US-whiskey producer Uncle Nearest has acquired distillery peer Square One Organic Spirits, marking its first move into vodka.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Uncle Nearest founder and CEO Fawn Weaver will take over from Square One CEO Allison Evanow, who will remain at the business as an ambassador as well as leading its innovation. In a statement today (21 May), Uncle Nearest said she would “continue to play a pivotal leadership role”.

Tennessee-based Uncle Nearest said it plans to introduce a “new line” of products and rebrand Square One’s vodka. The new line will include organic vodkas made with corn rather than rye, which will be released into all 50 states this summer, the producer told Just Drinks.

Uncle Nearest also plans to move production from Virginia to Tennessee.

It follows the distiller’s move into Cognac last year when it acquired French wine estate Domaine Saint Martin. It tapped former vice president of global marketing for Bacardi’s Patrón Tequila brand, Adrian Parker, as president of its Cognac venture.

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Weaver said Square One filled a gap in the market for “brands that are authentically owned and culturally resonant”.

“Consumers are increasingly discerning, seeking products that not only deliver high quality but also maintain genuine ties to the communities they represent,” she said.

“This shift towards authenticity has created a pivotal opportunity for a company like ours. With Uncle Nearest’s extensive national distribution network and our deep commitment to heritage and authenticity, we are perfectly positioned to meet this growing demand.

“By entering the vodka market, we’re not just expanding our portfolio, we’re responding to a consumer call for transparent, culturally connected brands.” 

“Evanow will continue to play a pivotal leadership role, ensuring the brand’s founding principles remain at the forefront of its expanded operations.

Square One is an organic spirits company headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. The business was founded in 2004 and it’s portfolio includes products such as spirits, mixers and RTDs.

Square One said its sales exceed $22m since 2004, with nearly 200,000 cases sold.

It said it was the first company dedicated to producing exclusively USDA-certified organic spirits and was the first organic rye vodka brand in the US.

The company’s products are currently available in 30 US states and Washington DC. 

Evanow said: “While we have really loved being an independent brand so that we could focus on quality organic ingredients and unique flavor profiles, the intense demands of handling nearly all sales personally underscored the need for stronger backing.

“Uncle Nearest will not only preserve our independent spirit and world class quality, but also bring the robust sales and distribution capabilities we need to reach our full potential.”