MUNICH 10 October 2021 ecoSPIRITS announced today that it has signed a Licensed Operator Agreement for Germany with InnovativeDrinks, a new spirits import and distribution company founded by spirits industry executive Hans-Knud Reiss. Starting in December 2021, ecoSPIRITS Germany will be the fourth European market to offer closed loop spirits service, following launches in the United Kingdom, France and Norway.

As the Europe’s largest economy, and home to a population of more than 83 million, Germany was a natural choice for ecoSPIRITS continued expansion in the region. An economic engine for the European Union, Germany has also cemented its status as a global leader on the environment over the past three decades. On topics ranging from fossil fuels taxation to the promotion of green infrastructure and sustainable transportation, the German government has regularly set global benchmarks in its policies and actions. ecoSPIRITS Germany’s launch of closed loop spirits packaging technology is in line with the country’s broad commitment to circular economy principles.

The Black Forest, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Bar Convent Berlin, one of the world's premier bar shows

Street scene in Munich

Hans-Knud Reiss, Founder, InnovativeDrinks

Founded in early 2021, InnovativeDrinks is led by Reiss, who was the German on-trade sales director for a global spirits major for more than 10 years. After a period in the United States, and inspired by the boom in craft spirits there, Reiss returned to Germany in 2020 with a vision of developing a premium craft spirits distributor focused on upscale gastronomy. The ecoSPIRITS technology will be a cornerstone of InnovativeDrinks’ drive to make independent spirits more widely available and more affordable in the German market.

“We are all experiencing the consequences of climate change.
It is time to question how we do things – and what we can do differently to reduce our CO2 footprint. In their undisputed role as trendsetters and opinion leaders, bartenders and F&B-operators have a special responsibility as a sustainable role model. We at InnovativeDrinks are pleased to be able to offer the HoReCa industry a solution with ecoSPIRITS that almost eliminates the CO2 footprint and packaging waste at the bar. And that without taking anything from the bar experience away from the guest. A perfect drink – without a guilty conscience. What more do you want?”

The launch of ecoSPIRITS Germany will see ecoPLANT No. 022 sited in Karlsruhe, a city in southwestern Germany. To start, spirits in ecoTOTE™ format will be available through select wholesalers and distributors in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hessia, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria with nationwide distribution rolling out over the course of 2022. 

ecoPLANT No. 022 will be located in Karlsruhe, Germany

The ecoPLANT 2.0 is ecoSPIRITS' latest generation technology

The launch of ecoSPIRITS Germany will see new brand partners join the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program. The first locally-produced white spirits available in ecoSPIRITS’ closed loop technology will be Sash & Fritz Vodka, an award-winning German vodka produced from 100% German wheat and spring water from the Ore Mountains, and Wild Child Berlin Dry Gin, a craft German gin made from handpicked juniper berries, Calabrian citrus, bergamot and other botanicals. Stork Club Rye Whiskey, a 100% German rye whisky with a loyal following in the craft bartending community, will become the first rye whiskey in the world to join the ecoSPIRITS network. Sash & Fritz Vodka, Wild Child Berlin Dry Gin and Stork Club Rye Whiskey will remain available through their existing channel partners, but now in the low carbon, low waste ecoTOTE™ format.

Peter Steger, CEO, Sash & Fritz GmbH

With our two brands, Sash & Fritz German Vodka and Wild Child Berlin Dry Gin, we have always been eager to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. The well-thought through ecoSPIRITS system is a great opportunity with many positive factors, which we have been aiming at for a long time. For one we can offer our products with more sustainability, secondly this means we can reduce our waste, energy and production costs, subsequently the pricing of our products are more competitive and thirdly not only does this underline our commitment, it raises awareness for our planet and is in line with our growing environmentally conscious customer base.

Co-founders Bastian Heuser & Steffen Lohr, Stork Club Rye Whiskey

We at Stork Club are very excited to be the world’s first rye whiskey available in the ecoTOTE format! Our distillery is located in the middle of a nature reserve and our partnership with ecoSPIRITS is the first step in our process of becoming carbon-neutral over the coming years. We love the concept of ecoSPIRITS and believe it can have a huge impact on the hospitality industry reducing waste and the CO2 footprint of spirits.

