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US: First Beverage Group appoints ex-Brown Forman exec as chairman


First Beverage Group, a private equity and financial advisory firm, has appointed a former Brown-Forman COO as the chairman of its board.

James Bareuther will take on the role, having been on First Beverage’s board of directors since 2012. Bareuther previously spent seven years as Brown-Forman’s COO, before retiring from the group in 2010.

Prior to that he worked in sales and marketing for the Seagram Classics Wine Company in New York and California. He also spent three terms as chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

“Since joining our board, Jim has brought invaluable wisdom and insight to our team, along with a tremendous amount of industry experience,” said William Anderson, First Beverage’s CEO.

“We are delighted that he has accepted a leadership position with our team, and we look forward to his leadership and guidance in all aspects of our company’s successes in the years ahead.”

Los Angeles-headquartered First Beverage invests in and advises emerging beverage companies in the US. Among the companies it has worked with is Boulevard Brewing Company, which last year agreed a deal to be aquired by Belgium brewer Duvel Moortgat.