An American Dreamer
If you didn’t know, our founder Dave moved to Moscow a few months after completing his degree in Russian Studies. He’ll tell you it was because he took too many pucks to the head as the starting goalie for the University of Rochester’s ice hockey team. We still don’t know what he was thinking, but he left Russia five years later with a passion for flavorful vodka and how this fine spirit brought people together.
The Rabbit Hole
He spent the next few years, from 2000-2002, visiting more than forty distilleries around Russia, first looking to import an existing brand, and later creating his own brand and recipe. He put the knowledge he learned from so many along the way into Zyr vodka. He fermented and distilled different blends of wheat, rye, corn, oat, barley, beets and more to perfect the fresh and slightly sweet flavor of Zyr, and the process to ensure an ultra smooth texture. The goal then was the same today, to make the finest vodka in flavor, texture and purity without cutting a corner.
No One Man,
Not Even A Celebrity
No brand makes it to your favorite backbar or store shelf without the help of so many. Much of that help costs money, from lawyers to designers, trial runs and bottles, corks and cases. Zyr made it thanks to more than twenty friends, family and early investors, who joined Dave on his journey. Muts & Joy were the initial designers and share a patent on the bottle shape with Dave. Lawyers protected the brand, hundreds of distributor reps gave us insight into the route to market and Saverglass, a top glass company in France, helped bring Zyr to life in 2002.
As Russia invaded the Ukraine, the Zyr world was turned upside down. Imagine watching bars pour your brand out into the street on national TV and stores post a Ukrainian flag as you searched for Zyr vodka. President Biden almost put the final nail in Zyr's coffin, by banning Russian vodka, caviar and fur coats in March 2022. But we may have to thank him for forcing us to craft Zyr elsewhere, which meant of course trying right here at home.
We invite you to join us on this journey!
Our founder Dave and Distiller Chris were assisted by scores of people, aiming to recraft Zyr in America.
While there are too many to list, we must thank:
Black Band Distillery our new home
Ladoga Group our friends who helped make Zyr in Russia
Moonshine University welcomed Dave into the American distilling world
Founder Dave’s wife Lindsey who’s support, patience and palate remain indispensable
Western Reserve Distillery Kevin and Ann Thomas offered extensive help with our recipe trials
3M help with filtering
Lallemand Inc yeast and enzyme help
Stranger & Stranger new Zyr package design
Scott Industries help with charcoal and polishing filters
Guala Closures in Sumy, Ukrainę produced our new cork, despite being at war
Eurostampa produced our new labels in Ohio
MHW Ltd help us navigate the many US regulations
M.O.S.A. the organization that certified Zyr organic
ETS certified the new Zyr gluten free, additive free and only 96 calories
Vladimir Kasatkin our long-term colleague still in Moscow, who’s helped from afar
Pixel Warps Ariel Mendoza and his team assist with Zyr's marketing and design
Mouve Film spent days filming the making of new Zyr and produced the movies on this site
Symphony Importers the entire family of reps, ambassadors, those in operations and more, who are thrilled to have Zyr back
Our network of U.S. distributors bringing Zyr to dozens of states
Countless stores and restaurants who continued to support Zyr