Portland-made gin Aviation has a new player on its ownership team this morning, as actor Ryan Reynolds (known for Deadpool, Green Lantern, and many more) has bought a major stake in the distiller.
Forbes reported the news, noting that Reynolds will join Aviation Gin’s board and become a creative director for the juniper berry-based liquor. His representatives would not give details on how much of the company the Canadian actor purchased or what he paid for it, but did declare him to be a “significant owner”.
It seems Reynolds made the investment out of love, telling Forbes “I did this for one simple reason: It’s the best damn gin on the planet.”
That means Aviation joins other celebrity-affiliated hard liquors like Ciroc vodka (which worked with Sean “Diddy” Combs) and Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel’s SkinnyGirl line, although given its craftier background, Aviation is perhaps in a different league in terms of reputation.
To be clear, Reynolds is not the sole owner, and Aviation’s ownership requires a bit of untangling — it’s not strictly a “Portland gin” anymore, given that New York wine and spirits company Davos Brands purchased it in 2016. Before that, it belonged to Portland distiller House Spirits, although that company is still contracted out to make the gin. Prior to that purchase, Davos Brands was doing marketing for House Spirits with a focus on Aviation Gin.
Aviation Gin has been steadily growing its production over the years — in 2016, Willamette Week put the number of cases being produced per year at 20,000. Forbes has slightly lower numbers for 2016, but wrote that Aviation increased its production 20 percent from 2016 to 2017.