Distill Ventures Invests in Five Drinks Startups


Distill Ventures, a London, UK – based independent drinks accelerator – has announced the latest brands to join its Pre-Accelerator program.

Starting in May, the startups joining the cohort will receive investment of up to $500,000 (£350,000) as well as nine to twelve months of bespoke acceleration and support.

As the brands work their way through the Pre-Accelerator, they will be supported by DV on all aspects of building their brand, from compelling storytelling to testing and learning to improve their product. Support will also include drawing on DV’s network to learn from and help to enhance their brand, and following graduation brands are then able to seek further funding from Diageo or other investment sources.

The five brands that make up the Spring Cohort are:

  • CASA J, a Mexican owned luxury tequila blanco, crafted to honour the artisanal independent spirits who bring the country’s culture forward. The company is founded by Sofia Paloma Juarez.
  • Lodestar, a pre-launch American Whiskey founded by cousins and entertainment industry veterans Anna Axster and Wendelin von Schroder.
  • Pimentae, a London-based, female-founded, premium tequila cocktail brand founded by Alice Parmiter and Wynter Karo. 
  • Tanica, a brand mixing native Australian botanicals with one-quarter the alcohol to replicate their favourite cocktails- The company is co-founded by Adriane McDermott and Kate Napier.
  • Idle Hands, flavoured tequila brand founded by Asher Flowers.

In its first year, DV invested almost $5 million (£4.1 million) in entrepreneurs from under-represented communities as part of the Pre-Accelerator and committed to investing the same amount in 2022. Since launching in 2021, DV has received over 400 applications for its Pre-Accelerator and has supported brands across the USA and Rest of World through the programme, including VERVET, Atōst, Vascano Tequila, and Kromanti.