SOURCE: Eastside Distilling Inc.

Eastside Distilling Inc.

March 04, 2015 09:15 ET

Eastside Distilling Extends Employment Agreement of Master Distiller, Melissa Heim, to 2020

As First Female Master Distiller West of the Mississippi, Heim to Lead Eastside's New Whiskey & Women Marketing Campaign

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - Mar 4, 2015) - Eastside Distilling, Inc. (OTCQB: ESDI), a producer of award-winning master-crafted spirits, has extended to 2020 the employment agreement of its master distiller, Melissa Heim, as the company commences a new marketing campaign to expand its Northwest regional presence nationwide.

In addition to her role as master distiller, Heim will oversee an important component of Eastside's new marketing initiative, referred to as 'Whiskey & Women,' which will highlight the company's award-winning whiskey portfolio including Burnside Bourbon, Cherry Bomb Whiskey, Marionberry Whiskey and the much anticipated release of its new American Whiskey.

"While our roots go back to 2008, Eastside truly emerged as a leading regional craft distiller after Mel joined our team in 2012," said Eastside Distilling CEO, Steven Earles. "Her genius and intense dedication to the craft has been instrumental in building out the broad portfolio of uniquely-flavorful spirits we enjoy today, and which distinguishes Eastside as a leader in the craft industry."

31-year-old Heim is a Portland native, and is one of only a few female distillers in the American craft distilling industry. Before joining Eastside, she refined her spirit crafting skills under the tutorage of the master distiller at Rogue Distillery & Public House in Portland.

Heim holds the distinction of being the first female distiller west of the Mississippi as well as the country's youngest master distiller. She has also served as president of Clear Boots Society, which she co-founded as an organization that supports women's leadership in the spirits industry.

"It's a really exciting time to be at the forefront of the craft distilling movement and a great experience to be doing it with Eastside Distilling," said Heim. "I feel fortunate to be a part of the team as we begin this exciting new stage in our growth and development."

About her leadership role as a woman in the whiskey industry Heim added: "I look forward to leading our Whiskey & Women initiative, with women increasingly playing a larger role in the whiskey category as both consumers and crafters."

As recently reported by CBS News, women now account for more than 37% of whiskey drinkers in the U.S. Along with new marketing channels, product innovation, and a booming cocktail culture, women have helped fuel record growth in U.S. whiskey sales, which was up 14% last year to $4 billion.

Sales of flavored whiskeys increased 58 percent, while unflavored whiskey sales climbed 7 percent, revealing how flavors are enhancing the category. Flavored whiskey now represent 13% of all whiskey sales, up from 5% in 2012, and Nielson identifies women's preference for flavored whiskey as "a big opportunity" for the spirits industry.

"The data regarding whiskey consumption by women being published as of late is not news to industry insiders like myself," noted Heim. "Women are now being recognized as key drivers of the growth in the spirits category. What makes it phenomenal is the rate of speed in which people outside of the industry are taking notice."

As part of Eastside's Whiskey & Women marketing initiative, Heim will be involved in the creation and branding of new whiskey flavor profiles with women in mind. She will also serve as a key company spokesperson as the campaign goes into full swing in March.

About Eastside Distilling
Eastside Distilling, Inc. (OTCQB: ESDI) has been producing high-quality, master crafted spirits since 2008 and is located in Southeast Portland's Distillery Row. Makers of award winning spirits, the company is unique in the marketplace and is distinguished by its highly decorated product lineup that includes Burnside Bourbon, Below Deck Rums, Portland Potato Vodka and a distinctive line of infused whiskeys. All Eastside spirits are master crafted from natural ingredients for unparalleled quality and taste. The company is publicly traded under the symbol OTCQB: ESDI. For more information visit:

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