Distillery 291, Pennington Distilling Announce New Hires


February 17, 2021

Distillery 291 announced the hiring of a new vice president of wholesale sales and marketing; meanwhile, Pennington Distilling Company also announced three new hires.

Hannah Thomas joins the Colorado Springs-based 291 bringing industry experience with Breakthru Beverage, where she represented the Diageo and Moet Hennessy portfolios, as well extensive experience in the restaurant industry, managing alongside James Beard Award-winning chefs.

“We’re honored to have Hannah on our growing team,” said Michael Myers, 291’s founding distiller and CEO. “She came to us as a friend while seeking industry advice towards the end of 2020. We realized she was the missing piece and we believe she will help propel both our brand and Colorado whiskey as a category. We’re firing on all cylinders now.”

Added Thomas, “Distillery 291’s motto, Hardmade the Colorado Way, truly resonates with me. It represents my journey as a woman in whiskey and what I had to do to get here. I am thrilled about the opportunity that we have at 291, as we expand into new channels and new markets — in the U.S. and internationally.”

Nashville-based Pennington, meanwhile, announced two hires in its distillery operation and one on its sales team.

Sarah Smith joined Pennington as sales manager, overseeing the on- and off-premise sales team as well as assist in the management of the company’s distributors in 17 states. Smith previously worked in distributing at Best Brands for 12 years.

Garry Rauschjoined the distillery as plant manager, handling all aspects of operations including the distillery, production, facilities, maintenance, quality control and more.  Previously, he was operations manager for Blefa Kegs Inc.  

Rounding out the hires by Pennington, Sean Jewett was named head distiller. With more than 10 years and several awards in the alcohol beverage industry, he will focus on product development and production innovation.