Heaven Hill Brands of Kentucky announced this week it is buying Austin-based Deep Eddy Vodka for an undisclosed amount.
Clayton Christopher and Chad Auler founded Deep Eddy Vodka in 2010. The Wall Street Journal in May reported that the Austin-based company was for sale and estimated its valuation at between $165 million and more than $300 million.
Christopher formerly founded Sweet Leaf Tea Company, which he sold to Nestle in 2011. Auler formerly founded Savvy Vodka.
Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill Brands, based in Bardstown, is the nation’s largest, independent, family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier and the world’s second largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon, according to a news release.
Deep Eddy Vodka, which produces more than 500,000 cases a year, makes Deep Eddy Straight Vodka, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka. And in 2013, it launched Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka and Deep Eddy Cranberry. This year, it launched Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka.
“Deep Eddy Vodka is a star on the rise in the spirits industry and is redefining the premium Vodka market with a quality product and iconic marketing programs,” Max L. Shapira, President of Heaven Hill Brands, said in a news release. “The brand is a perfect fit for our established portfolio of rapidly-growing products.”
Heaven Hill Brands plans to continue to produce Deep Eddy Vodka in Dripping Springs and maintain its new visitor center.
Austin still has another home-grown vodka maker: Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It is the original Texas vodka maker founded by Bert Beveridge, known as Tito, in 1997. He used to operate the only licensed still in Texas. The Wall Street Journal story reported that Tito’s sold 2 million cases of vodka last year, up from 200,000 cases in 2007.