The Official Spirit

How quickly times and lines continue to change and move. Just two years ago, these various military-themed labels were considered by many to be tacky. In the absence of much uproar, and with plenty of military activities since then, the march of military-themed alcohol beverages continues apace.

Heroes brand vodka claims to be Veteran Owned, all American, four times distilled — and most startling — “Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation.” The brand is owned by Travis McVey, a U.S. Marine from 1989-1992. During the past few years, McVey teamed up with Lipman Brothers and Buffalo Trace (bottler):

In 2009, Heroes LLC came to fruition when Travis contacted Robert S. Lipman – a beverage alcohol industry veteran – with a business plan for introducing a hand-crafted vodka to all of the active duty military and Veterans as well as civilians throughout the United States. He anticipated the vodka being made in America with distribution to over 6,000 military bases, 6,000 VFW posts, and 12,000 American Legions posts.

When Travis presented his Heroes Vodka proposal … Lipman was intrigued. The successful entrepreneur,whose family established Lipman Brothers in 1939, has been sitting at the helm of the oldest distributor of wine and spirits in Tennessee for nearly 25 years. Hundreds of pitches pass across his desk annually, but something about this one resonated on a different level.

In a further sign of the times, it took more than nine weeks to get the label approved. In these other instances and different times, it took far less time to get other official-looking spirits labels approved:  2007 (Valor Vodka, two weeks), 2008 (44th Inauguration vodka, two weeks), 2009 (Operation Homefront Bourbon, a few days).

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14 Responses to “The Official Spirit”

  1. September 12th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Travis McVey says:

    I just wanted to say HEROES Vodka is defiantely a Veteran Owned Business and part of the National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) and the BUY VETERAN campaign. We not only give back a portion of all profits to well known Veteran organizations but we want to educate everyone about the 3 million plus Veteran Owned Businesses out there today. Recent polling revealed that it’s not just the government and large corporations that want to BUY VETERAN-the average American conumer wants to Buy Veteran too! In fact two-thirds of respondents said they’d rather purchase from a veteran-owned business than a non veteran-owned business. This is where he Buy Veteran Campaign comes in. Buy Veteran lets everyday, Main Street, consumer-facing veteran-owned businesses like pizza shops, dry cleaners, restaurants, plumbers, and sports bars in every city and small town in America capitalize on the trust and gratitude to help their businesses grow. The message is simple. “Hey America you want to thank veterans and you inherently trust a man or woman who has worn the uniform? Then support the 3 million American businesses owned by military veterans.” Please help support our Veteran Owned Businesses and you can find out more at http://www.buyveteran.com and if your a Veteran I encourage you to sign up and if I can be of assistance please get in contact with me via our website at http://www.heroesvodka.com.

    Semper Fi,

    Travis McVey
    Heroes Vodka

  2. September 12th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Mark Woods says:

    It is an honor to be the charity associated with Travis and Heroes Vodka. I believe this will greatly impact our Troops for a long time with care packages and entertainment initiatives. Well done Travis!! You are a Veteran that is still impacting our country for the good…
    Mark Woods
    Founder & CEO

  3. September 12th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Ryan Weaver says:

    Gotta love Veteran owned businesses. In a country where our sons and daughters volunteer to risk their lives for our ability to live freely, you cannot say enough for need to support programs that enable our Veterans to take a risk to serve in harms way and chase their dreams afterward. Way to go Travis McVey and Heroes Vodka.

  4. September 12th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Barbara Pflughaupt says:

    Great idea — and since McVey does so much to benefit the Marines and all service members and veteran owned businesses – the success of this brand helps all veterans. Bravo Lipman Bros. and Semper Fi!!

  5. September 12th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Matthew Pavelek says:

    I’ve had the priviliege of getting to know Travis and Hereoes Vodka. He’as a serious businessman and is equally passionate about helping the men and women who bravely serve in the United States military. In fact, he personifies the ideal qualities we’ve found in America’s 3 million vetrepreneurs. Plus, it’s a great vodka! Congratulations on your success thus far Travis and NaVOBA wishes you continued success in the future.

