Fifty States Vodka celebrates the American spirit
Craft vodka brand works to benefit local business, economy
In the popular country song “Made In America,” artist Toby Keith sings about everything U.S.A. As part of the chorus, he sings “Spends a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says U.S.A.” Like Keith and his celebration of all things American, Fifty States Vodka Founder and Owner Tom Liberati also celebrates the American spirit with the development of his premium vodka brand.
Several years ago, Liberati was drinking at a local bar near his hometown when he realized how few vodka brands actually were made in the United States. In that moment, the idea for Fifty States Vodka was born. Liberati wanted to create a spirit that not only supported local business and the economy, but one that easily was recognized as being made in the United States, he says.
Fifty States first launched in December 2016 as a small operation. The brand spent some time navigating the industry, but soon realized it needed a partner that understood its vision and had the expertise to take it to the next level, Liberati says. Now as a brand of Local Choice Spirits, North Charleston, S.C., and produced at Striped Pig Distillery, Charleston, S.C., the vodka currently is available at retailers throughout California, Florida, New York and South Carolina.
Fifty States Vodka is six times distilled, gluten free and made entirely from American farmers’ grain and resources, the company says.
A premium American product
As the spirits market continues to be driven by premium offerings, Liberati saw an opportunity to create a premium vodka, but in a way that was known for its diversity and innovation. “Our packaging and design are the main thing differentiating our product from other vodka brands on the shelves or behind the bar,” he notes. “Yes, there are many vodka brands, but when you see our bottle you immediately know its American made and you get a sense of what the product is about.”
The Fifty States bottle features a frosted design with red, white and blue accents throughout. “Part of the inspiration behind the Fifty States concept was that I couldn’t easily recognize any premium products that were made in the USA, so I intentionally designed the bottle to stand out for its elegance as well as for being unmistakably American,” Liberati explains. “The frosted bottle with red vertical stripes and white stars, and the bottleneck wrapped in blue with white stars, all make for a really sleek and eye-catching product that ooze American elegance.”
Fifty States Vodka recently took home the Silver Medal for packaging design from the Denver International Spirits Competition 2019, he adds.
Another way the brand differentiates itself in a crowded spirits and vodka marketplace is through its American brand identity. Fifty States vodka is about the American spirit and to Liberati, this includes honoring the U.S. military. “Fifty States is a celebration of America — and part of that celebration is acknowledging the individuals that serve our country,” he explains.
“I think it’s important to recognize and give back to those who dedicate their lives to service, who sacrifice everything and more to support and serve the U.S.,” he continues. “We knew when we were creating the brand there would definitely be an element of partnering with charities, organizations and events that are dedicated to supporting these individuals and their families.”
For example, parent company Local Choice Spirits runs a Sip & Share initiative, where for every bottle sold in conjunction with a fundraiser or charitable event, the company donates back to the cause the event is supporting, Liberati explains.
“They also do a lot of work within the community to support local initiatives through sponsorships, bartending services, connecting and coordinating with nonprofits, etc.,” he says.
Recently, the brand found new opportunities that also aligned with its brand identity. In April, Fifty States Vodka was named the official vodka of UFC competition Titan FC 54 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “When we were approached by Titan FC to be their official vodka, we found a natural synergy in that their philanthropic partners are A-HERO and SOWW, which is the perfect fit for Fifty States and means we can contribute to supporting military veterans as a result of our partnership with Titan FC,” Liberati says. “These charitable organizations provide support to help veterans recover from physical and psychological trauma and to reintegrate with American life.”
Looking ahead, Fifty States Vodka is focused on securing distribution in all 50 states, Liberati notes. The brand will continue to spread its message through word-of-mouth, as well as other networking opportunities, he says.
“At the end of the day, Fifty States Vodka was created to remind us how proud we are to be Americans and to set a new standard for premium quality and what it means to be made in the USA,” he adds. BI