Gareth Bath, the former Curious Brewery and Brewdog managing director, has been appointed managing director of Distill Ventures.

In his new role Bath will be responsible for ensuring the company “maintains its reputation for being at the forefront of industry trends around the world” as it continues its search for “the smartest, most innovative drinks entrepreneurs globally”. He will also manage the day-to-day operations of Distill Venture’s London-based team.

Bath brings more than 10 years of senior drinks industry experience, having held managing director roles at Brewdog and more recently Chapel Down’s beer and cider division, Curious Drinks, where he helped coordinate the rebrand of the English winemaker’s beer business and construction of its 40,000 hectolitre brewery in Ashford, Kent.

Frank Lampen, chief executive and co-founder of Distill Ventures, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Gareth to the team. His experience overseeing major growth at both Brewdog and Chapel Down lends itself perfectly to what we do here at Distill Ventures. We’re confident he will deliver on our ambitious portfolio growth plans across both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories, while ensuring that we continue to be one of the most rewarding and exciting places to work in the drinks industry.”

Gareth Bath, European managing director at Distill Ventures, said: “Distill Ventures has quickly developed its reputation for successfully building some of the most innovative brands in the industry, so joining the company and working alongside the best talent in drinks is an incredibly exciting opportunity. I look forward to finding and supporting the best founders across Europe to rapidly scale their businesses.”

The appointment comes after Distill Ventures announced a partnership with Ritual Zero Proof in January 2020, further bolstering the company’s commitment to the growing non-alcoholic drink space.

Distill Ventures was founded in 2013 as an accelerator for new and growing drinks brands. The company’s aim is to support entrepreneurs to develop, scale and sell the drinks brands of the future. It is operated independent and backed by Diageo.

To date the company has invested more than £60 million in 15 brands including Stauning, one of Europe’s standout new whiskies from Denmark; Starward, a “distinctive” Australian whisky, exclusively matured in Australian wine barrels; Westward, a leading American single malt whiskey inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s craft beer traditions; Ritual Zero Proof, American-made non-alcoholic spirit alternatives; Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcohol distilled spirits brand, which exited into the Diageo portfolio in 2019; and Belsazar, a German aperitif integrated into the Diageo portfolio in 2018.