, an award-winning potato vodka, created in metro Detroit and made in Poland, is expanding sales outside of Michigan.
As of January, ZIM's Vodka, a gluten-free vodka made with Polish-grown potatoes in a 250-year-old Polish distillery using a recipe based on research conducted there, went on sell in Pennsylvania. In March, it goes on shelves in Illinois. Several other states are expected to follow.
The 2-year-old company founded by Grosse Pointer Terry Olson and run from offices in Warren is sold in more than 600 outlets across Michigan, top restaurants among them.
Throughout its existence the vodkas, an 81 proof and a 59 proof, have won awards and accolades around the world. Olson says ZIM's success shows it is more than a craft liquor "flash in the pan."
"We are really a Michigan owned and based spirits import company called The Rebel Spirits Group, LLC that makes traditional vodka products in Poland, the motherland of vodka," says Olson. "Unlike most, we import our own products back into the United States. We do not chase trends or fads which is why we never planned to deliver flavored vodkas, which are crashing and burning. We don’t do browns - whiskey, rye, bourbon, which is the latest trend. Even some brown makers are moving into flavors. Be careful and learn from the vodka flavor dotcom collapse."
Olson seems intent on skipping the gimmicks that currently accompany the craft distillery movement, choosing instead to let the product speak for itself.
"We don’t have a bar, restaurant or tasting room. We have six -pack cases of our internationally award winning vodkas. We continue to stick to our knitting by delivering a vodka that is coined the smoothest vodka on the planet."
Source: Terry Olson, founder, ZIM's vodka
Writer: Kim North Shine