Dan Walker, CEO, True Believers

At the same time as the launch of ecoSPIRITS Germany, InnovativeDrinks will take on exclusive distribution of the True Believers portfolio of affordable craft pouring spirits, including Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, Widges Gin, Mackintosh Blended Malt Whisky, and Arquitecto Tequila and 100% Agave Spirit.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, it has become clear that the European region will lead our market expansion for the True Believers portfolio in 2022. With Germany being Europe’s largest spirits market we could not be more excited to be partnering with an experienced industry veteran like Hans-Knud Reiss and his new distribution company Innovative Drinks to pioneer bringing sustainable craft pouring spirits to the market via the ecoSPIRITS distribution technology.

With a commitment to the environment deeply rooted in German culture, news of ecoSPIRITS Germany has been warmly welcomed by the on-trade community. A number of leading venue partners will join the ecoSPIRITS network as soon as closed loop service is available, including the multi award-winning Spirits Bar in Cologne and longstanding Munich cocktail institution, Zephyr.

Dominique Simon, Owner, Spirits Bar, Cologne

Spirits Bar, Cologne

Finally a sensible solution that addresses our bottle problem. No guest sees two-thirds of the bottles of our pouring products, as we process them directly in the kitchen. We have been looking for larger containers for these products for a long time andwith ecoSPIRITS, we have the perfect solution, sustainable and practical!

Lukas Motejzik, Owner, Zephyr Bar, Munich

Zephyr Bar, Munich

Even when running a small bar like Zephyr, you can see the necessity for a sustainable way of selling spirits. The daily walk to the glass disposal bin with a box full of empty bottles is the perfect reminder. Most of the nice shiny bottles don’t make it into the backbar, they are turned into infusions or premixes anyway. For me, ecoSPIRITS provides a practical solution for any hospitality business. We’re very happy to see their launch in Germany.

ecoSPIRITS closed loop service will be available in Germany from December 2021. Bars, restaurants, hotels, distributors and brands that are interested in joining the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program in Germany can get in touch via email at [email protected] or [email protected]

About InnovativeDrinks

Established in 2021, InnovativeDrinks is certainly still one of the newcomers on the German market. The founder himself is no stranger to the industry: Hans-Knud Reiss is certainly one of the old hands. The trained hotel specialist headed sales in HoReca & wholesale for a well-known international spirits company for over a decade as Sales Director On trade. After a four-year stay in the USA and inspired by the positive developments in the craft spirits market, he decided to found InnovativeDrinks GmbH, a sales company for premium spirits for upscale restaurants and specialist retailers. The company is based in Karlsruhe, Germany.

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About Sash & Fritz GmbH

Inspired by the royal friendship between Csar Alexander I of Russia (Sash) and King Friedrich III of Prussia (Fritz), Peter Steger founded Sash & Fritz GmbH in 2014 in Berlin. Now seven years later, it is a well-established company with two brands and distribution channels around the globe. Sash & Fritz is German vodka combining Russian tradition with German precision and perfection. Only the best, carefully selected ingredients are processed into top-quality vodka in a carefully thought out manufacturing process. The careful quintuple distillation and gentle quintuple filtration thus guarantee the pure, unique flavour of Sash & Fritz. The result is a multiple worldwide gold award-winning premium vodka. In 2018, Steger created his own gin, Wild Child Berlin Dry Gin. Also having won many gold medals in various international competitions, Wild Child is all about a great gin, with a homage to ‘freedom of mind and spirit’ and with that to the city of Berlin.

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About Stork Club Rye Whiskey

Germanys first rye whiskey distillery was founded in 2016 by Steffen Lohr, Sebastian Brack and Bastian Heuser. The Stork Club distillery is located merely 60km south of Berlin in the middle of a nature reserve. Locally grown German rye, pure water from the nature reserve and the thrive to experiment with Europe’s pristine grain are the ingredients for one of Europes most awarded rye whiskeys. 

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About True Believers

True Believers was conceived as an innovation unit within the Proof & Company group. Its aim is to offer a range of craft spirits that bridges the gap between economical pouring brands, which often fall short in meeting modern consumer preferences for craft credibility, and super premium craft spirits, which are generally priced out of reach for house pouring programs. To date, True Believers has released four spirits brands, including Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, Widges London Dry Gin, Arquitecto Blanco Tequila, and Mackintosh Blended Malt Whisky. True Believers brands were developed individually to serve as a versatile archetype of its categoryproduced with authentic craft values by highly-regarded distillers. The range is price-positioned to be accessible to pouring programs for better bars and available in the ecoSPIRITS low-carbon, low-waste spirits distribution system.

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