BĒT Vodka Taking Root in Growing MN Craft Spirits Market
Minnesota-made BĒT Vodka hopes to shape the local spirits industry with a sweeter, premium liquor that’s ideal for drinking neat. The new vodka is the first to be made exclusively from sugar beets, and two Twin Cities entrepreneurs aim to find out if the distinctive liquor can take root in Minnesota’s burgeoning craft spirits scene.
With the help of a grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Ben Brueshoff and Jerad Poling launched the new vodka made from raw granulated sugar from Minnesota-based American Crystal Sugar.
“Using sugar beets to create vodka – or any type alcohol for that matter – is very rare in the United States,” said Ben. “We are the only company in Minnesota and across the Midwest that uses 100 percent sugar beets.”
Minnesota is the top sugar beet state in the nation. About a third of all sugar beets produced in the U.S. are grown in Minnesota, accounting for 15 percent of all U.S. sugar. The first sugar beets were grown in the state in the 1890s, but use of beets for sugar dates back to the mid-1700s.
But it’s taken Ben and Jerad just two years of development to create the premium pour that is now available at liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities.
“It took several months to find the exact formula of yeast, nutrients and granulated beet sugar that were needed for crafting a great tasting product,” said Ben. “Today, every hand-crafted batch of BĒT Vodka uses this same formula. We ferment up to two weeks, perform three distillations to remove any unwanted impurities, blend with purified water and pass through activated carbon filtration. The result is a beautiful vodka with natural hints of vanilla and pepper.”
The BĒT team aimed to create a smooth experience, intended to be enjoyed neat.
“Unlike many vodkas, ours is crafted with a ‘less is more’ mindset,” said Ben. “That is, cocktails requiring fewer ingredients that are easy for people to make and that highlight the unique profile of the vodka itself.”
BĒT Vodka is the latest brand to enter the growing Minnesota spirits market. Since laws were changed in recent years to lower the cost of distillery licensees and ease restrictions, more than a dozen new brands have debuted.
Many combine distilling with an on-site cocktail room, including Minneapolis-based Norseman Distillery, Wader North Distillery and Du Nord Craft Spirits, which was the first to open a craft cocktail room. Du Nord offers a sugar beet vodka, which also includes corn, offering a subtly sweet flavor. Its sprit from Minnesota-grown apples and corn offers another distinctive Minnesota option.
About BĒT Vodka
Features flavors of vanilla essence on the nose and a hint of pepper on the finish, with a sweetness intended to be appreciated by both vodka and non-vodka drinkers alike. Recently received a 92 Gold Medal from BestTastingSpirits.com.
Find something new℠.