches and proteins. Its private label spirits are produced at a facility in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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