NOLA Brewing President Kirk Coco announced he is starting a new boozy business venture: New Orleans Libations and Alcohol (NOLA) Distilling Company. Along with COO Andy Kutcher and Head Distiller David Bock, formerly of Celebration Distillation (www.oldneworleansrum.com), which produces Old New Orleans Rum. Coco plans to distill and distribute vodka, gin and white whiskey. He expects to start selling spirits in October.
Coco will continue at NOLA Brewing as CEO and take on the leadership role at NOLA Distilling.
Coco says the success of NOLA Brewing and the support of the New Orleans community encouraged him to expand in this direction. After six years in business, Coco says, "We're already past my 10-year goals. The fact that I'm looking at a distillery? That's like a 20-year goal. We're already rolling into the 20-year projection plan we had when we started the company."
Bock says the team is still developing recipes for the three flagship products. "We don't want to release something that isn't the absolute best."
NOLA Brewing is in the early stages of acquiring a license to brew mead, a kind of beer-wine hybrid that uses honey, and Coco says it may turn into a more significant wine-making endeavor in the future.
"We're not going to grow grapes here; we won't be a vineyard," he says. "But the beauty of a winery is, I can import grapes and still create some wonderful wine here."