By Kathy Stephenson

Utah’s High West Distillery, which became the state’s first modern-day spirit maker eight years ago, is being bought for $160 million by one of the largest alcohol beverage companies in the country.

The acquisition by Constellation Brands, announced Wednesday, is expected to close by the end of October and includes High West’s distilling operations in Salt Lake City, Park City and Wanship, as well as its portfolio of high-end American whiskeys, including American Prairie Bourbon, Double Rye!, Rendezvous Rye and Campfire.

All of High West’s 200 employees will be retained as part of the sale, John Esposito, High West’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview from New York, where Constellation is headquartered.

Founder David Perkins will serve as a brand ambassador and will continue to work with head distiller Brendan Coyle on new products.

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Originally published on href=”http://www.sltrib.com/” target=”_blank”>The Salt Lake Tribune.