Most neighbors keep their relationship at a friendly distance – a polite wave and a lend of sugar time to time. Not Alex Mackiewicz and Alex Plitsas. They started a business together.
“We moved in the same neighborhood within a couple of months of each other,” says Mackiewicz. “Alex [Plitsas] had a concept for a liquor company. I have a background in food, beverage, and hospitality. We talked about developing a company that could give back to military and first responders. Over the course of a couple of months, we took it from a concept to reality.” It was then that Valor Spirits was born.
Valor Spirits is a 100% American-made vodka and whiskey brand, from barrel to bottle. The whiskey — a “baby bourbon” — is aged for six months in charred American oak barrels. It has easy notes, with hints of maple and smoke, a very light note of banana, and a warm, smooth finish.
The vodka is non-GMO corn-based and gluten-free. “It’s made with 100% Kansas corn which makes it sweeter,” says Mackiewicz. It was formulated to have a clean smell and smooth finish. “It’s so smooth that a lot of times people will ask if there’s enough booze in it.”
The learning curve was steep for Mackiewicz and Plitsas. They had no knowledge of making spirits and so went in depth as far as market research. “We wanted to make sure we made something that was better than what’s currently available,” says Mackiewicz. The two worked with consulting firms and sampled thousands of men and women, taking their feedback and improving upon their product until they had the final, two years later.
However, the two Fairfield men have a bigger mission than making high-quality spirits at competitive prices. They want Valor Spirits to be a force of good and social change. That’s why 10% of their net profits are donated to Veteran & First-Responder charities. The company has even done several events where they had given 100% of their time and revenue towards the charity the event was to benefit. It should be noted that Plitsas served in the U.S. Army Reserve and did a tour of duty in Iraq. He is also a volunteer fireman.
“We wanted Valor to be American. We wanted it to be better than what’s out there,” says Plitsas. “We wanted it to have a greater purpose.”
Valor Spirits, americanvalorspirits.com; 203-916-9996
11/10 Homes for the Brave Mini Golf Tournament. More info here.
Event proceeds support Homes for the Brave’s mission to help homeless Veterans return to meaningful and productive lives.
11/11 Lifesavers Healing Together 5K & 11K Run / 1 Mile Walk for Our Heroes. More info here.
Event proceeds support Lifesavers Healing Together’s mission of assisting veterans, military, law enforcement, first responders, health professionals and their dependents by providing free wellness services.