Founders Brewing members invest in Long Drink

Courtesy The Finnish Long Drink

An investment from entrepreneurs linked to Founders Brewing Company will help a New York-based beverage company expand its distribution footprint in West Michigan.

New York-based The Finnish Long Drink, a brand built on the heritage of the Finnish alcohol category of long drinks, or citrus soda with real liquor, said Wednesday, Nov. 17, it expanded distribution into West Michigan backed by members of Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Company: co-founder Mike Stevens, former executive chair John Green and COO Brad Stevenson.

The roots of long drinks go back to the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, when the country of 4 million people was recovering from World War II. Concerned about how to serve drinks quickly enough to all the visitors at the games, the government commissioned the creation of a new liquor drink designed to be delicious and fast to serve.

The Finnish Long Drink’s distribution into West Michigan is made possible by an agreement with Alliance Beverage Distributing.

The expansion announcement comes on the heels of The Finnish Long Drink’s debut across California, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Illinois earlier this year.

The brand also closed its $25 million capital raise backed by a roster of investors, including celebrities (Miles Teller, DJ Kygo), athletes (Rickie Fowler, Ken Block and Michigan-raised Reilly Opelka) and Stevens, Green and Stevenson.

“We have partnered with Alliance Beverage Distributing because of their extensive expertise across western Michigan and are happy to have Mike, John and Brad of Founders Brewing fame as advisers and investors in this expansion,” said Evan Burns, CEO and co-founder of The Finnish Long Drink. “We are so excited to bring Long Drink to our fans and new fans in their favorite bars, restaurants and retailers across western Michigan.”

Founders declined to comment on the investment.

Long Drink’s offerings include Traditional (5.5% ABV), Zero (5% ABV, no carbs or sugar), Cranberry (5.5% ABV) and Strong (8.5% ABV).

Long Drink is sold across the U.S. and can be found at Grand Rapids establishments including Iron WellTin Can BarBrick & Porter and Brickyard Tavern.

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