Leave it to Minnesota ingenuity to come up with a great idea like this. Ben Brueshoff, of Minneapolis was pondering awhile back about starting a craft brewery but figured the field was pretty much saturated. So what now?


Well, why not make vodka out of sugar beets?  "The craft beer industry is really saturated. There's a bunch of breweries; distillers, very very few," he said. "So we kind of had the lightbulb moment and said, let's create another social, locally made spirit, or drink, I should say, and that was a spirit, vodka, made out of sugar beets."

BET Vodka, pronounced beet, is made from sugar beets from the Red River Valley and boasts a sweeter locally produced vodka. originally, they attempted to make the vodka from raw sugar beets but ran into problems with the quality of the sugar beets by the time they transported from the Red River Valley to Minneapolis.

"By the time we got them down, they had already half decomposed," Brueshoff says. "They were really dirty. We couldn't clean them properly. We were trying to cut them in half with, you know, a saw or an axe. It just created some really poor impurities and was very hard to distill."

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BET Vodka solved that problem by using sugar from sugar beet processor American Crystal Sugar located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Brueshoff says the sugar gives their vodka a unique, sweet taste.

"It doesn't smell like a standard vodka that has that, oftentimes that kind of abrasive quality that almost goes up through your nose and kind of burns a bit," he said.

"The taste is good," said sugar beet farmer Mark Nyquist. "It's a higher-end vodka. It's great. We're always looking to tap into some niche markets, and that would be an opportunity for us to do that," he says.

Test it out for yourself.  BET Vodka is available at several liquor stores in the region and online. A bottle retails for about $30.


(Duluth News Tribune)


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