Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine announced today that beverage industry veteran John Cochran has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of the growing spirits brand. Known for leading remarkable growth of the Pabst Blue Ribbon brands, Cochran joins Ole Smoky after most recently serving as CEO of AquaHydrate.
Joe Baker, founder of Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, stated: “John brings a proven track record of success with Pabst Blue Ribbon, a brand whose target consumer demographic very much aligns with that of Ole Smoky. While we’ve achieved tremendous growth with our current team, leveraging our heritage and local traditions, we’ve now reached a point at which we need to accelerate that growth and guide Ole Smoky into new territory. John is a beverage industry veteran, and his impressive work with Fiji and PBR make him the perfect choice for Ole Smoky’s next chapter. ”
Prior to joining Ole Smoky, Cochran was CEO of AquaHydrate where he spent the past year building the brand for the joint venture between Mark Wahlberg and Sean Combs. Cochran built the Roll Global Fiji brand and developed the premium bottled water category, which he then applied to AquaHydrate, helping each brand achieve rapid success in a crowded category. Prior to his work with AquaHydrate, Cochran served as CEO of Pabst Brewing Company where he rebuilt and revitalized the company’s marquee brand, Pabst Blue Ribbon, transforming it into an iconic American brand.
“I am truly privileged to take on the role of CEO for Ole Smoky Moonshine,” said Cochran. “I absolutely love the product, and am energized by the emergence of moonshine as a more mainstream category. I have a personal affinity for craft distilling and believe that the authenticity of true American brands like Ole Smoky Moonshine connect with consumers in a powerful way. Ole Smoky is a true American success story, and the company has parlayed local traditions into a nationally-distributed brand that has created local jobs in East Tennessee and continues to support its Appalachian heritage. I’m look forward to introducing the Ole Smoky brand to new audiences and to growing the business, both nationally and internationally.”