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Wine & Spirits

Greek-American Bourkoulas Brothers Produce Award-Winning 8 Mile Vodka

DETROIT, MI – Greek-American brothers George and Alex Bourkoulas along with another set of brothers, Michael and Anthony Tomey, in 2020 took over the Detroit-produced 8 Mile Vodka which had originally been founded in 2016, by another set of brothers, DBusiness (DB) reported. The vodka brand, according to its website, is an official sponsor of the Detroit Pistons.

At the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), 8 Mile Vodka was honored with two award, Best in Class Vodka and Best of Class Overall Vodka, DB reported, adding that “earlier in the year, 8 Mile Vodka also won a Double Gold Medal award for taste from the SFWSC.”

“It’s an honor to receive these awards and be recognized as the best tasting vodka in the world,” Michael Tomey, co-owner of the 8 Mile Vodka brand told DB, noting that “we entered this competition knowing our product was great, but seeing the results in this caliber of competition, we are just thrilled.”

“Sometimes you enter a competition hoping to get some recognition and have judges confirm what you already know, but this feels bigger than that. Double Gold, Best of Class for Vodka, and for Best of Class for Overall Vodka? This is exciting,” Tomey said, DB reported.

“The four partners have focused on showcasing, enhancing, and expanding the brand,” DB reported.

“I think this is a lot bigger than we even realize at this moment,” Tomey told DB. “Getting our name out there and showing that our taste backs up our claims of smoothness is big for us. We feel that everyone should want to carry the best vodka in the world, and we will do our best to make sure that happens.”

“The owners state [that] 8 Mile Vodka is distilled in single 90-liter batches to enable optimal quality control and care,” DB reported, noting that “it is then carbon filtered, aerated, and bottled at the optimal time to produce a subtle taste with smooth finish.”

“Tapping into Michigan agriculture, 8 Mile Vodka uses local grains recognized around the world for quality and consistency,” DB reported, adding that “the combination creates a premium vodka with a distinctive taste as well as subtle earth tones and a great body, according to the distiller.”

“The SFWSC is organized by the Tasting Alliance and was started in 2000 to recognize exceptional products in the spirits industry,” DB reported, noting that “the group maintains it is the oldest competition in North America and the largest spirits judging in the world.”

“Emphasizing integrity and impartiality, the competition is comprised a panel of 70 carefully selected spirits-industry judges, who blind taste spirits from all over the world,” DB reported, pointing out that “more than 5,000 spirits were submitted to the annual competition, 300 of which were vodkas.”

According to the 8 Mile Vodka website: “the four owners are already feeling the love from Detroit.”

“Detroit loves to support Detroit,” Tomey said on the site. “So on one end it is surprising to see some good excitement when we’re a few weeks into this thing and people want to support it and try it and things like that. But also it’s not a surprise because people from Michigan, from Detroit, love to support local. Our No. 1 goal is to do well in Metro Detroit. And I think that is achievable, attainable and something we can do hopefully soon, but we know things take time. Obviously if we can do things on a national level that’s huge, that’d be amazing, and I think that’s something that would be possible. But I think we need to think small to start and let’s do well in our own city and then we can go regional, national. Our goal ultimately is to be a household name in Detroit and in the State of Michigan.”

More information is available online: https://www.8milevodka.com/.

It should be noted that the Bourkoulas brothers and the Tomey brothers are also co-owners of the Born In Detroit apparel business and have collaborated with the Detroit Pistons on some of their apparel. On January 18, Crain’s Detroit Business reported that the “apparel business, focused on boosting Detroit, has made the leap from e-commerce sales to selling its items inside one of Michigan’s largest retailers,” Meijer.

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