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Ozark Mountain Daredevils sign distribution deal for gin

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"E.E. Lawson – he got him a plan." So goes the 1970s rock song of the same name by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Now, the Daredevils have a plan to once again capitalize on the E.E. Lawson name – this time with spirits.

The Springfield band announced its EE Lawson Distillery company entered a deal with Major Brands to expand its gin brand statewide, according to a news release.

Dubbed Ozark Dry Gin, the product has sold nearly 5,000 bottles since EE Lawson Distillery was formed last year, said Daredevils Manager Dwight Glenn. He said the gin is made in partnership with Springfield Brewing Co., which manufactures and distills the alcoholic beverage.

"We are looking forward to the distribution partnership with Major Brands to organically grow our market reach throughout southwest Missouri and eventually throughout the entire state of Missouri," Glenn said via email.

Steve Drewry, general manager for St. Louis-based Major Brands’ Springfield operation, said the distribution deal first would focus on southwest Missouri for the rest of 2020. Next year, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Daredevils, the gin is slated to be distributed statewide, starting in cities such as Kansas City and St. Louis, Drewry said.

Glenn said EE Lawson Distillery also is working to introduce a new spirit – most likely a rye whiskey – in 2021. Ozark Dry Gin is currently its sole product.

In the release, Daredevils co-founder John Dillon described the origin of the gin idea dating back to the band's heyday.

"While in London recording our first album, we discovered the subtle pleasures of English gin," he said in the release. "Learning that it is the botanicals that give gin its unique taste and sense of place, we were intrigued by the possibility of a spirit that pays homage to the colorful history and origins of gin, as well of our own dreams for this time-proved elixir."

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