Brian Rosen: Founder & Managing Partner At InvestBev

Brian Rosen: Founder & Managing Partner At InvestBev

We recently sat down with Brian Rosen of InvestBev, an investment firm dedicated to the adult beverage industry that partners with companies who are primed for expansion and industry disruption to help them grow.

RTD: Brian, thank you for joining us today. We know that you and your firm are becoming a big behind-the-scenes part of the ready-to-drink beverage market, but please tell our readers more about you and InvestBev/Growth Beverage.

BR: InvestBev is the largest private equity firm dedicated to the adult beverage industry. We have over $185M in assets under management and invest exclusively in barrels and raw distillate, alcoholic beverage brands, and technology that powers the adult beverage industry.

Our Growth Beverage platform is the only ecosystem in the beverage industry that provides support for independent brands at every stage of their lifecycle, from start to store to scale.

• Incubation and accelerator: Sprout Beverage
• Boots on the ground sales: BevStrat
• Equity financing: InvestBev
• Debt financing: Algoma Capital

Sprout Beverage Pitch Day
RTD: Wow! We knew that you were heavily involved in the industry, but that is an impressive suite of industry-related services that you offer. If an RTD cocktail brand wanted to work with you and your firm, what could they expect from your group that's different from other firms they may encounter?

BR: We serve the industry because we’re from the industry. I’m the third generation of my family to be in the adult beverage industry and my grandfather, who started Sam’s Wine and Spirits in Chicago, received one of the first liquor licenses after Prohibition ended.

We are solely focused on the adult beverage industry, and our team’s experience is deep. We have a collective 100+ years of industry experience and our connections become our brands’ network.

Also, we are the only company that supports brands at any stage of their growth — whether they need incubation, investment, sales support, or debt capital.

RTD: So, with such deep ties to other, more traditional areas of the adult beverage industry, what moved you to start investing in the ready-to-drink cocktail segment?

BR: Ready-to-drink beverages solve so many needs that drinkers are seeking with more and more frequency. First and foremost, they allow consumers to enjoy on-premise quality cocktails at home. RTDs also offer convenience and portability, enabling the consumer to bring their favorites drinks to virtually any event and come together with friends anywhere they like. And, ultimately, that’s what this industry does – it brings people together.

RTD: Providing capital to brands in the RTD space seems pretty straight-forward given those comments, but did you run in to any challenges investing in this fast-growing segment of the market?

BR: Absolutely, yes. Finding the best operators combined with the best juice combined with the best team. There are so many new brands in the space, it really takes patience to cut through all of the noise and find the ones that are best positioned to take the next steps with our help.

RTD: So the best of the best of the best is who and what you're looking for. That definitely sounds challenging, but a solid strategy to be sure. Speaking of bests, what are some of the best things you and your team have accomplished in the industry?

BR: We’ve become the largest bev-alc private equity firm in the country. We’ve been able to support innovative brands that are introducing new products, up-leveling existing categories and bringing forward new technology that makes it easier for brands to reach consumers.

Brian Rosen and the InvestBev Team

RTD: And in relation to innovation in the space and consumers more broadly, what trends have you seen with the ready-to-drink industry as a whole?

BR: The trends we’re seeing involve on-premise coming home. For example, espresso martinis, margaritas and better-for-you cocktails aren’t just reserved for a special night out. They can be enjoyed at home or on the go, anytime and anywhere.

RTD: Given that consumers are enjoying on-premise, bar-crafted types of cocktails at home with more regularity, what do you feel the future holds for the RTD industry in that regard?

BR: The future is bright. As dining out and on-premise alcohol consumption continues to become more expensive, there will be a continued movement toward pre-made cocktails that consumers can keep and enjoy at home.

RTD: 100% agree with you on that point. The freedom and flexibility that RTD cocktails provides to drinkers is definitely shaping consumer habits. One last question for you today, Brian. You've told us some of your insights and what you see as the future for the industry, but what does the future look like for you and InvestBev?

BR: I was born into this industry, and I’ve stayed in it because of the people and the products. Nearly every major moment in life - whether it’s a celebration or a loss, includes alcoholic beverages. Drinks bring people together and build connections. And InvestBev is raising our fifth fund so that we can continue to support and fuel the growth of this incredible industry.

RTD: It is an incredible industry, indeed, you're right about that. And the people and products certainly do their part to make it that way and keep it that way. Brian, it's been our pleasure to learn more about you and your business. Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us for this interview and continued success to you and your team.

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