Big Thirst Expands Team with Industry Expert Andy Nelson

Andy Nelson

Austin, Texas-based Big Thirst has expanded its team by adding Andy Nelson to its consulting practice. Big Thirst consulting services help distilleries streamline business operations with improved processes. The company’s experienced consultants help develop products, introduce brands to the market, ensure positive and repetitive growth, maintain regulatory compliance and optimize profits.

Nelson brings a wealth of experience to the Big Thirst consulting team ranging from formulating a business plan and launching a distillery to scaling the business and successfully exiting. He is a founder and former head distiller for Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee. His passion for the industry was ignited in 2006, upon discovering his family’s legendary whiskey history dating back to the 1860s. Since that day, he worked tirelessly to resurrect the business, brands and distillery, which opened to the public in 2014. Nelson’s efforts along with his brother, Charlie Nelson, helped the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery to become one of the best-respected distilleries in the industry. Constellation Brands acquired a majority stake in the distillery in 2019. 

“We are excited to have Andy on the team to help our distillery clients realize their business goals,” says Big Thirst CEO, Matt McGinnis. “He has proven expertise in building an outstanding business, with a passion for the art and craft of distillation. The learning curve to start and operate a distillery can be steep. Andy is well suited to flatten that curve. He gives our clients the most accurate and realistic portrayal of the industry and how it works to help them achieve success.” 

The number of craft distilleries operating in the U.S. has grown from 1,748 in 2017 to 2,710 in 2023 according to the American Craft Spirits Association. With that growth comes increased competition and the pressure on distilleries to efficiently produce high-quality spirits. Big Thirst is well-equipped to help start-ups get established, young distilleries expand their distribution and market footprint and established distilleries to determine a valuation and find an exit. 

From recipe design to training and troubleshooting, our seasoned distillers provide expert guidance to help you produce the best spirits possible with hands-on support for production, distillation, and blending. The Big Thirst consulting team provides complete, integrated business services for distilleries including distilling operations, regulatory compliance, distribution management, pricing,  in-market sales enablement, and an efficient e-commerce platform to help clients grow to the next level, faster, with better margins. 

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