Vodka maker picks Buffalo for launch

December 12, 2013 Updated Dec 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Vodka maker picks Buffalo for launch

December 12, 2013 Updated Dec 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM EDT

The Buffalo Niagara market has been selected by a newly imported Mongolian vodka producer as one of the first places in the U.S. where it is being made available.

Golia Vodka, imported by Solo Brands LLC, hopes success in the Buffalo Niagara region will translate to other markets. As part of its introductory role in the area, Golia is partnering with the Buffalo Sabres on a number of promotions including the creation of the Golia Ice Lounge inside First Niagara Center's Harbour Club.

Why Buffalo?

Several reasons, said David Solomon, Solo Brands chairman. Solo Brands is located in the Philadelphia suburb or Narberth.

"Buffalo is already proving to be a great market for us," Solomon said. "People really appreciate a well-crafted spirit."

Golia comes to Buffalo at a time when the region is seeing a resurgence in terms of craft beer breweries and, just after Thanksgiving, the debut of the city's first vodka distillery since the Prohibition days. Lockhouse Distillery sold all 800 bottles of its first-crafted vodka in less than two hours on Nov. 30.

Golia is made in Mongolia, overseen by Solomon's business partner Lee Cashell. Its vodka comes from organically-grown winter wheat and processed by virgin water that comes from Altai Mountains and that country's Khuiten Peak. It is distilled at least six times through silver and platinum filters.

Besides Buffalo, Golia Vodka is being marketed elsewhere in Upstate New York as well as portions of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The company also has promotional deals with the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Syracuse Crunch and Adirondack Phantoms in Glen Falls.

"Buffalo is our front and center market," Solomon said. "We love Buffalo because of its connection to hockey. In many respects, Buffalo is 'ground zero' for hockey and we want to play off of that."