John Straits and Evan Batt have worked their entire careers in the adult beverage industry and in 2010 had a conversation in a bar that sparked an idea that later became Western Son Distillery. Traveling across dozens of states representing various brands, John and Evan realized what the Western World was looking for in Wine, Beer and Spirits. Drinkers were looking for locally crafted, well priced, high quality spirits that also supported a cause. That is when John and Evan began researching a way to provide all of these things to consumers. Beginning in Carrollton, TX and growing from 1000 sqft into over 5000 sqft in the first facility, Western Son Distillery was bursting at the seams. Just 40 miles north, Western Son Distillery found a new home in Pilot Point, TX in a locally famous 30,000 sq ft building. Formerly known as “The Old Panty Factory”, the behemoth concrete compound sat empty for 20+ years after Russell Newman operated in the space. Exclusively producing women’s undergarments, this building was a local landmark that at one time - employed many of the small town’s residents. A complete makeover transformed “The Old Panty Factory” into the new Western Son Distillery Headquarters. Every batch sent out from the new location is still tasted and tested to ensure quality and consistency. True from day one, Western Son Distillery still supports causes like The Unsung Hero Fund and a Wildlife Conservation Effort. “One thing I am most proud of is that when we succeed, so does our community.” - Evan Batt, Western Son Distillery Co-Founder
Previously, John was General Manager of the San Diego/Las Vegas management unit for MillerCoors. John joined MillerCoors in early 2010 as the Director of Sales Development and worked out of corporate in Chicago, IL. Prior to MillerCoors, John worked at Diageo-Guinness USA for 6 years in a variety of roles covering the Midwest and Southern United States. John’s last position at Diageo was Director of Chain Accounts for the Central/Southeastern United States. John started his career at E&J Gallo Winery, where he held a number of sales positions both inside distributors and with suppliers.
Evan’s recent experience as the Regional Manager for the South Central Division at Sobieski Vodka. Contributing to the fastest brand to reach 1MM cases in the US at the time. Preceding Sobieski, Evan was a Multi-State Manager for Russian Standard Vodka, the #1 selling premium vodka in Russia. Prior to Russian Standard Vodka, Evan worked at Glazer’s Wholesale Distributing Company for 6 years in the E&J Gallo Management Development Training Program and held several different positions in Dallas and Houston.