Cathead Vodka Distillery: Business Matters - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Cathead Vodka Distillery: Business Matters

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MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Cathead Distillery had a birthday May 24, celebrating three years of making Mississippi's first legal liquor in state history. Fresh off their anniversary, spirits are high as the distiller's founders look to the future.

It started as a marriage between blues and booze, inspired by a day of good blues and good drink at the Sunflower Blues Festival in Clarksdale in 2008.

It was then that Cathead Vodka was born, according to co-founder Austin Evans.

Evans and friend/business partner Richard Patrick, who both shared experience in the alcohol industry, got to work on their business.

"We saw an opportunity to make history in the state of Mississippi," said Patrick. "Cathead Distillery is the first and still today, only legal distillery in the state."

But what's with the name?

"Blues musicians refer to one another as cats," said Patrick. "It means respect. We wanted something that was very relevant and supported the heritage and rich culture of Mississippi."

Cats in their own right, Patrick and Evans are getting respect from bars, restaurants and merchants across the southeast. With the help of 12 employees Cathead Vodka is sold in 12 markets.

"Our next step is to become more of a regional brand," added Patrick. "To be in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) states and to be the vodka of choice."

Vodka was just a foot in the door. Their end game sets in some barrels they have on hand. While vodka can be distilled in days, whiskey takes at least four years. They hope their patience pays-off.

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