Monday, June 11, 2007
Anheuser-Busch Signs Deal to Distribute Vodka from Vermont
With the Swedish government pushing forward with plans to exit the alcohol business, one of the rumored suitors for the Absolut brand had been Anheuser-Busch, America's largest brewer. The sale of Absolut has not yet been concluded, but the folks in St. Louis did not wait around to nab a vodka label.
While it is not an equity purchase at the moment, Anheuser-Busch has cut a deal with Vermont Spirits for A-B to become the master U.S. distributor for the Vermont Gold, Vermont Gold Vintage and Vermont White super-premium vodkas.
Vermont Spirits is a regional distiller selling in Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other select markets. The company's products are fairly unique. Vermont Gold is an unflavored vodka made by distilling maple sugar, while Vermont White is triple distilled from pure milk sugar and Vermont spring water.
Starting this month, A-B will begin distributing the brands, while Vermont Spirits will continue to market the vodkas. Under the deal, Anheuser-Busch could purchase a limited equity holding in Vermont Spirits in the future.