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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Dec 11, 2017

Support Local Spirits as You Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

By Joanne Colella

Many people like to find ways to support local small businesses while shopping for the festive holiday season.  With that thought in mind, you will likely want to raise a toast to the owners of the new Copper Kettle Spirits at 54 West Main Street in Freehold. Local residents and St. John Vianney High School alumni Ken McCartin, Steve Loures, and Gus Menocal, with a shared vision of producing quality, local small batch vodka made in New Jersey for the people who love New Jersey, have launched NJ Beach Badge Vodka, and it’s been taking New Jersey by storm since its debut in April at the Inlet Café in Highlands, NJ.

Most vodka, they explain, comes from a foreign country, with just a few distilleries in the United States, and is generally made in large industrial factories. The trio behind Copper Kettle Spirits, however, are simply artisan craft distillers who prefer “Main Street USA over Chain Street USA.”  They decided to take a chance and follow their passion, doing their research and working hard to chase the American dream. They make their NJ Beach Badge Vodka slowly and carefully in their custom-made craft distillery equipment, which looks more like an impressive metal art gallery than a made-for-TV moonshine still, and they are proud to call themselves “red, white, and blue collar guys.” Their vodka is made from New Jersey corn (from a Colts Neck farm, in fact) and is gluten-free.

The result of all their effort and dedication is a smooth, ultra-clean vodka that has been in demand and flying off the shelves of stores, bars, and restaurants throughout the area for months – particularly along the Jersey Shore. Even the beautifully designed bottle is a love letter to New Jersey and reflects the signature NJ Beach Badge Vodka name, with a colorful collage of authentic beach badges from towns where locals love to spend their summers and places they call home, from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

This is not just a summertime product, however. For holiday gift-giving and seasonal celebrations, the bottles have been adorned with bright red miniature scarves and a gift card that proclaims “Sea-Sun Greetings!” The premium vodka inside makes the perfect martini, Cosmopolitan, or other cocktail to ring in the New Year.

At this time, NJ Beach Badge Vodka is not sold directly to the public, but can be found at local liquor stores throughout the area. More information is available at, where you can also find a listing of locations where NJ Beach Badge Vodka can be purchased and a photo gallery of their beautiful distillery.  For wholesale pricing and delivery, call or text (732) 236-3006 or email