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Omaha Magazine

Soldier Valley Spirits: Selling Nationwide and Attracting Country Music Stars

Feb 01, 2022 11:48AM ● By Julius Fredrick
jeff hadden leans on bar

Photo by Sarah Lemke

"We got your six” is more than a slogan to former U.S. Army National Guardsmen and proprietor of Soldier Valley Spirits/Patriarch Distiller Jeff Hadden—it’s a promise. 

A proud lineage of military service and a burgeoning interest for the chemistry underlying his career in wholesale alcohol led to an “aha!” moment for Hadden in 2011: craft-made bourbon whiskey bottled in glass replica World War II-era canteens, each embossed with an allusive numeral six. One dollar from every bottle sold goes to local and national veterans’ nonprofits, sending a clear message to the veterans of the Omaha metro. In civilian terms, “we got your back.”

“From day one it was part of our core values, giving back [to veterans],” Hadden said during a December fundraising telethon hosted at the Soldier Valley Spirits tasting room in La Vista. 

Ron Hernandez, event organizer and founder of the Omaha nonprofit Moving Veterans Forward—an organization dedicated to helping homeless vets get off the streets and into furnished homes—agreed: “The partnership [with Soldier Valley] is going to be going on for years to come. It means a lot…it’s just a great venue to get the word spread to where people can say ‘yes, I want to help, what can I do?’”

Few have responded to this question with greater zeal than country music icon Lee Greenwood. The pen, strings, and crooning baritone behind America’s 20th-century anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.,” Greenwood’s love of country—and for those who serve it—is apparent on and off the stage.

In 2020, news coverage of Soldier Valley’s 3,000 gallon donation of hand sanitizer to the COVID-weary Navajo Nation caught the attention of Greenwood while he was at home in
Franklin, Tennessee.

“I flew down [to Nashville] in late August and met with Greenwood’s team, and there was a lot of back and forth,” Hadden recalled. “On the last day I met with Lee at his home. He really liked what we had to offer and he liked our company motto of ‘faith, family, and freedom,’ the three F’s as I call them.”

A letter of intent was signed that same day.

“I love Patriarch Distillery,” Greenwood said, “I think they’re fabulous in what they do, dedicating a lot of the profits to five different charities,
all veteran-ran.” 

“It’s time to get back to fun after 2020,” Greenwood mused. “We’re ready to embrace the fact that we’re Americans, [we have] the freedom to drink when we want to, and to drink responsibly…I think it’s a great place for me to be, and [a way] to enhance veterans’ lives.”

Greenwood’s endorsement was well rewarded.

“We took our Number Six Bourbon and rolled that into the Lee Greenwood Signature Bourbon, we won a double gold medal [at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition] back in 2014, so we rebranded that product,” Hadden said. “And then we revamped our Patriarch Whiskey and launched the Lee Greenwood True American Whiskey, and won a double gold medal for that just last year at the Proof Awards.”

The Lee Greenwood Signature Spirits Line also features the Lee Greenwood True American Vodka—six times distilled and a 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition gold medalist—and the Lee Greenwood True American Navy Rum slated for release in the second quarter of 2022.

The partnership has resulted in sales agreements with 11 states, with seven more in the works for the first quarter.

For veterans and first responders, the alliance between Hadden and Greenwood means that their sixes are covered—and well.

Their selection of spirits, meanwhile, is about as far from well as it gets.

Visit soldiervalleyspirits.com for more information.

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022  issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Sarah Lemke

 

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