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Entries in Firefly Vodka (2)


10 Qs with Scott Newitt (The Firefly Guy)

"I'm going, I'm going, where the water tastes like wine.
Well, I'm going where the water tastes like wine.
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time..."

-- Going Up the Country

As you likely know by now, we are huge fans of the bearded businesses, businessmen, products and technologies (would also have accepted: innovations, solutions, or initiatives)… That said, we support nearly any and all beardos and stache wearers with a story, we even stand chin to chin with some goatee wearers… but from time to time, a product comes along, that we would support with or without a bearded angle… one such amazing entity is FireFly Vodka.

First a quick story…

As far as we are concerned, it was me (El Beardo) that discovered a sweet nectar of the gods called FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka for the NYC market a few years ago... While on a road trip to Charleston SC, my wife and I stumbled across a drink called 'The Carolina Cocktail' (aka FireFly sweet tea vodka, lemonade, ice with a dash of club soda)… at the time the young company wasn’t exporting its distilled goodness across state lines… never being the ones to take no for an answer, we went to the closest liquor store in town and bought a case… which we proceeded to distribute to our friends in the NYC area… fast forward a year, and wham… FireFly was on the top of everyone’s tongue, and swishing in all of our mouths. A legend was cemented

…now to resume our programming already in progress…

It should come as no surprise then why B-a-B asked the good folks at FireFly to sponsor of the 2010 Brooklyn Beard Ball… which they graciously did, by donating a full case of Sweat Tea Vodka to be flowing through our veins that one magic night in Greenpoint… to reinforce our perspective that everything can and should be connected back to facial hair, lo an behold, the founders of the distillery are BEARDOS (one ongoing, the other intermittent).

So, when given the chance... it's needless to say I raced down from NYC back to Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina to sit down with co-founder, and a full time beardo (since 2007), Scott Newitt, for a chat about where booze and facial hair cross, and who exactly are straws made for… expectantly so, the day started and ended the same way, with a few John Daly’s.

1) Tell us the history of Firefly... we've heard rumors of Kettle One defectors, secret recipes, unique distributors and much more... what's the real story of FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka (aka nectar of the gods)?

My partner, Jim Irvin, "Sometimes Bearded" and myself, Scott Newitt, "Always Bearded" met in 2003. He is a winemaker and I was a Liquor/Wine Distributor. He hired me to represent his wines. We became friends and I showed him my still in 2003.

We started Firefly Distillery in 2005 and made our first vodka out of his muscadine wine. We introduced the world's first Sweet Tea Vodka on April 15, 2008. He and I own the company and will not sell out to the big guys. We love what we do.

Loving what they do... Co-founders Scott and Jim, with production manager Jay

2) Does FireFly use American tea for the infusion? We know there is only one tea plantation in the US (surprisingly), if you do use them (or if you've just had their tea) how's the quality... can we take India and china on?

We started off using only American Tea but as we grew we had to source outside the US. We still use tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation and are the only liquor company to get there tea. It is fantastic tea and indeed the only tea plantation in North America.

3) How did the other flavors come around? How can we get on the focus group list...?

I looked at flavors that were working for companies like Snapple. Their top 2 flavors are Peach and Raspberry and so are ours. WE will start checking out next year’s flavors in October. Come on down.

4) What is the best way to drink FireFly sweet tea vodka?

I like it poured over crushed ice. I then let it melt for 2 min. Then drink! That is my favorite. The most popular drink is 1/2 Firefly and 1/2 Fresh Lemonade. Lots of folks call it "The John Daily"

5) How long have you had your beard? How was the decision made?

I have had a beard off and on for the last 20 years. In 2007, I decided to keep it. My wife likes me with a beard now. Honestly, I got tired of shaving every morning.

6) Do you think this is 'The Year of the beard'? Have you been noticing more beardos around SC?

I do think it is the Year of the beard. We have many beards in SC. Seems like the 21-29 age group has the most here.

7) South Carolina recently had a beard and mustache championship regional event (held by the good folks of Holy City Beard & Moustache Society), did you go?

I did not make it... I was out of town working and promoting Firefly.

8) Who are some of the beardos that inspired you to grow yours out? mentors? idols?

I love music and old TV shows... so, Willie Nelson is an inspiration as well as Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard.

9) What's the best way to drink a cocktail with a beard? Straws are a safe options, any other advice?

Straws are for women and unbearded folks. Beards are designed to pick up drinks and food. I suggest drinking straight from the glass.

10) What else do we need to know about you and your awesome distillery?

I love music and have played the drums since 2nd grade. We just came out with Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon. It is most definitely a Beard drink.

Thanks for taking the time Scott, keep up the great work on the chin and in the bottle!

Thanks and come visit! Check out for latest news and more info.

With the then still honorable (yet never bearded) Gov. Sanford.


Save The Date: 2010 Beard Ball Announced

Hello Beardos!  Build-A-Beard is proud to announce The 2010 Beard Ball to be held on Thursday, February 4th at Matchless in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.   

What is The 2010 Beard Ball?
A place to show off your beards! And of course, B-A-B loves all facial hair follicles, so please note that if you have a mustache, mutton chops, goatee, or any form of DIY artistic facial hair creations - you are welcomed to attend!  In addition, if you are simply an admirer of facial hair - please come and stroke the egos and beards of those in attendance.  

Why should I attend?
Cause it's The Year of the Beard!  Plus it's only $5 to attend with all proceeds of ticket & door sales going to RightRides.    

How do I buy advanced tickets?
YOU CAN BUY ADVANCED TICKETS HERE.  We suggest you buy a head of time - as this event will sell out. 

What is RightRides?
RightRides is celebrating its 5th year anniversary!  The program builds safer communities by ending gender-based harassment and sexual assault.  They work towards this by community organizing and offering direct service, safety education, and advocacy programs.  Read more: HERE.   

What time does The 2010 Beard Ball begin?
The evening kicks off at 8:00 p.m.  

I love alcohol.  Are there any specials that evening?  
Prohibition Distillery is offering a 8:00-9:00 p.m. specialty cocktail (for only $5) where all sales of the drink during that time frame will be going to RightRides.  Firefly Vodka has graciously offered $5 cocktails (until the cases donated run out!) where a percentage of drink proceeds will go to RightRides.  So please be sure to ask about the specialty drinks upon arrival to help raise funds!

21 +  We are hoping to see a lot of rikers.   

Who are the bearded bands?
9:00 p.m. Transatlantic FM 

10:00 p.m. Quiet Loudly

11:00 p.m. Julius C

I love winning prizes.  Will you have a raffle?
Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the evening for $1. Lots of local companies (and bearded ones) have donated gifts for the night.  Ask about this upon arrival & be sure to check out the raffle table.  

Additional details:

 ** B-A-B would like to send a sincere thank you to Magnetic State for donating time, energy, and artistic awesomeness in creating The 2010 Beard Ball flyer.  Get in touch with Dan.