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XDar Vodka Reopens Distillery in Ukraine

XDar suspended operations with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, but continued to pay their 4,400 employees. Now the distillery in the central region of Cherkasy is resuming production.

Natalya Kolosk of Liquorum Imports Inc., the US importer of XDar, said of the reopening: “[The employees] are some of the strongest people in the world. The employees, while grateful for the assistance, don’t just want a check, they want purpose. They want to work, which is why, as safely as possible, XDar opened up their facility to resume production…the more vodka we sell, the more people we can bring back to work.”

2022 marks XDar’s 20th anniversary, with the modern distillery built in 2005 capable of producing 150 million bottles of vodka a year. XDar translates to “the gift of grain” – a reminder that the yellow bottom half of the Ukrainian flag symbolises the golden wheat grown on black soil for which the country is so celebrated. There are those on the distillery’s payroll who have taken up arms to defend their homeland.

In support of Ukrainian troops, the Bayadera Group, which covers a third of the Ukrainian vodka market (including XDar), has donated more than $150,000. The group has also abolished the license for vodka production in Belarus in retaliation against the country’s complicity in the invasion.

Royal Wine Corp, which distributes XDar to the New York and New Jersey markets, is donating all the proceeds from the sales of the vodka in March (an estimated $100,000) to humanitarian relief in Ukraine. CEO Mordy Herzog commended “the drive and determination of the Ukrainian people in the face of adversity” as “truly amazing”.

Although the two decade milestone for XDar has taken an unexpected turn, in the wake of war the company has found a reinvigorated sense of purpose to complement its longstanding commitment to its employees.

Some drinks companies in Ukraine are taking their defiance of the Russian invaders even further, such as the Pravda Brewery switching production from craft beer to molotov cocktails.

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