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Dark Horse Distillery to change name to Union Horse

Long Shot White Whiskey (left) and Rider Vodka, both distilled locally at Dark Horse Distillery in Lenexa.
Long Shot White Whiskey (left) and Rider Vodka, both distilled locally at Dark Horse Distillery in Lenexa. tljungblad@kcstar.com

The new year brings a new moniker for Dark Horse Distillery in Lenexa, which will change its name to Union Horse Distilling Co. beginning Jan. 1. The move follows settlements in two trademark disputes, one with a California winery and another with a brewery in Michigan.

“It’s kind of exciting,” general manager Eric Garcia says of the change. “We’ve been dealing with these lawsuits for over two years. We’re done, and we’re back to the business of making whiskey.”

Garcia; his siblings Damian Garcia (director of sales and marketing), Patrick Garcia (master distiller) and Mary Garcia Gallagher (director of special events); and entrepreneur Kris Hennessy founded the distillery in 2010. They now make Reunion Rye, Reserve Bourbon, Rider Vodka and Long Shot White Whiskey and distribute their spirits in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

So, why Union Horse?

“The Union name comes from the unified spirit and commitment of us four siblings and our team of folks who are making it happen within these walls,” says Damian Garcia. “We’re all bringing our strength and passion to building on that now and in the future.”

Bottles with the new name will begin appearing in the first quarter. Otherwise, the brand will retain its horse head logo, product names, bottle design and graphic feel. Completing the name change simply frees the distillery to focus on developing its portfolio, marketing its brand and expanding distribution.

“There’s a lot to look forward to in 2016 with Union Horse Distilling Co.,” Damian Garcia says.

Anne Brockhoff is a freelance food writer and spirits columnist: ninmilefarm@gmail, @BlitheSpiritsKC

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