What have the Deep Eddy Vodka bigwigs been up to following the local vodka maker’s big-time acquisition by a Kentucky spirits brand last year?
Deep Eddy Vodka’s former CEO, Eric Dopkins, and co-founder, Chad Auler, launched a spirits brand of their own in February, Milestone Brands LLC, and they’ve already been hard at work purchasing a couple of notable booze companies — including another much-loved local alcohol producer, Dulce Vida Spirits.
The two beverage industry veterans scooped up the maker of Dulce Vida Tequila, a set of 100 proof organic tequilas, last month. But they can’t be accused of sitting on their laurels just yet: Milestone Brands also announced this morning that it’s acquired American Born Moonshine from Tennessee’s Windy Hill Spirits.
As with Dulce Vida, “the Windy Hill Spirits leadership team will continue to be an integral part of the brand and Milestone Brands LLC will retain all current field sales employees,” according to a press release. All employees with Dulce Vida Tequila are also staying on.
Milestone Brands’ two entrepreneurial founders seem to be choosing spirits that have been showing extensive growth and potential in recent years — particularly tequila. The Mexican-grown and -made liquor has shed its shots-at-a-college-party image of late.
“The tequila category is robust,” Auler, Milestone Brand’s president, said in a press release about the Dulce Vida acquisition. “Dulce Vida Tequilas has tremendous potential to break through, and we are excited to relaunch the brand and breathe new life into the existing line of tequilas.”
He and Dopkins, the company’s CEO, are more than capable of expanding both Dulce Vida and American Born Moonshine. When they were at the head of Deep Eddy Vodka, they led the local distillery from making “$6 million in sales in a handful of markets to more than $73 million across the country, in just three years,” according to the release.
American Born Moonshine makes flavored spirits as well, albeit in white whiskey form. Founded in 2013 to honor the legacy and “rebel spirit” of bootleggers, the moonshine comes in a traditional White Lightning recipe, as well as Apple Pie and Dixie (which is made with sweet tea).
The moonshine “is an amazing brand that represents the incredible history of American moonshine,” Dopkins said in the release today. “Pat Dillingham and Sean Koffel did a wonderful job bringing American Born to Life in an authentic way, with quality and detail, and we are thrilled to be adding a brand to our portfolio that I truly feel will be a leader in the category.”