Battle Brotherhood Vodka
Battle Brotherhood Vodka (http://www.bbvodka.com/) is being brought to the United States courtesy of both US and Russian military veterans of Afghanistan. Many of these men actually fought over the same ground, albeit decades apart. It’s a powerful partnership on many levels.
Last week I was fortunate enough to get reacquainted with David Lyons, a former Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal NCO and CEO of Battle Brotherhood Vodka. He and BBV Regional Coordinator Andrew Bottrell were introducing the new premium vodka, which is distilled in Siberia. David is one of the HMFICs of Rogue Corps and the man who developed the Lion Individual EOD Kit; Andrew is also a former EOD Technician.
“I had a couple of Russian reporters come up to our FOB [Forward Operating Base] in Gulistan [Gulistan Province, Afghanistan] back in ’09 and ’09,” says Lyon. “We’ve stayed in touch with them. He called me up earlier this year and invited me to Moscow for Airborne Day…while there we met a guy who is very active in veteran causes there in Russia. He showed us Battle Brotherhood Vodka.”
Lyon asked him if they had an US distributor for Battle Brotherhood Vodka and things took off from there. It turns out all of them are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan – both the Russians’ back in the 80s and ours over the last decade. Some of them had fought in the very same places. As you can imagine, it created an immediate bond.
“Yes we’re bringing a premium vodka to the market, but Battle Brotherhood is about veterans and families,” Lyon says fiercely. “Yes, we share a bond, Russian and American. With the recent conflicts and sharing the same theatre [sic]of operation regardless of generation gaps. The fighting men are able to look past the follies and opinions of their higher echelons and see that we have shared the same experiences, fought in the same fields and lost brothers in the same manner. These experiences can’t necesarily [sic] be translated to civilian experience but are powerful and bonding nonetheless.”
For every bottle sold in Russia, 15% goes to their veteran support organizations because, as Lyon puts it, “Their equivalent isn’t nearly what ours is.” Because Battle Brotherhood Vodka requires import fees to sell here in the United States that number will unfortunately be reduced to 10%.
The company is currently finishing up a few aesthetic tweaks to the bottles and awaiting the final approvals from the ATF, then import will begin. There are a thousand cases read to roll in Moscow.
“The booze,” said the bystander who reintroduced me to Lyon, “is ridiculously good.”
I cannot testify to that – yet – but it’s hard to imagine these guys would import bad booze from Russia and besides, it’s Russia. Their vodka is supposed to be good.
This image was taken in Tajbek. The two men in it are Russian veterans of Afghanistan who are playing a big role in the importation of Battle Brotherhood Vodka to the US.
Here are some of the representatives of Rogue Corps at the NSSF SHOT Show 2014. Andrew and David are the two men on the far right. Andrew is in the bluish-grey t-shirt standing, David is in the black t-shirt.
You can check out Rogue Corps on Facebook.