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Keel joins Newport Craft Distilling

Newport Craft Distilling has acquired Rhode Island-based brand Keel for an undisclosed sum.

Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co acquires Keel
Keel will join White Squall in the firm’s vodka portfolio

Keel will join the firm’s portfolio, which includes White Squall vodka and gin, Sea Fog Whiskey, and Thomas Tew Rum.

Founded by Bill Dessel, Tom McGowan and Matt Light, the brand describes itself as a ‘premium light vodka’, as its ABV sits at 23.8%. A spirit must be bottled at 40% ABV to be described as vodka in the US.

Although the company was founded in Rhode Island, the spirit is produced out of state. The transaction will bring production in state.

“The Keel team has found the perfect partner in Newport Craft to help take Keel to the next level,” said Dessel.

“It has always been a dream of ours to produce our product, that was conceived in Rhode Island, in our home state. With this transaction, we can finally accomplish that dream.

“I am excited to get to work alongside the team at Newport Craft, in continuing to spread the Keel story to new consumers looking to have a more balanced social life.”

The spirit is made from locally sourced Idaho potatoes and water sourced from the Rocky Mountains through an aquifer that runs under the distillery.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Keel into the Newport Craft family,” said Brendan O’Donnell, Newport Craft CEO.

“This acquisition represents a powerful synergy of passion, expertise, and a shared love for exceptional spirits. The combination of these brands will meaningfully enhance the efforts of both companies and we can’t wait to see what Bill and Keel can do in partnership with Newport Craft.”

In other lower-ABV spirits news, Quarter Proof rebranded and adapted its products due to labelling guidelines, and launched a Three Grain Spirit bottled at 15% ABV.

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