The acquisition comes as American whiskey continues its renaissance, with total sales topping $4.3 billion in 2020, up 40 percent from 2015, according to figures from the Distilled Spirits Council. HM founder and head distiller, Herman Beckley will remain on the Dry County team as a distilling consultant. In addition to Beckley, the team consists of partners Clint Ecord and Ryan Hamar. Several employees from the previous HM operations team will stay on to aid in the preservation and modernization of the brand.
“American whiskey in general, and Texas whiskey in particular, is enjoying an unprecedented period of growth and popularity as more people discover the pleasure of drinking it over ice, straight or in a classic cocktail,” said Dry County Distilleries CFO Ryan Hamar. “The new Herman Marshall ownership team plans to build on the brand’s history as a pioneering Texas whiskey by maintaining the quality of its handcrafted spirits, updating the brand’s look and feel, and expanding consumer access. With decades of experience in business development, finance and sales management, the team is passionate about taking Herman Marshall to the next level.”
“I am proud of the legacy Herman Marshall created across Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and the role we have played in the renaissance of Texas whiskey,” said brand namesake Herman Beckley. “Today marks a bold new era for HM and I am thrilled to help the new ownership team take it to the next level and continue to produce award-winning whiskey.”
Currently available in restaurants and liquors stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, the Herman Marshall product portfolio includes its Single Malt, Texas Rye Whiskey and Texas Bourbon Whiskey, which won a coveted Silver Medal at the 2013 American Distilling Institute’s Annual Spirits Competition. While the HM mark and labels are being revamped to better fit the brand’s new image, Dry County Distilleries plans to retain HM’s existing small batch production process – sourcing the best grains possible, fermenting mash in open top cypress tanks, distilling in traditional copper pots, and aging spirits for at least four years in charred 53-gallon American white oak barrels.
Tim Legh-Page, owner of the premier restaurant and outdoor entertainment experience Backyard Murphy and future owner of Yard Dawgs, a beer garden opening in Murphy, Texas in Feb. 2022, said this acquisition is big news for the industry.
“Our restaurant clientele looks to us for help in discovering small batch distilleries that use honored techniques to create outstanding handcrafted spirits, and Herman Marshall bourbon and rye certainly fits that bill,” said Legh-Page. “The brand’s acquisition by Dry County Distilleries is a great day for Texas whiskey. We look forward to seeing the continued evolution of the brand and its products.”
Dry County Distilleries plans to relocate HM distillery operations from its current location in Garland, Texas, to Wylie, Texas, in 2022. The new location in Wylie will create a more robust HM experience for visitors by offering larger tastings, tours, events, tournaments and other activities on-site. To learn more about Herman Marshall, visit hermanmarshall.com.