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Anheuser-Busch to Distribute Vermont Spirits High-End Vodkas in the Northeast


Handcrafted, Super-Premium Vodkas Distilled from Maple Sap To Reach More New England Consumers.

ST. LOUIS– Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Vermont Spirits today jointly announced Anheuser-Busch will become the master U.S. distributor for the Vermont Gold, Vermont Gold Vintage and Vermont White super-premium vodkas, which are regional brands available in the Northeastern United States.

Vermont Spirits are sold in Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other select markets. Beginning in June 2007, select Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in New England will begin distributing the brands, initially focusing on licensed states. Vermont Spirits will continue to oversee marketing for the vodkas. The deal allows for potential limited equity holding in the future.

Vermont Gold is a super-premium, unflavored vodka handmade in small batches from pure maple sugar. Vermont White is inspired by traditional Tuvan milk vodka, triple distilled from pure milk sugar and Vermont spring water. Like Vermont Gold, Vermont Gold Vintage is distilled from maple sap. The use of early run sap from Vermont maple trees gives this vodka its distinct character.

Vermont Gold and Vermont Gold Vintage are the only vodkas on the market that are distilled from maple sugar. Because vodka is a neutral spirit, with no color or odor, it can be distilled from any starch or sugar-rich plant matter. Most vodkas are produced from grains like rye or wheat.

“Our vodka is distilled using the distinctive water, sugar and traditions that can only be found in the local heritage and ecology of northern New England,” said
Duncan Holaday, president and founder of Vermont Spirits. “Anheuser-Busch appreciates the care and quality we put into distilling Vermont Spirits. I’m happy to be able to share our vodka with even more consumers through Anheuser-Busch’s strong wholesaler network.”

nheuser-Busch is in the process of testing a limited portfolio of premium spirits in targeted markets in the Northeast, and the deal gives Anheuser-Busch’s distributors handcrafted, high-end vodkas to compete in the growing and profitable spirits market. Anheuser-Busch also recently completed an agreement with Margaritaville Spirits to distribute Margaritaville Tequila in Massachusetts.

“Vermont Spirits is a great-tasting, high-end vodka distilled from pure, natural resources,” said Dave Peacock, vice president, Business Operations, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Products like these distinctive, high-quality Vermont Spirits vodkas allow us to compete in this growing category in a limited way, while gaining a deeper understanding of distributing a liquor-based product through our wholesaler system.”

Craft or micro-distilleries are an emerging trend in the United States, much like the craft brewers that have experienced increased popularity and success in the U.S. beer industry. The American Distilling Institute, a trade group for independent distillers, currently counts 95 distilleries in the United States and Canada, up from five in 1990.

High-end spirits are growing at a fast rate. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the super-premium segment of the spirits industry was up 18 percent in 2006.

Vermont Gold, Vermont Gold Vintage and Vermont White are 80 proof and available in clear 750-milliliter bottles


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