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Jim Beam maker buys Calico Jack and Pinnacle Vodka brands

April 23, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Bottles of liquor on shelves. Beam Inc. said Monday that it will buy the Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands for $605 million.
Bottles of liquor on shelves. Beam Inc. said Monday that it will buy the Pinnacle… (Ted S. Warren / AP Photo )

As liquor sales boom, Beam Inc. is expanding its spirits empire, paying $605 million in cash to buy the Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands from White Rock Distilleries.

Beam’s long list of products already include Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon, Courvoisier cognac, Canadian Club whiskey and Skinnygirl Cocktails (which saw a 388% boom in volume sales last year, according to research group Technomic).

What it doesn’t have are vodka flavors such as Atomic Hots, Cake, Gummy and Whipped Cream. Pinnacle’s sales this year are expected to exceed 3 million 9-liter cases; the brand is the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the U.S.

As big-name beer sales slump, spirits are soaring, with volume sales from the top 250 brands up 3.1%. The Distilled Spirits Council said that industry sales last year claimed 33.6% of the total alcoholic beverage market.

We’ll drink to that.

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