William S. Anderson
Founder & CEO
Bill’s passion for beverages started at an early age. During his high school and college years, his summers were spent working in the warehouse and driving a delivery truck for his family’s beer distributorships. He soon learned to love the beverage industry for many reasons—its dynamic culture, its well-branded and innovative products, and most of all its entrepreneurial and committed people.
His love of the industry led him in 2005 to found First Beverage Group, a private equity firm focused solely on the beverage industry which advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands.
Prior to founding First Beverage, Bill was Executive Vice President of Topa Equities, Ltd., a diversified holding company and Top 15 beer distributor group based in Los Angeles. He is also the former President of Topa Properties, Ltd. Prior to joining Topa, he was an attorney with O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and a legislative assistant to US Senator George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).
Bill sits on the Boards of Directors of Topa Equities, Ltd., Acacia Research (Nasdaq: ACTG), Health-Ade Kombucha and GEM&BOLT Mezcal and on the Board of Advisors of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In March of 2018, First Beverage sold its investment banking arm to Cascadia Capital, a leading boutique investment bank based in Seattle, at which time Bill joined that company’s Board. He is a former Board member of the New Belgium Brewing Company. He is also the former Chairman of the Board of the Weingart Center, one of the nation’s largest facilities for the homeless and now sits on the Board of Experience Camps, a national nonprofit organization that provides free, one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.
Bill has long been an active angel investor in consumer brands, especially in the beverage business, including WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, WTRMLN WTR, and Blue Bottle Coffee.
He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Bill has two sons, Max and Spencer, and lives in Los Angeles. He is an avid traveler and his interests include golf, yoga, hiking, cycling and politics.