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Victor George Spirits to buy Florida distiller

Vodka producer Victor George Spirits has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Florida’s Palm Beach Distillery as part of its plan to become the largest Black-owned spirits company in the world by 2025.

Victor George Spirits founder with Jolyn Harvey and Summer Piep
L-r: Jolyn Harvey, Summer Piep and Victor Harvey

Based in West Palm Beach, the distillery was founded by Summer Piep in 2017 and is said to be Florida’s first female-operated distillery.

Palm Beach Distillery makes vodka, rum and gin, and will start producing several Victor George Spirits (VGS) products, including Pullman Porters 1867 rye whiskey and Fort Mose Bourbon. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Pullman Porters 1867 is a six-year-old rye whiskey named after former slaves that became the highest-paid Black people of the 1860s, according to VGS.

Fort Mose takes its name from the first US city where Black people could live freely, which is located just outside St Augustine in Florida.

The new brands are due to be released by VGS in February 2022 to mark Black History Month.

Piep will remain as a partner and will serve as chief operating officer and master distiller of Palm Beach Distillery. VGS founder Victor Harvey will act as chairman of the board and director of business development daughter.

His daughter, Jolyn Harvey, will also become a partner in the new venture and will take on the title of chief marketing officer for Palm Beach Distillery.

Acquisition plan

Victor Harvey said: “This is very exciting for our team at Victor George Spirits as we continue to expand our footprint across the United States.

“We are rapidly adding to our quality portfolio of brands and will be acquiring additional distilleries with a plan to be the largest Black-owned spirits company in the world by 2025.”

In November 2021, VGS secured a loan of US$2.45 million to build a new distillery complex that will include a restaurant and rooftop bar. The Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency board agreed to donate the money to fund the construction of VGS’ new facility.

Located at Sistrunk Boulevard, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the new complex will be called The Victory Building.

VG Vodka is distributed in 44 states and available to buy from major retailers across the US, including Albertsons, Kroger, Trader Joes, and more.

In January 2020, American rapper Flo Rida became an equity partner of VGS.

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