    Matthew Pavelek
    Director of Communications
    The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)

  6. September 12th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Angela Evans says:

    This is a very exciting time for Heroes Vodka, Travis McVey and the R.S. Lipman Company. What started as Travis’ dream over two years ago is about to come to fruition. His entrepreneurial vision to create a brand that can continually give back to Veteran Organizations is authentically sincere. I want to support the Heroes who defend my freedom. I look forward to seeing Heroes Vodka on shelves and bars throughout the U.S. and abroad!

  7. September 12th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Mimi Lohm says:

    I am so proud of your loyalty and it is an honor to know you Travis. You are a great representative to NaVOBA and the veteran-owned businesses.You have worked hard to get Heroes Vodka established I wish you much success!

  8. September 12th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    karen McVey says:

    I have told you to follow your dreams and do something in life that you love and enjoy..I am just happy that it was a dream that involved giving back to all our veterans and I get to make this journey with you….You know my passion and love that I have for this country, troops and veterans. You have always followed your on path, even when you where growing up….I am so proud of you and your loyalty, honor and respect that you have given to your country…I sat there in my seat in the summer of 1990 at 8th and I in DC and watched a young man that performed in the Silent Drill Team….it was my son and I had tears running down my face…I believe that USMC made you into the man you are today…Heroes Vodka has been a 2 year journey but you have stayed the course.

  9. September 13th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Rick Brown says:

    Outstanding! We ask our young men and women to put their lives on the line and pay the ultimate sacrifice if necessary. Well, guess what? They’re not just a bunch of dumb grunts!

    They are entrepreneurs and businessmen/women. They are government leaders. They are teachers who spend more time with your children everyday than you do. They are ordinary people with vision and tenacity. And they understand the importance of helping others succeed.

    Congratulations Travis, I will proudly display Heroes Vodka on my shelf! And thanks for your service!

    Rick Brown
    RB Communications, LLC
    Proud to be a Veteran Owned Business!

  10. September 13th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Pat Pointer says:

    It’s Veteran owned vodka spirit with a better taste profile than the vodka industries old guard, a responsible marketing campaign, a competitive price point and an embedded social program to give back to deserving heroes in the community. Nicely done Mr. McVey and Mr. Lipman.

    I’ll be asking for Heroes Vodka by name.

    -Drive Music Nashville

  11. September 13th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Stephen Cochran says:

    Its an honor to be associated with Heroes Vodka. I have awaited this release for awhile now. I have no doubt that not only will our Marine brothers and sisters support and replace their now spirit with “THE” “Spirit of a Grateful Nation”, I know that all our VETERAN family will. I have first hand had the pleasure of sampling this product during its invention. Hands down, the best tasting smooth Vodka Ive ever tasted. Marine approved, great Job Marine Semper Fidelis.~S.C~

  12. September 14th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Kelly Ryan says:

    Heroes vodka, the brain child of one of America’s very own heroes, is a unique and wonderful concept. In striving to provide the best of everything to our troops, what better way to do that then to provide them with the best tasting vodka which was brought to them by one of their own? I would select a Veteran-owned vodka over another non-Veteran-owned brand time and again, especially with a superior tasting spirit like this. Great job!

  13. September 19th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Will Cheek says:

    Travis and Hero Spirit are the real deal. An American Veteran living the dream of an American entrepreneur, with a goal to help Vets along the way. Go Travis and Hero Spirit.

  14. February 6th, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Wounded Warriors says:

    I’ll drink to that:) Sounds like another great idea from another veteran entrepreneur! Great Job and the best of luck! For others looking to support other Veteran Owned Business entrepreneurs check out the directory of Wounded Warriors or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses at VeteransDirectory.com. Support our Veterans by Hiring them and you can’t go wrong!

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