Cathead Vodka Aims to Support Music Interest Groups through Alcohol Sales
AN Exclusive Interview with Austin Evans of Cathead Vodka! by Richard Lhommedieu on Mixcloud
Inspired by Blues Roots, Cathead Vodka Aims to Support Music Interest Groups through Alcohol Sales
After three years in development, Georgia native Richard Patrick and partner Austin Evans placed Cathead Vodka into distribution in May 2010 throughout the state of Mississippi with plans to roll out the brand across the Southeast by 2012. In addition to Georgia, the vodka is now available in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia. This is the first offering from the partners who met while attending business school at the University of Alabama. Prior to developing Cathead Vodka, Patrick previously worked with Firefly Distillery during the launch of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, and Total Beverage Solution (TBS), a U.S. importer and distributor of beer, wine and spirits. In his role with TBS, Patrick worked on the company’s marketing of emerging brands; the company experienced sales growth from approximately $500,000 to nearly $30 million.
Cathead Vodka is the first legally distilled spirit in the state of Mississippi. The corn-based 80 proof alcohol is a six-times distilled and charcoal-filtered artisan vodka produced by Bottle Tree Beverage Company at their Gluckstadt, Miss. distillery. As Patrick states, the history of the region played a large part in the evolution of the brand, “The name stems from a loose reference across the Mississippi Delta region for blues musicians – Cat Heads. As part of our common interest in preserving and protecting the cultural history of southern food, beverages, music and the arts, we established a partnership with Music Maker Relief Foundation (MMRF) where $1.00 from every bottle of Cathead Vodka sold will go directly to the non-profit organization.”
Tim Duffy, founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation, comments, “We are ecstatic about the partnership with Richard and Austin. Through the sales of their products, we hope to reach a younger generation of keeper of the flame.”
In addition to passion for a fine product, Evans describes the cultural mission of Cathead Vodka, “Our commitment to donate one dollar for every 750 mL bottle to the MMRF will drive many development decisions we make in the future.”
From a distribution standpoint, Patrick and Evans could not have chosen a better partner. Patrick agrees, “The folks over at Savannah Distributing really understand what we are trying to accomplish with not only the brand but with our mission to support live music, the arts and a piece of American history. Henry [Henry Monsees, Owner of Savannah Distributing Co.] has pledged to match every dollar Cathead donates to musical relief efforts which would mean a considerable contribution in due time.”
Patrick is excited for the Georgia launch, and the support is strong. “We are thrilled to bring this unique, southern-crafted spirit to my home state. The interest has been overwhelming thus far.”
ABOUT CATHEAD VODKA
Headquartered in Jackson, Miss., Cathead Vodka is the first legal distilled beverage from the state. Current distribution includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. For product sales in Georgia, contact Savannah Distributing Company at 678-380-1212. For additional information on Cathead Vodka, contact Richard Patrick or Austin Evans at 601-667-3038 or visit www.catheadvodka.com. Cathead Vodka is located at P.O. Box 4917, Jackson, MS 39296.
ABOUT MUSIC MAKERS
The seeds of the Music Maker Relief Foundation (MMRF) grew out of Tim and Denise Duffy’s close relationship with Guitar Gabriel and several elderly African-American entertainers around Winston-Salem, N.C. After completing a master’s degree in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989, Tim Duffy began documenting area blues artists. The organization helps traditional musicians in need rise above poverty and enrich our nation’s culture. MMRF helps with life’s basics – food, medicine, housing and transportation. Through donations, sales and performance, MMRF helps to advance the careers of recipient artists by supplying instruments, CDs, booking services and tour support. Musicians receiving help from the organization must play music rooted in a southern tradition, be 55 years or older and have an annual income less than $18,000. In addition to grants, MMRF also gives artists opportunities to perform, and makes recordings of the artists available for sale. For more information, visit www.musicmaker.org
ABOUT SAVANNAH DISTRIBUTING CO., INC.
Serving Savannah and the state of Georgia since 1938, Savannah Distributing Company Co., Inc. offers hundreds of alcohol products in retail and restaurant outlets throughout the region. The company headquarters can be found at 2425 West Gwinnett St., Savannah, GA 31415 or by calling 912-233-1167. The Atlanta satellite office is located at 2860 Bankers Industrial Drive Atlanta, GA 30360 and can be reached at 678-380-1212 or toll free at 800-551-0777, andwww.gawine.com.
Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC)
Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA)
Music Makers Relief Foundation (MMRF)
North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic
Magic City Blues Society
New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation (NOMAF)