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Jos. A. Magnus moves HQ to Holland, Mich.


Harry in WashDC

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Harry in WashDC

Perhaps a Mich. SBer can tell us (uh, me) what's in Holland, Mich., that attracted JAM.  Here's the body of the email I got yesterday announcing the move.  Like, did they get bought by somebody?  Coppercraft Distillery is located there, and I know bupkiss about it.

 

TIA.

 

Remarkable Move

 

The Jos. A. Magnus & Co. team will publicly announce later today that we are relocating our operations from Washington, D.C. to Holland, Michigan, effective October 31, 2020 --- but we wanted you to be the first to know. 

Our team has been humbled by your support since reviving this century-old spirit in DC in 2015, and we look forward to your continued support as another chapter begins in Holland.

 

Why move to Michigan?

Our Move to Michigan reconnects our brand to the legacy of our founder, Joseph A. Magnus, who owned a summer home in Oden, Michigan, where he was an active and philanthropic member of the community. It also allows us to deliver important efficiencies in scale and production capacity to support our continued growth across the nation.

You can learn more about Magnus’ ties to Michigan on our Move to Michigan timeline linked below:

Our Move to Michigan →
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Joseph Magnus insisted on nothing short of perfection with the spirits that bear his name. That has not -- and will never -- change. Remarkable spirits for remarkable people, always. No matter the location. 
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Copyright © 2020 Jos. A. Magnus & Co., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to our list on our website.

Our mailing address is:
Jos. A. Magnus & Co.
184 120th Ave
Holland, MI 49424
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WhiskeyBlender
6 hours ago, flahute said:

@WhiskeyBlender should be able to provide some context on this.

Rent and cost of living is pretty high in DC so it would not surprise if that is one of the factors.

@Harry in WashDC & @flahute, I'll get right back with you about the Magnus move to MI.  I'm busy with Halloween stuff at the moment, but I promise I'll explain it just as soon as I can get back on-line. 

 

Cheers,

Nancy

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WhiskeyBlender

@Harry in WashDC , @flahute, and anyone else who might be interested: 

 

(Long sigh......?) So, I've been preparing for how best to answer this question for the past two years now, and I'm still not sure how to adequately do it. I always like to say that I will speak freely and answer any question honestly and as thoroughly as possible when asked, as long as I'm not under an NDA to not reveal something. Well, this was one of those times when I had to keep silent until the announcement was revealed. I'm not saying I liked it, but I was legally bound to do so.

 

@Harry in WashDC, back in 2017, Magnus took on a new investor. This investor held a minority interest until around November 2018, when Magnus was in need of acquiring some more aged stock. This is when the new investor took on a majority interest in exchange for financing the aged stock acquisition. 

 

The decision to ultimately move operations out of D.C. was made some time around January 2018, if I recall correctly. @flahute is right, the high cost of everything in D.C. certainly had something to do with the decision to move. Perhaps more importantly, though, as the cask finished products such as JAM and Cigar Blend began to scale up, there was increasingly less room in the barrel room to keep new finishing casks. @flahute has seen this room before because we've done barrel tastings in there together, so I'm sure he knows what I'm talking about. In the past year especially, there has been very little room to maneuver in this space when working with the barrels. Keep in mind that unlike the Bourbon barrels, which are 200 liters/53 gls, the finishing casks are usually 300 to 400 liters each, so they really take up space. 

 

Of course, there was also the issue of the distillery site being in a not-so-safe location of D.C., on W. Virginia Ave. NE. As a petite middle aged woman, I never felt particularly safe when going to work there early in the morning, or when leaving late at night after a 10 to 14 hour work day and then being harassed by homeless or crazy people while waiting for an Uber to take me back to my hotel. I know it's not the kind of thing probably most of you Fellas have ever had to worry about, but at least on the safety front, I have to say that I'm personally relieved not to have to work in that location again. 

 

And so yes, Magnus operations will now be carried out at the Coppercraft Distillery. I had no say in the decision to move operations, but I will say this: I'm personally very glad that operations have moved there. I did some consulting for Coppercraft back in 2016, and have done a little bit every year since. I like the location, and I'm very happy with the space where the finishing casks will now go. And the production team that I'm working with now is 1st rate. I don't say this as from a "marketing hype" point of view to help sell the move to Michigan. Mine is purely from a personal, practical, and logistical point of view of having been with the company since 2014 and having worked in the D.C. space since 2015. It was a crappy location and the space was not that great for distilling nor for aging and finishing stock for a plethora of reasons of which I will not go into right now. 

 

That said- and please let me be clear that I'm not trying to do some sort of marketing hype here- it can be said that there is some historical connection that Magnus has to Michigan, unlike D.C., as Joseph Magnus himself ended up living in Oden, MI (which admittedly is 200 some miles away from Holland). And, Michigan is right next to Ohio, which is where the original Magnus distillery began.

 

Other than the location change, nothing else should change regarding quality, stock, etc. All the Magnus stock is entirely separate from the Coppercraft stock, so there is no intermingling in that regard. I don't know if there are plans to make a Magnus tasting room or cocktail lounge. I stick strictly to production, although I must say it would be cool if there are plans to do so.

 

I hope this helps to explain things. I believe at this point I'm free to discuss the move, so if anyone has any questions, I'm pretty sure I can answer them now. 

 

Cheers,

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by WhiskeyBlender
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As it is with many of your posts, and regardless of what you may think sometimes, what you post usually speaks volumes. Much thanks for what you bring to the table here Nancy. ?

 

Biba! Joe

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  • 4 weeks later...
Harry in WashDC

Thanks for the info, you all.  I always figured they'd be moving OR at least building an off-sight rick house plot.  Wash DC, unlike most urban areas, does NOT have and NEVER had a light industry commercial section and does not have large tracts of cheap, undeveloped land.   It had no stockyards like Chicago and KC and no assembly plants like Los Angeles County's cities of Bradbury, Commerce, Industry, or Vernon.  I know that persons in the WashDC government were absolutely ecstatic about their initial efforts inside the city.  For those not familiar with their location in Northeast WashDC, their location was off Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue NE in an old warehouse area with few amenities or consumer attractions.  Commuters might pass the area by every day, but there was no reason to stop - not even for gas.  JAM did start a mini-"gentrification" in the area, and there are some really good restaurants that opened up near there, many of which specialize in breakfast and lunch (and if you wonder why, go read Nancy's post above).

 

Got thinking about JAM today when I spotted a basic JAM on the upper shelf while looking for Christmas ornaments.

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