Feature articles

For the love of potatoes, and vodka

May 25, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

 
The Beattie family of Alliston is putting their potato expertise to good use.
In April, the family began distilling, packaging and shipping “Beattie’s Vodka,” made from potatoes grown right here in New Tecumseth, to local LCBO stores.
And the result was an overnight success, and a product that flew right off the shelves, entering the hearts and bloodstreams of New Tec residents at a rapid pace.
Naturally gluten-free and made with pride, Beattie’s Vodka is a must have in any good liquor cabinet collection, and worth its weight in, well, potatoes.
The Beattie farm is located on the 13th Line and was started by Roland Beattie, an immigrant from Scotland, in the late 1800s.
Roland passed his farm down to his only son, Mackenzie, in 1927.
“At his peak he had 11 farms in production,” said Ken Beattie, Mackenzie’s grandson and the owner of Beattie’s Vodka and Beattie’s Farm. “In the 1970s my father Ronald focused on growing potatoes for processing. He had contracts with large chip suppliers which allowed him to build a storage facility for 12 million pounds of potatoes. He then doubled that facility in 1974. At the time he held the largest processing contract in Canada.”
Ken’s youngest son, Barry, is now a fifth generation farmer in New Tecumseth, “who is proving to be a real technical wizard for improving how we farm and continue to plant, nurture and harvest the finest potatoes around,” said Ken.
Ken’s commitment to family is obvious, and the stamp 5 Generations is imprinted on every bottle.
“I have been a farmer all my life but I also help the community I live in by volunteering my time,” said Ken. “I was a volunteer fire fighter until 2015 when I retired after 40 years of service. I’ve also been a volunteer with the Alliston Union Cemetery Board for over 20 years and have sat as president since 2001.”
This commitment to family and community is what led the Beattie’s to pledge 50 cents from the sale of every bottle to five local charities: Matthews House Hospice, CONTACT, Alliston Fire Fighters Association, Donate for Nate and The Good Shepherd Food bank.
Buy it for the amazing corked bottle; buy it to support local farming; buy it to support not-for-profit organizations, but mostly buy Beattie’s Vodka for the taste!
“Making our vodka is a difficult process. We have to peel every single potato to make sure we only mash the heart of the vegetable,” read the website. “We then distill our own spring water to remove any impurities that may occur.
“We are so confident in the quality of our potatoes, our master distiller and our equipment, we need only distill once. We also only filter our product once … We just felt if you have to distill more than once, then the first time was not right.”
After penetrating the local vodka market with distinction, next steps for Beattie’s Vodka is to open the distillery to the public for tours.
“We have invested in the best possible equipment we could find to make the purest, cleanest vodka for you to enjoy. We are currently in the throws of competing the building for you to come to see and enjoy a tour of our wonderful distilling location and building.”
For more information e-mail Ken Beattie at kenbeattie@beattiesdistillers.com or ‘Like’ them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Beatties-Distillers

         


Readers Comments (0)


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support