Drinks guru Dave Steward has been appointed by the artisan Polish vodka brand to grow distribution in the UK’s off and on-trades, as well as a number of export markets. His role will include setting up a stand-alone sales, marketing and distribution company for Vestal’s portfolio of vintage and blended vodkas.
Steward has launched and managed a host of iconic premium drinks brands in the course of his career in the drinks industry, including Wyborowa, Maker’s Mark, Zubrowka and Sapporo. He has worked for Marblehead Brand Development and Pernod Ricard. Most recently he held the position of MD at Promixo Spirits UK where he oversaw the transition of Jose Cuervo from Diageo in the UK and Ireland as well as the creation of a sales, marketing and distribution business for brands such as Bushmills and Kraken Rum. Steward masterminded the launch and development of Kraken in the UK in 2010; the brand continues to experience 50% year-on-year growth.
Steward commented: “It’s great to be back in the Polish vodka game. Vestal’s got everything going for it, not least an exceptionally good liquid. It has all the potential we need to make it an even bigger success. We have a clear vision of just how to achieve that and I’m really looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones in the industry.”
Vestal Vodka was launched in 2009 by William Borrell and the company produces a range of artisan vodkas at a small family-owned distillery in Poland. The brand’s method of production hark back to a time when vodka was made in small batches in villages across Poland, and in this case only using early season potatoes.
The brand already has listings with a selection of premium drinks retailers across the UK, including Amathus, Borough Wines, Blue Otter Wines, Harvey Nichols, Ocado, Fortnum & Mason among others.
Borrell said: “Dave’s bringing a wealth of successful drinks marketing and sales experience to our table, combined with deep experience of Polish vodka as well as a unique ‘take’ on what is possible in an incredibly competitive market.”