Tito’s Handmade Vodka is All About Dogs

“We believe we’re meant to make the world a better place and vodka is our medium” – Tito Beveridge

By Jennifer Grant and Justyne Yuen-Lee
Credit: Twitter / @titosvodka

Tito Beveridge is a man who knows about commitment. The grit he used to create the world’s smoothest vodka, he is now using to save the lives of the most vulnerable dogs in his state.


Imagine for a second, a vodka so smooth that you actually CAN drink it straight. Listen, this girl cringes when any hard liquor passes the lips, but inside this first (tentative) sipping moment, I finally understood what it meant when they said a liquor is “smooth.” Because, let’s be honest, that burn in the back of your throat is not what I call “smooth.” There was no burn, no cringe back, only a dreamy list of summer drinks popping to mind. I’m thinking patio and hard lemonade. Maybe Grapefruit Fizz? Caesar with a dill pickle? I’m even thinking of it on ice for the summer. Crazy, right? You can find your own inspirations on Tito’s Vodka website.

Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Back in 90s, this type of vodka just didn’t exist. Liquor consumers were not impressed with its harsh bite, and as a result, new brands of vodka typically collected dust on the back shelf.  When Tito first made the rounds to sell his flavored liquor, he was consistently turned away.  Without benefit of the Internet, Tito took to books and experimentation to create the smooth vodka the market was begging for. Now, thanks to word of mouth and a win of double-gold at the SF World Spirit Championship, Tito’s Vodka stands out in its class.

This progressive company has always used its good fortune and (now) popularity to benefit dogs without homes. From community initiatives, to actively seeking adoption opportunities, matching rescues with humans, creating outreach at local shelters, even starting a dog-inclusive workplace culture, this man is extremely passionate about finding second chances for surrendered and homeless dogs.


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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Tito began his education at Vanderbilt, then onto the University of Texas where he completed degrees in Geology and Geophysics – a far cry from distilling vodka. Tito spent some years working in the oil and gas industry in Venezuela and Columbia before returning to his home state and settling in Austin, Texas. After dabbling in a hobby of making flavored vodka for his friends, Tito took the greatest leap of his professional life, ending his business and dedicating himself to making the smoothest vodka in the world.


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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Operations started in a shed, with his dog, Dogjo, at Tito’s side. Sometimes Dogjo was the only contact Tito had with another living being for days on end. He gets very emotional when describing the commitment Dogjo had for him through the tough times of these early days.

Tito refused to be discouraged when every investor turned him down because they believed he would never get a legal distillery up and running in the state of Texas. He used all of his savings and jockeyed 19 credit cards to build a one-man distillery; all while lobbying to change laws in Texas. His greatest responsibility though, as Tito saw it, was to feed the growing canine and feline interests that turned up at his shed.


Tito’s distillery shed. Credit: www.titosvodka.com

Tito’s Vodka grew as a distillery, a business, and a brand, but one thing remained the same – Tito’s passion for dogs. Tito’s employees have always fed strays that happen upon the distillery and one pivotal day, a pregnant dog appeared. This was Stella – heavy with puppies, exhausted, sick, and desperately in need of help. Elizabeth Bellanti, Tito’s Project Manager, took Stella in, nursed her back to health, and adopted her. Tito’s Vodka then found all of Stella’s puppies a loving home. And so it began.

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Vodka for Dog People grew into a movement that has changed the lives of hundreds, probably thousands, of dogs when you consider the benefits of the education initiatives and outreach programs. Tito and his employees have personally found homes for over 70 dogs, many of whom stay at the office or now live with employees. Of this dog-positive office culture, Tito says that, “having dogs around here all the time – it just kinda sets the tone for the place.”

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Tito’s also partners with animal welfare and related nonprofit organizations to provide support for events and fundraisers. One particularly meaningful connection is with Emancipet, an Austin-based network of vet clinics. Their mandate outlines that all pets should have access to good health, regardless of income level.  In the early days of Tito’s Vodka, Dogjo (also a rescue) would bring stray friends to the shed for a free meal. Unfortunately, many of these animals would be sickly, and since Tito was penniless, he would rely on Emanipet for help. The relationship between the two organizations has grown stronger over the years and Tito’s Vodka is now proud to sponsor Emancipet.

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

The company uses its Vodka for Dog People Campaign to raise awareness for the needs of stray dogs in America, including sponsoring mobile spay and neuter clinics in low-income neighborhoods. In addition, 100% of the profits from their online store go to nonprofits that support dogs. You can even choose to which of their nonprofit partners you would like to send your donation. Amazing!

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

 

If you’re up for feeling hopeful and think you can handle the cuteness factor, you should check out the dogs that Tito’s Vodka has helped via their Instagram account  @vodkafordogpeople. I’ve taken the liberty of preparing a little preview:

 

 

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

 

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

So if you love Vodka and dogs …

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Credit: Instagram / @titosvodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka could be your perfect find. The first sip will tell you everything  about Tito’s skill as a distiller. He uses old-fashioned pot stills to make his gluten-free (and Kosher!) corn-based vodka; and each batch is personally taste-tested. The Vodka For Dog People Campaign will tell you everything about Tito’s heart. He believes that every dog owner should be supported and that every dog deserves a happy home. I couldn’t find a better way to end this. Cheers to continued success and happy homes, Tito’s Vodka!