Shakers Vodka, the Minnesota-made liquor that won numerous awards before its parent, Infinite Spirits Inc., filed for bankruptcy in January, is in new and bigger hands.
E. & J. Gallo Winery now owns the Shakers trademark, according the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database. Based in Modesto, Calif., E. & J. Gallo is well known for its wine brands, such as Carlo Rossi and Barefoot Wine, but also owns liquors E. & J. Brandy and New Amsterdam Gin.
Representatives from E. & J. Gallo could not immediately be reached for comment.
Forbes ranked E. & J. Gallo Winery No. 118 of America’s largest private companies in 2011. It’s the largest U.S. exporter of California wines.
Shakers Vodka was put up for auction this summer after its makers, Blaine-based Infinite Spirits Inc., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Jan. 5. The voluntary bankruptcy petition showed the company had 100,000 to $500,000 in assets and $1 million to $10 million in liabilities.
Attorney Rick Stermer, the appointed bankruptcy trustee, confirmed that the company’s intellectual property was sold in the auction, but couldn’t provide any information on the terms of the deal or its buyer due to confidentiality.
Distilled in Benson by Glacial Grain Spirits using Minnesota-grown wheat, Shakers Vodka billed itself as “the only vodka to receive a perfect 100 score” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Five of the six co-founders of Infinite Spirits, which launched in October 2001, were also involved in the founding of Pete’s Wicked Ale (which isn’t involved in the bankruptcy). Shakers Vodka started to hit shelves in 2003.