Last year, Drew Estate made a move into the world of pipe tobacco with the announcement of the Drew Estate Classics line. Drew Estate is now extending their footprint in this segment of the tobacco industry by entering into an agreement to distribute Tsuge Pipes. The details of the press release are below:
Drew Estate and Tsuge Pipe Company Ltd. have announced a new strategic alliance between the two companies with news that Drew Estate will become the exclusive distributor of Tsuge in the United States and Canada. Drew Estate will begin selling the Tsuge line at the 2014 IPCPR show in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2014. Drew Estate entered the pipe market by releasing a line of custom pipe tobacco blends at the 2013 IPCPR tradeshow, and this new announcement stands to cement their involvement in the premium pipe and pipe tobacco market.
Started in 1936 by Kyoichiro Tsuge, Tsuge Pipe Company and the Tsuge family have a rich history of craftsmanship. Prior to making pipes, the Tsuge family were Samurai swordsmiths for hundreds of years. Kyoichiro Tsuge started making pipes around the turn of the century and, as a company, Tsuge has mastered the art of pipe making. Tsuge draws from the traditions of Italian and Danish pipe makers, having trained with world-renowned pipe maker Sixten Ivarrson, and has added unique touches of Japanese artisanship along the way.
Tsuge is best known for their renowned “Ikebana” line of handcrafted briar pipes. The “Ikebana” collection features Tsuge’s highest quality work, retailing for up to multiple thousands of dollars. Tsuge is also known for their machine-made line of briar pipes, which features unique shapes and metals. This portion of Tsuge’s pipe collection is a more affordable option compared to the “Ikebana” line.
When reached for comment, Drew Estate president Michael Cellucci stated, “I have been a fan of Tsuge’s incredible pipes for many years. We approached Tsuge about distributing their pipes in the United States and Canada, and they were receptive of the idea. Drew Estate’s efforts in the pipe tobacco market have proved to be successful, and we hope to channel this success into representing the Tsuge brand in the United States and Canada.”
Jonathan Drew, co-founder of Drew Estate, commented from his Miami office: “One of the most honored moments of my life was when Sab Tsuge, president of Tsuge, came to our third meeting in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan dressed in a formal black kimono and accepted our proposed deal to grow the Tsuge brand in North America together.